I am going to sound like a broken record, so forgive me.
Checking Twitter when I woke up, I saw a photo of three old friends, hanging out, celebrating a birthday.
It didn’t hurt anymore. But it made me wonder if things would have changed if I had not left for Brisbane.
A lot of friendships were lost, some my fault, while others chose to leave. It was a hard time facing the truth that with many, out of sight equals out of mind, and I was just too exhausted to make it work with so many people.
Would life still pull us apart or would it grow stronger? Was I kidding myself that we were all friends and the absence just enlightened me.
For a moment, I wished I had never left.
Almost instantly, I knew I didn’t mean it. I would love for us all to be friends like we used to, but evidently, it would take effort and providence. And if anything, me leaving showed the fragility of those friendships. Honestly, they were not worth the wealth of experiences and friendships I made while I was in Brisbane.
I guess this is probably the time to let all the past hurts go, learn from them, forgive and grow up. If anything, these experiences should have taught me to be a good friend.
To my 20-year-old Self
If letters could time travel, there is so much I would like to say to you. It is a good thing that this letter cannot travel back in time, because it is a journey you’d need to take. Unless there is a way to create an alternative timeline which will then allow… Okay, yes, three years later, you have found a way to make yourself even more geeky, but don’t panic. I think.
Back to the main point, dear 20-year-old me, what I would like to tell you in four words is - Take it easy, mate. Yes, something your Brisbane education will have taught you. Hang in there and take it easy. Well, that’s two things now.
As you graduate from polytechnic, you will be jaded with working in television production, realising that passion with zero talent is not a good combination. You will embark on Plan B and C and so on, in a desperate futile attempt to gain some control on your life. You will go through a crazy, painful and frustrating journey.
20-year-old Me, you see, the problem right there is that you refuse to let go and let God lead you. You think you’d got it all figured out, all at the ripe old age of 20. Well, as your older self, I can tell you that you did not figure it out then and neither have I figured it out now. But older you is a lot more chill about it.
When you were struggling with giving up your plans and chasing after the “practical” aspirations, you forgot the dreams that God had placed in your heart while you were a child. But it is okay, God knows and He still is in control. You will take a sojourn in the wilderness while you take a break from the paper chase. It is there where you’ll rediscover your first love - writing.
You will enter your promise land of rest - Brisbane. (No, you really went overseas to study. I’m not kidding, you silly nationalistic patriot. And you shifted centre-left while you were there.) There you’ll have an awesome 1.5 years. There you will experience the awesomeness of God’s grace and favour. There you’ll be humbled when you learn the most valuable life lesson - to take it easy and just follow God.
You see, in his heart, man may have great plans, but the Lord determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) With your limited knowledge of what you need to achieve your dreams and what is best for you, you really should leave it to the professionals. I’ve sat back and looked at the past three years. You will learn how years of planning your life since primary school was all futile. But fret not. In just three years, God has placed me in the right place at the right time, all preparing and sharpening me for my future ministry.
So many times, I was just desperate to just get to the next bridge to cross, I didn’t have the strength or the heart to dream. I just affixed my eyes on our Faithful Father instead on the “dream”. That is so much easier, and well, that is the answer to the dramas life will bring to you.
Dear 20-year-old Self, just take it easy, fix your eyes on Jesus, life will work itself out. Just live life instead of living for the future. And dear younger me, please don’t take this as an excuse to procrastinate or live recklessly. You know what you are meant to do, you have Godly wisdom.
I am excited for you to experience one of the best years of your life yet. And I am sure that 26-year-old me would say the same about now. ;) Our best years are still ahead of us. We would be a totally awesome 80-year-old granny.
I am praying for you and for future me.
Your 23-year-old Self