Dear 18-Yr-Old Me: Don’t Fret, You’re Not the Family’s Black Sheep

Dear 18-year-old me,

I love you for who you are and I know I am going to love you even more for the person you will be.

You had big dreams. They just turned bigger every day. And you feel now is the time to turn them into reality.

Right before you stepped into college, I know, a combination of poor academic performance and external pressure made you want to throw your hands in the air and quit. With two all-rounder sisters to always make your family proud, you felt as though you were the black sheep in the family. You found coping with the school environment really difficult and always wondered how your future would be.

You’ve passed with flying colours. (Photo Courtesy: Liu Chuen Chen)

However, much to my surprise, you did not allow this academic ‘failure’ to force you into believing that you cannot achieve any of your dreams. You felt an urgent need to explain your lifestyle and choices.

And this is when you became a fighter. You took up your own battle to win the big war. You became the writer and heroine of your own story.

You picked your personal needs and dreams over what was expected out of you.

Right from confronting situations to dealing with most of the challenges all by yourself, from learning from your mistakes to taking accountability, it was exhaustive.

But you passed with flying colours.

It never ceases to amaze me how you bounced back after every failure.

Hats off to your grit, determination and indomitable spirit, you 18-year-old!

Looking back now, I can smile. I feel proud of the mistakes we made and the decisions that followed. This only allowed me to be a stronger and wiser person.

You make me feel happy and free, inspired and empowered by the staunchness of casting your (or my) own future.

The 18-year-old you has come a long way, although I know I’ve not come this far only to come this far.

Liu Chuen Chen