Letter To My 15-Year-Old Self
Dear 15 Year Old Michael,
I feel there are some things I need to warn you about. I know they are going to happen but I just feel you should be prepared when they do and know that, in life, we do not always get what we want. Life has a way of waving our utmost heart desire right in front of us and then watch us try our best to catch it.
You are fifteen years old now and really, there is not much that you know. You are in SS 2 and you are currently the school timekeeper. It is a good thing. You really are doing it now because you want to do something, you want to be known and you like to be in charge, to be the one controlling time. And also because you know there is no better person. But it is a good thing, not because of any of those reasons but because it is a good thing to be a leader, to be in charge, to stand out.
I know you feel like you wasted your three junior secondary school years chasing girls, falling sick, hating your parents and plotting escapades. But hey, hear this: you did not waste those years. Of course, they flew by like the wind and you did not get to achieve much within that period. But it was not a waste. Later in the future, you will know that there are times when we have to appreciate our failures and see them as part of the success process. Trust me, I’m talking from experience.
Daddy will be friendly. You will get to understand that parenting is hard and that sometimes, we expect too much from our parents, forgetting that they were given too little. They didn’t have the internet. They didn’t have the movies. They didn’t have most of what we do. Most of them grew up in polygamous families where parenting meant feeding the children, protecting them from the rain and paying school fees. They did not know what it is meant to hug their children, to kiss them on the forehead, to say ‘I love you.’ So stop being hard on them. When you eventually understand, you will love them. You will love them so much that you will realize you can’t go two days without speaking with your daddy on the phone. And you will begin to take time out every year to spend time with him. You will be deliberate and intentional about loving him.
Dear 15-year-old Michael, don’t worry. You won’t fail Mathematics in WAEC. You won’t wait one year at home after school seeking admission. You will pass your WAEC and get into Great Ife. You will be happy. You will enter the university with a bit of inferiority complex because of the course you are studying but don’t worry. You will end up being grateful for that course. Spoiler alert: that course is not Law.
You will know how to talk to girls again. You will know this so much it will get you into trouble. I know how difficult it is for you to talk to the girls in your class right now. I know how you look at them, especially Chinaza. Chinaza with the beautiful hair and the nice legs and the smart brain. You will crush on her till your last day in secondary school, let me quickly tell you that one now. But nothing will happen. You will not have the courage to ask her out. You will watch the other big guys take her away. It will happen. Do not try to prevent it. I have told you the truth.
On the bright side, you will know how to talk to girls. That will not happen until your second year at the university. You will master the art. You will know how to use words in a cunning and dangerous way. It will be scary, even for you. You will even fall in love with a number of them. There will this one who will walk in majestically and take a seat. And because she is the first, you will serve her wine and place a rose by her side. But she will walk away coquettishly and you will watch the rose wither till your last. She will inspire you to start writing poetry. And that will lead to something else. People will begin to know you.
There will be another. She will be a good girl. She will wear glasses and have natural hair – they all will anyway. She will be beautiful. She will look like the one but things will happen. The wind will bring another your way and before you know it, things will get out of hand. I really can’t say much about this one because I am still living it out.
You will be known for writing. It will be a good thing but also a terrible thing. Depression will come around a few times. Reject it. Reject it always. Do not forget this, please.
I know you do not know it now but you have a beautiful mind and you are intelligent. Oh God, you are too intelligent. Do not mind those useless folks calling you shit. Wait until you are twenty-one. You will know things. Your mind will be your solace. Your mind will be your safe space. It may also be the end of you. You will tend to start overthinking things when you become twenty. Don’t. It will end in tears.
You have a long way ahead of you, bro. I tell you, you are one magical person and the world is too big for you. You want peace but the kind of peace you want is not in this world, not in Nigeria at least. I know all these seem weird but trust me, I am talking from experience.
There is so much to say but so little time and space. Let me leave you to live your life.
I love you, bro.
Your Twenty-One Year Old Self.
This is a new series. If you like what you just read and also want to write a letter to your younger self, kindly write a sample not more than 1000 words and send to email@example.com or contact me on WhatsApp: +2347037147081. I will publish a couple of entries here and then we will move on to something else on this space.