A Letter from Your Deathbed Self
Dear present self,
You have been through so much in your short life. You’ve survived being bullied on the playground, your first crush, your first love and being scolded by your parents for staying out past curfew. You have seen hard times; you have had to make tough decisions and you have cried…a lot. You have been rejected, looked down upon, and broken, but you are stronger because of it and you have overcome every obstacle in your way. You have become a person that people look up to. A person that people respect. Not everyone achieves that in their lifetime, but you have.
The past may have hurt you, but you realize that your past does not have to dictate your future. You know that you have the ability to change your life at any time. Do you know how rare that is? Do you know how many people settle for good enough, as you seek out greatness? You are an anomaly. You confuse people and often partners will be intimidated by you because of your wildness. They will see that deep down, you don’t need anyone or anything to make you happy. They will see that you alone are responsible for your own well being. This will scare most people, and you have to understand that there is nothing you can do about it. Being wild often results in loss. It isn’t your fault. You were born this way. You were born to explore every corner of the world and learn about people, places, customs, and cuisines. You weren’t born to sit still and follow the path that has been laid out before you.
I am here to tell you that you are on the right path. You are scared and I can see that. You have reached a fork in the road and everyone around you is projecting their ideals upon you. Who do you listen to? Who do you trust the most? The answer needs to be yourself, and that is why I’m here. I am here to tell you that you need to stop analyzing the situation and go with your gut. Deep down, only you know what you want and only you know what will make you truly happy. If that means quitting your job to travel the world, go. If it means leaving your boyfriend to explore a relationship with another guy, end it.
As I lay here in this hospital bed, do you think I am thinking about the days I spent in the office? No. Do you think I am thinking about the mediocre love affair I had in college? No. I am reminiscing about the trek to Machu Picchu and the love affair I had with a Dutch man in Australia. I am thinking about the amazing meals I ate and the lives I have touched. The people that have changed my life. Dying is only scary if you haven’t lived. Stop worrying about the next promotion, the man that doesn’t care about you, the competition you lost. None of it matters. What matters is the experiences that you have gained from putting yourself out there, from really being alive.
Ten years from now, you will be sitting in your perfect house with your perfect family, planning a boring trip to Disneyland, but it will bring you joy. Do you know why you will be happy in this mundane life? You will be happy because you know that you allowed yourself to follow your dreams before attending to the dreams of others. You will know that you accomplished your goals. You saw the world, you loved different people, and you touched many lives before you settled down and created a life with a partner. You didn’t settle down with the first person who showed a hint of interest in you, and you didn’t lower your standards for comfort. You sought out passion, while others settled for safety. You created the life you wanted instead of allowing someone else to create it for you. To me, that is what made all the difference.
Your Deathbed Self