An Open Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self

Black and white picture of Sachini

{Open Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self }

Dear Sachini,

It might seem that you are sitting in the backseat of life. Your grades at school are the only thing that is in your power to influence now and you are doing an excellent job studying hard. You are right. Grades are important and they will get you the recognition that your peers get using their social skills and charisma. You think you are awkward and has almost no social skills. But trust me, just like everything else in life, it can also be learned and mastered through dedication.

Of all things that 16-year-olds could do, you have been so good. You don't do anything that is risky or anything that tips the balance of the boat. It is fine for now. Because this is a delicate time for you.

Your confidence is very skewed. You know you are bright and quietly confident in academic surroundings. But it only lasts until the bell rings. You don't think you are beautiful. You look in the mirror and you see scars, birthmarks, bad hair and a thin figure. Everyone around you, remind you of the scars and marks every so often. They compare you to other girls in the neighborhood or in the school. They express how you lack ‘beauty' so much and you believe this to be the truth. You know no different. This is all you ever heard of ever since you could remember. So you accept that you are not beautiful. In fact, you have heard this so many times, it doesn't do anything to you anymore. You don't feel particularly sad for not being pretty like the neighbor's daughter. You think it is just a simple fact like the grass is green.

So you use your rational thoughts and change what you can change, work on what can be improved. So you put your head down and study hard for a brighter future. But hold on tight, it is a very rocky journey.

You will go through many ups and downs of life. Every time you will learn something new and come out of the other end stronger. You will learn to resist emotions, make decisions from your head instead of your heart and despite all the odds, one day, you will stand up on your own two feet.

You will discover what self-confidence really mean and you will harvest it all on your own (well, your father will always be a source of strength). You would do exceptionally well in studies and that will open doors that you never knew existed.

Over time, you will grow to look after yourself. You will love yourself for who you are. You will go on a journey which I could only explain as a real-life miracle of discovering your self. Mark my words today, one day you will wholeheartedly believe that you are genuinely beautiful. You will love your dark skin and your hair will grow thick, lush and long that you do not know what to say when people ask you whether you are wearing a good wig! You will become confident to walk up to a room of 3000 people and talk about your work and you would not feel a single sensation of insecurity or nervousness.

Despite all the rudeness and bullying you experienced through your young age, you will also continue to be the kind-hearted person you always have been. You will also meet very special people along the way who loves you unconditionally for who you are and be there with you through thick and thin.

Overall, the best is yet to come. The road that you are building today through your perseverance and sheer hard work will one day be a place of well deserved true happiness, success and, love! And on a rare day, when you look back at the journey and see how far you have come, you will have a genuine smile on your face!

Sachini with her dad
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