Around Brunei

Letters To My Younger Self With Mariana Omar
March 20, 2020

Dear Ana,

How are you? I bet you are on that cool yellow BMX, riding like the wind! You may not know me yet so you will read this letter and think – what is she on about? But I hope you read this till the end. Even if you choose not to remember the words – I hope you will keep this letter so that from time to time, you will open it and re-read again. Because there will be times when you need to read it the most.

Believe in & Take care of Yourself. First.

Life is a development journey and you are a “Work-in-Progress”. Along the way, you will hear those that make you doubt yourself but believe that you can. Don’t stop developing a better version of you but don’t be too harsh on yourself too. Never let others get between you and your better self.

Dream Big.

Remember Christiane Amanpour? Amazing. A female reporter amid war zones reporting on stories that needed to be heard. The fire that lit your inspiration to get out and explore the world. Because you saw SHE could. Dream Big, it will take you places beyond those calendar photos of Europe that you stuck on your bedroom wall.

Have Courage.
Courage takes time to build. That’s ok. Conquer your fears, one step at a time, at your own pace. Like your 1st time riding the BMX.

Give it a Go.

The best way to get things Done is to simply Begin. Do not be afraid to give it a go. Make that hardest 1st step and you will be encouraged to take a few more. Like you did the first time in that debate competition.

You will get Heartaches.

For sure. You will have sibling fights, argue with your parents, fall-outs with so-called friends and have your heart broken. But nothing will prepare you for the heartache of losing a baby or losing your best friend since you were 12. Time heals. Keeping your faith helps. Those heartaches will make you appreciate what you have and bring you closer to those who matter.

Be Kind.

Always a challenge for you – growing up with 3 brothers, you act tough. You think that being kind is a sign of weakness. It is not. Sharp tongue cuts the most and the pain lingers long. Know that every person has a story to tell. So once a while, put yourself in their shoes and learn from a different angle.

Be Silly. It’s ok.

Dance to your heart’s content, quote those lame jokes and sing those cheesy 80s song. Read lots, learn lots, stay curious. It keeps you young (at heart). Trust me.

Take a Pause. You need it.

You will get busy. You will feel stressed. You will think Oh Girl what are you doing?! When those moments come, take a pause. Watch the clouds float by. Do that, even when you are 40. Know when to pick your battles. No need to exert all the time. It’s ok to pause today so you can come back stronger tomorrow.

So Dear Ana,

Life will not always be like riding that yellow BMX. There will always be setbacks, plans and dreams that go astray. Brace yourself, strap on the helmet and the shin guards. Every journey will bring new wisdom. But for now, enjoy in the fact that your biggest decision today is to play outside or watch Saber Rider on TV.


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