Dear Younger Mercy….At 22, let me tell you how your life pans out and lessons you’ve learnt so far. Some will shock you.
The stars always shine
No one told you 20s are a hard age to go through. They just said they are full of freedom and life shaping decisions. But you will discover in your early 20s, that it will be harder than expected. The rough days will be rougher than you anticipated. Tarmacking will take a hit on you more than you had expected. You’ll cry more than you ever did as a child. Bad days will be more than the good days. Way more.
But all in all, one thing you’ll learn at 21 that will keep you going on is that; the stars always shine.
What that means is that even during your lowest and weakest and darkest moments, it won’t be the end of you. And life moves on. And better times come. You reach the peak of mountains and go down to the deepest part of the valleys. But you don’t stick there. You trudge on. The sun won’t last. The moon might not always be visible, but at all times, every single night, the stars always shine. Always. Shine.
You’ll love someone seriously.
I know, you can’t fathom that right now. But one day you’ll wake up and find yourself constantly thinking about a man somewhere. It will hurt. It will be exciting. You’ll worry on whether it will end. How it will end. And how to make it not end. You’ll stop worrying and take a day at a time. Some days will be worth it, some straight from the devil’s handbook. But they call it passion, right?
You’ll let go of your past.
This is will hurt more than anything you’ve ever felt. It will be painful. Full of hurt and frustration. You’ll break. Completely. You’ll be at a loss over how to get back up. You’ll seek for all help you can get. It will try but it won’t help. Until you get back up. It will hurt until it stops. Your wounds will be pried open, till they start healing. You’ll marvel at the you who comes out of it. She’ll be the most amazing woman you’ve ever encountered.
And just before you get comfortable in her, you’ll break again. Every single form of brokenness will be harder than the last. More painful. You’ll be more alone inside there. It will hurt way more than you think you can handle. But surprisingly, you’ll make it out alive every single time. Remember our first point up there? The stars always shine.
And its in line with the above point that you’ll learn to forgive people.
It won’t be easy. Forgiving those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt you and caused you to carry baggages not worth it. You’ll struggle. But ultimately, you’ll forgive them and aspire to rise up above the hurt.
You’ll finish your 8-4-4 with a storm.
You know the way very many Kenyans have finished 8-4-4 so its not such a big deal? Well, it will be to you. You’ll be over the moon. You’ll be happy. You’ll celebrate. You made it out. It will feel good to achieve something for yourself.
Some of your dreams will come true…literally
And i’m not talking about the desires you have in your sober moments. I mean the dreams you get when you sleep. On July 2016 you’ll dream of going somewhere and breaking your teeth. And an year later that will come to pass. That will freak you out. But it will make you take your dreams more seriously. So you’ll continue noting them down.
And most weirdly, you’ll meet a dream interpreter. Sounds freakish? Hehehe , it will be exciting and scary at the same time. To have someone make sense of your dreams. And a pretty diva while at it( not some old weird woman as one would expect)
God will become your best friend.
He’ll speak to you. He’ll stay by your side. He’ll hold on to you at all times.
And you’ll get used to Him. He’ll be the only being you are entirely honest with. You’ll get used to depending on him fully.
With Him you’ll not be afraid of being too much. Or being too clingy. Or too anything. With Him you’ll find your satisfaction.
He’ll amaze the hell out of you(or is it heaven?). He’ll floor you with surprises day after day. He would make a great lover that one.
But one thing that will catch you by shock, is that He’ll speak to you. Yes, you didn’t lose that as a child. Sometimes through dreams. But in most cases, through your everyday shenanigans. As you read, as you look at sunsets and as you meditate or doing such kind of normal things, God will speak to you. You’ll never get used to it. God getting that personal that is. So every single time, you’ll be honoured, humbled and overjoyed at the same time.
Some whom you thought were gone forever will slide back. Some whom you thought you were strong for forever will drift away.
Your friendships will change as you grow up. They’ll be fewer. Extremely few. But more meaningful. The you that you become can’t handle small talk or such kind of conversations over and over. You’ll dig in. Not afraid to get your hands dirty.
And the friendships that you have will be worth it. So extremely worth it. They’ll refresh your soul. Like pure pristine water in the middle of a desert. Such that after you, your friends will come in second. Nothing beats them. After all, some friends stick closer than family.
On your physical appearance
You’ll shave your hair. Can’t fathom that right now? Ha-ha. You see that beautiful mane on your head, on one calm September afternoon, you’ll walk into a posh barbershop and spa and bring it all down. All of it.
And you’ll love it. Completely. You will try keeping hair, but the woman you will have become will not enjoy it one bit. It will be a bother. So every month will see you seat at a barber shop and have it brought down. You’ll experiment with it a little. As your insides allow. And having short hair will be one of the things your 20s gifted you with. Freedom at last.
You’ll finally appreciate your body. You will learn how to linger a bit longer in the mirror. The Lady that stares back at you defiantly will be a beautiful mess. Don’t worry, you won’t be a fashionista. At least not yet. But slowly by slowly, paying attention to yourself, you’ll discover what works for you and what doesn’t. I mean, who knew you loved beaded accessories?
You’ll write over a 100 pieces on your blog.
Yes, knowing how lazy your writer self is, that will be a feat in itself. That will be one of the major triumphs you could give to yourself. Sometimes when you feel so valueless, wondering what you did on earth, you’ll remember that you created over a 100 articles that didn’t exist before. And that will make you happy. Very happy.
You’ll try out some things. Some will pick up slowly. Some will not pick up at all. And in some, you’ll cut your losses and admit that you failed in them. In some you won’t even learn lessons from the failures, but the you that finally admits failure will be stronger than the you that started out. Just like a kid, every single fall before they stand doesn’t teach them a new formula about standing, but it strengthens them for when they’ll finally stand and walk.
Your ass will not be satisfied with just seating down and reading blogs. You’ll look for those books. African literature. Spiritual books. Motivational books. Yeah, you heard that right. Your head will be hungry for information. Because inside those pages, you’ll discover things you could have avoided if only you knew. So to avoid future mistakes like that, you’ll score loads of books. Some you’ll struggle through. But most will leave a mark on you. And slowly by slowly, you’ll move on to your goal of reading a 1000 good books before you die.
Now not those night things you get when asleep. You’ll sit down and allow your mind to travel far and wide. Then take a pen and note them down. You’ll not limit yourself. No boundaries. And deep down in your heart, you’ll have this niggling feeling that you’ll achieve your dreams, all of them.
You’ll discover things you don’t know about yourself.
Like hiking. And your crush on adrenaline- filled activities will take you by surprise. But you won’t be able to see or read something that induces screams and not want to be there. This will see you get addicted to the boat ride at the Nairobi annual agricultural Show. To date, its the only thing that has ever made you scream.
You’ll get connected to your inner self.
I know it seems like such a lost cause right now, but worry not. One day, you’ll break so hard, that the only choice you will have is to go to that grave you buried her, dig it up and resurrect her. She’ll be very vulnerable and not in tune with your older self. But once she’s alive and in you, you’ll understand why people kill in self defense. You’ll protect her with all you have.
There are so many I would have wanted to tell you younger Mercy, but for now, keep calm and just be.