I was always told by my writing mentors to write about what I know.
I was always told by my life mentors to create upon what I feel.
I was always told by my mother to only act upon what i rationalize.
But today, I was told by a tweet to do a mix of it all.
Well, not in 140 characters, but in the context, the video and the interaction.
The video in that tweet showcased a beautiful edit of different people writing a letter to their 10 year old selves.
It made me think of what it all means, made me take out my mental decades old bucket list and analyze my progress (thanks mom).
Down towards half the list it made me feel.
Many emotions competed for center stage of my consciousness. Nostalgia, an eerie sense of sadness, painful yearning for a simpler time. But none of those claimed the prima donna role in this story. One specific emotion out staged them all.
It was inspiration.
Yes, nostalgia took me back to a hopeful and positive me that wrote those lists years and years ago. That 10 year old me with bad bangs, doc martins and the Boca jumpers of 1990.
Don’t get me wrong, I see myself as a hopeless optimist and live day by day fueled mostly by inspiration. But to that 10 year old me, it was different.
Her lists were bound by the infinite possibilities of the universe.
They were ignited by daydreams, books, and wonderful parents whom she secretly thought ruled the world. Simply because they were so darn awesome.
She believed that someday she can touch a star, that before she dies she will have met everyone on the planet. She believed with love and empathy, she can heal the world. And she believed mermaids existed. And more than anything, she believed that she can accomplish anything.
I remembered a list I had created only a couple of years after when I was 13, a day or two before entering the whirlwind of emotion teen years. As my mom likes to call it “the dark ages” (but that’s a different story).
I had the list until maybe 5 years ago. And I am proud to say, all but one was crossed out.
The list had everything a teen would aspire to achieve before turning 30 (i am being sarcastic here). From publishing a book, to participating in a war, to falling in love, to walking the red carpet at Cannes, to representing my country in a global political conference and many more.
I remembered the list and sent a mental watssap message back in time to the younger me saying “yo, kid, you set some high standards you weirdo. But guess what, I have not failed u”
Almost instantaneously I received a message back “you didn’t meet Oprah” I could almost hear the smug tone. She was a handful I must say.
I could only reply with “well she cancelled her show, not my fault”
And almost simultaneously, 13 year old me and 33 year old me asked “what now”
As I lay down in my bed writing this blog post on my phone, I knew I hadn’t felt this inspired to write in a long time.
And it hit me.
I spend my mornings and nights helping people in their search for inspiration, and receiving doses of motivation from across the globe. Enjoying every fulfilling second of the process.
I realized I forgot one very important thing.
A very important person.
Every day I forget to inspire myself.
I traveled back in time, trying to find someone to blame. Asked my younger self why didn’t I put it on my list.
But I knew the answer then and there.
10 year old me never anticipated that someday life will keep me busy from daydreaming. That almost philosophical child never thought I would forget the daily bullying, the loneliness of a culturally diverse child in a non global environment and most of all, the biggest promise of them all.
She never thought that I will forget the one item that she didn’t need to write on a list, simply because to her, it was as essential as breathing and eating.
She never thought 33 year old me will need to be reminded to look within, daydream and self inspire.
In my attempt to write a letter to 10 year old me, I found a buried message she had left me.
Go conquer the world, only after you conquer your soul. She knew what she was doing, afterall, her list did come true.
And in her honor, I shall write more lists.
In her honor, I shall believe in mermaids again.