Dear 6-year-old me,
There are a lot of things I want to tell you. Many of which will make you confused, slightly shocked, and reassured. You are small with big dreams that do not make sense to anyone else except for you. I wish I still had your energy, optimism, and charming innocence. Sure, you are not a perfect little angel but you have a lot of room to grow. I do not know where to start because it feels weird writing a letter to my past self.
You will have no way of reading this unlike future me, who will definitely find this a few years later. But I needed to reassure myself that I am doing okay.
Chai latte on the table, sun peaking through the clouds, and the laughter of my two friends filling the background. My mind started to drift. I suddenly pictured you playing with your Barbie dolls pretending to be a film director, doctor, mad scientist, and superhero. You were full of bright (okay, really odd) possibilities. For a few seconds, I wondered if a 6-year-old me would be proud of a 25-year-old me.
At the age of six, I was bouncing between Superman and whatever career woman I saw on TV. If I asked you right now, what wanted you to be when you grow up your answers would always change. Depending on the day or movie you’ve watched with our mother, I will hear answers like Superman or some boss lady with her own desk. In some way, you thought you could be everything.
If only I could tell you how life as an adult is like. Show you my resume and watch you struggle to read the words. I’d like to think you would be impressed but only because you wouldn’t understand what a “Content Strategist” was and neither would you really care. There is no way for me to know what questions you’d ask. Knowing myself, it would be a thousand questions until you get tired of asking.
Even as a kid, I was an aggressive and persistent little girl. Good to know that part will never change, only level up.
If you ask me if I am happy or proud of myself, I would say no. There is a lot to unpack from my answer but I would save you the 1,000-word essay. Ask me again in the next 10 years, I wouldn’t care about my multiple NDAs by then. Legally, I can’t even unpack the weight on my chest. It has been months since I’ve been proud of my choices. One thing I try to avoid is the feeling of regret.
It is only recently that I really know the feeling of regret. An emotion, a six-year-old cannot comprehend yet. I want to pretend to be happy in front of you. Become this inspirational woman you always wanted to be. I would tell you stories of my achievements and dreams, watch your eyes widen in wonder because if I told you the truth you’d be sad. You will never know the days I’d scratch away my worries, the sleepless nights in front of my computer, and the masks I wear. I will never allow you to know who you grew up to be.
There was one point in life you wanted to be a superhero. You would draw superhero versions of yourself saving people from bad guys. Mostly punching and kicking men. To my six-year-old self, I am sorry. For the past 3 months, I haven’t been proud of myself. I spent the latter half of 2020 loathing every decision I’ve ever made. Regret was the only thing hugging me at night replacing my worn-out teddy bear.
I write this letter and apologize to you. I am sorry, I couldn’t be a superhero. Hopefully, I can make you happy and proud one day.