Letters To My Younger Self

Dear 5 year old Dian,

Today you will get a new nickname, it’ll last for a week or so. I don’t know what you were thinking but being called ‘Kisser Girl’ and chasing boys all around the school yard is not cute. Crazy, I guess. But definitely not cute.

So what if the other girls don’t want to play with you? You draw really nice. You have a way with your hands. Boys are dense creatures that misinterpret everything girls do or say. Like you wanting to play tag and get called names instead.

Don’t ever think of killing yourself just because you haven’t any friends. You have your brothers and Mom and Dad. Your brothers, as much as they act like they despise you, will always have your back. Pilar will hook you up with great music and the love of cartoons and Yogas will teach you how to ride a bike and make friends. Oh, and for one thing, holding back your own breath hardly ever kills. It’ll make you be able to last longer swimming under water though :D.

Dear 10 year old Dian,

I bet you’re hating Indonesia right now. Especially after being laughed at by the whole class for being made fun of by Pak Ferry that sleazy art teacher. Yogas had it worse, Pak Ferry made him sing Indonesia Raya. Dad and Mom forgot to teach us that song. Poor Yogas. No worries, by 9th grade you’ll be way taller than Pak Ferry and you will go to a better college than him. Some place where they don’t teach you to make fun of little kids.

Indonesia will be cool in no time. You’ll catch up. You’ll have a crush on the transfer kid from Surabaya. Oh, you’ll have a crush on him all the way till junior high. As bitter as crushes may seem at the time, they are like training wheels of love. You practice to obsess on one guy at a time. He will eventually get married and you will be friends with him when you’re all grown up. He is a genuine sweetheart. I knew you had good taste in boys. Back then..

Dear 15 year old Dian,

I heard a guy just asked to be your boyfriend. You shouldn’t cringe like that. He was just trying to be a gentleman opening the Dunkin Donuts door for you. Sometimes your intuition saves you from stupid mistakes, this is one of them. You made a good choice asking Mom’s advice and writing that ‘I Want To Concentrate On My Studies’ letter.

Just so you know, that boy you turned down will go around telling everybody that you were his first girlfriend. It’s ok. He’s got a handful of kids by now and he’s lost a bunch of people’s trust on the financial sector. Let him be.

Dear 20 year old Dian,

I wish I could have wrote to you sooner. Before you wasted 5 years of your precious life in an unhealthy relationship. Men who disrespect your parents are not worth the fight. Are not worth the sweat of your father and tears of your mother. But I guess I wouldn’t have learned my lesson if you hadn’t gone through all that pain. I’m just glad he’s over with and you are now as confident and happy with yourself as ever.

Dear 25 year old Dian,

Being confident and happy doesn’t mean you can go around doing all this foolish stuff. Just remember Allah is watching and karma can be a bitch. Unless your intentions are purely for research in pursuing your dreams as a bestselling author. Oh, I don’t know. I’m just glad you’ve stopped in the knick of time.

Dear 30 year old Dian,

Not being married at this age does not make you a failure. It just makes you a bit picky. It gives you more time to better your self in many ways before handing over the prize — that is YOU! — to the deserving man. You might get cold feet several times. You might not go all the way while you should have. You might get turned down more than three times. But I for one know you more than you do. I know you are a smart girl. You slip and fall a lot, but you always get back up and smile.

This guy you’re with, might not be Mr. Right. But only God knows whats right for you, right?

Love, Present Dian.

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