Hi! It's me, Ayesha from the future. I am currently 25-years-old, and you are currently 11-years-old and about to go on your first major move. Notice that I said first. That's right, this isn't the only big move you'll be making. You might be like, "Duh... I'm going to boarding school in a few years!", but still, you'll be moving a lot more than you are thinking right now. And that's okay. Don't worry. I'm here to guide you through it. Not that you need me. You were always so strong, even on your own.
Want to know what life is like as 25-year-old you? Here's a little snippet (I won't give you any major spoilers like about crushes or boys! :P You'll have to grow up and experience those for yourself). I'm living in the U.S. right now. In Pennsylvania. It's a state near New York and Washington D.C. I went to boarding school somewhere unexpected, and it was a magical experience. Then I went to college. Then, I went to graduate school (I got my Master's degree!). Now, I am in my final year of school, and will be graduating with an Educational Specialist degree in school psychology. You're going to be a psychologist, Ayesha! Who'd have thought? Apart from that, you're also about to become an aunt for the first time. A phuppo. You have three aquatic apple snails as pets (no kitty yet, sorry!). You live in a beautiful apartment with a gorgeous balcony. You drive a white Honda Civic. You're doing a full-time internship (and getting paid for it!). You're going to be looking for real jobs soon. And best of all, you're a mermaid (yes, you read that right!)
Life is good, Ayesha.
Now, it's your turn. Remind me of what's going on in your life right now. You're in 5th grade with Mr. Olson. He's so fun, isn't he? You sit next to Ru. You made butter in class (and it was delicious). Your friends are so excited about you moving to England. Your best friends, Salindi and Mehza, are so sad. You're not entirely sure how you feel. Is that correct? You live in house number 2336, by the park we used to play at every. single. day., no matter how hot and bright that blazing sun was (girl, you and I both know we rocked that tan. Oh, by the way, that tan is permanent!). You talk to Manu on the daily. You've recently become more close with Aparna, because of Manu (lolzzz). Hmm.. What else? You're the vice president of STUCO (oh, yeah, you don't know what that means yet. It means student council). Go you! You're so young, Ayesha, and your life is just beginning.
There's so much that happens between then and now. So much, Ayesha. More than you could ever dream. Sometimes, take a step back and ask myself, "Would little five-year-old Ayesha be proud of who I am now? How about 10 year old Ayesha? 13? 15?" and, to be completely honest, the answer changes sometimes. I have a few regrets, and I know you're all about that "No Ragrets" (I typed that wrong on purpose, it's a joke in the future) life. But overall, I'm proud to say that I think you'd be very happy with the woman I've become. I think you'd probably think I was pretty chubby, though - which, to be completely fair, I am! - and that's something that I'm trying to work on, hahaha.
Getting back on track: this next year is going to be hard for you, Ayesha. Really hard. Really, really, really hard. You survive it, though (clearly - hiiii). I remember how much you loved to watch Charmed (25-year-old you still loves Charmed just as much, if not more, than you do!). Remember how the sisters talk about how changing the past can change the future, and so they don't give too much information away whenever they go into the past? Same here. I won't give you too much information, because without the struggles you are about to face, I won't be me. I know that doesn't sound very fair at all, and I wish it was different. I wish you never had to face any of those struggles. I wish I, 25-year-old you, could face them instead. But remember what I said earlier about how strong you are? I mean it, Ayesha. You are the strongest person I know. You're going to be homesick a lot, Ayesha. You're going to miss your friends. You're going to hate the smell of horses, even though you love horses so much right now. You're going to listen to this song called "Bad Day" every single day. You're going to want to run away. You're going to wish you could be someone else, have a completely different life, and be a completely different person, while not really knowing that you are in the process of becoming, in fact, a completely different person. You won't really know how much you've changed until you go back to Udhailiyah, and your friends (who, in the future, are more like family to you) tell you that. But it's okay. Change isn't always bad. Change is good, sometimes, too. And hey, while this year is going to be really hard, guess what? Next year is going to be one of the best of your life! I won't give you any spoilers, but just trust me on this one. And guess what? The year after is even better, and the year after that even better...
The thing about change is that it's not easy. It's not easy to let go of your routine, or what's familiar, or who you count on. It's not easy to reinvent the wheel, which is basically what you're going to have to do. It's even more difficult when you're doing this seemingly completely on your own. It feels like sandpaper. It feels like friction (do you know what that is, yet?). The weird thing about it though is that there is no "pause" or "rewind" button. You just keep going forward, and you can't stop it. And sooner rather than later, you've changed too. You're no longer that rough sandpaper, but rather something new, something soft, something smooth. Polished. The rough friction of change often times betters you, even if it's not an easy process to go through.
I know how much you love quotes, so here's one for you: "The best is yet to come." And maybe, just maybe, that one is for me right now too. Don't forget who you are. Don't forget that I'm here for you. Don't forget how strong you are (which, honestly, you don't really know yet). Don't forget where you come from (Udhailiyah). But also, don't be afraid. Don't be shy. Don't be nervous. Be like the ocean, and just go with the flow. I promise you everything will be okay, and before you know it, you'll be me. <3
With all of my love,