Dear 5 year old Nadia,
You've got it so good, darling girl. You'd have a bit of a difficult time in your first years of school but it gets so much better. You'd meet friends that would quite simply change your whole life. You're a shy little girl with undeserving insecurities, like that birthmark on your elbow. Your inability to speak fluent Malay and getting scolded for it in school - painful times and you'll remember it for life. Getting made fun of it only made you a much better person because it plants empathy and sympathy within yourself - something you'd still have at the fun age of 27. Yes! It's fun. You'd walk around seeing these 20 year old's at malls and wonder how cool it must be to be of that age - to be free, to drive around anywhere you want, to buy all the Barbie dolls you want without having to tug on Mama's baju to cautiously ask if you could get one at Toys 'R Us. And a few minutes shy of being 28, I'm going to tell that that's all true - it is cool to be in your 20s. They'd become some of your best years. But dear girl, you've got it good throughout your whole life. It gets freckled with some harder nights but you've done well, anyway.
Your dreams have come true; one at a time. You'd get your straight A's in UPSR and PMR. You got your pink Motorola Razr and your first Mac laptop from these achievements. Your high school crush in turn, had a crush on you too and although that didn't work out, take solace that you went on a date with him and it was still one of the loveliest days you've had. You also went to the college of your dreams and met people that have grown to become more like family to you. And all the conversations in the car with Mama about her days as a student in the UK, you'd also get that. That came with a lot of prayer and Pak Tok and Mak Tok's help. Pak Tok is, btw, doing well. He's not as quick as he used to be but dear God, are we happy that he is still here with us. You spent 3 of your best years in Bristol learning so much about yourself and the type of independence you had only imagined of before this. It would be the experience of your life and you'd come back with a newfound love for your country, for change, and for yourself.
So although you'd have tough days in between, you'd wake up the next day a bit better. And it never stops. It's never stopped. You'd be a romantic and you look at life with rose coloured glasses. You're all the better for it. You'd meet people who would come and go but a gentle caution to not be sad about it for too long for they were all hard earned lessons for you - lessons you'd only make sense of later in life and be thankful for regardless.
As for family, your love for them grows tenfold. Zaim, Tania and Iman have grown out of their phases and blossomed into the sweetest and kindest people you know. They're also very funny. They're your best friends for life and you'd share some of the most important moments ever with them. And Mama and Papa, they're doing well and they've gone above and beyond for you over the years and worked so hard to get you to where you want to be. They've realised your dreams for you so never doubt their love and care. Your priority in life now is to exercise your rights everyday to become the person that would make your family happy. From all the love they've showered generously to you, you owe them at least that.
You'd do good. You'd grow out of your shell and you'd eventually find your footing in life. It's a bit wobbly of a beginning but it steadies itself soon, I promise. Don't be swayed by anyone who tells you you're too nice or you're too generous with your laughs. Be nice anyway. Be generous anyway. I don't have all the answers yet to your questions but stay prayerful, dear girl, for all that is yours will be called to you in good time. The clock has struck 12 and I'm bound for sleep so I'll end this post here. Dear 5 year old Nadia, in the instance of a parallel universe where we'd meet, I hope you'd take a good look at me now and think to yourself "what a cool girl she has grown to be."
You got this. Love you always.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Dear 5 Year Old Me,
Dear 5 year old Nadia,