I was recently asked to write a letter to my younger and future self for my linguistics class. It was very hard to write, but It was a powerful exercise that I believe everyone should experience. Here is my letter…
Sweet young Fai,
Where do I start… Oh, the places you’ll go – It seems like you’ll never leave your small town life, but all of this will change with years to come. Lots will change when you go to college. Your decision to do a study of abroad in London and move to the across the country for med-school will be stressful at times but you will be happy you did. The friends and memories you make will be lifelong. Those you meet on your journey will embrace you. As you meet new people, be kind. Smile, make friends, get to really know them, and treat everyone well even if they don’t.
Don’t waste any opportunities that are brought to you. Just one rare opportunity can change your life forever. Knowing all the elements in the periodic table may seem lame and nerdy in middle school, but believe me it will come in handy. You will have a career that will take you to places you can only dream of. That cereal you brag hooyo (mom) to buy for you and the fancy makeup at the mall that you cannot afford someday you will be the formulation Research Scientist behind it. So many great things will happen. I can’t explain to you what they are but you know soon.
Your body is embarrassing to you and your introvert attitude is intimidating to others, but you will realize is what makes you, you. You’ll grow to love it. Your circle of friends will change; and the ones that fall like leaves, will be the ones your mom have predicted. Her repetitive advice will finally sink in. See that your sisters are your best friends and biggest supporters.
I can’t stress how much your parents love you. They’re willing to do anything for you and will give up all to make you happy! Your dad will need you more than ever, especially the last year of his life – remember what he’s given up for you. Make sure you’re willing to give everything up for him. Your mom will go through many dark stages but you will all be her light. Sometimes it will be hard to stay in that “I’m so blessed” mode when part of your world is missing. But even with the biggest lump in your throat you’ll wake up with so much gratitude; because you know It Could Always Be Worse.
Hold tight to your beliefs, your love for God, and your roots. Somedays it will be difficult to give back and easy to give up on Somalia, but you will find a way for Somalia to love you as much as you love Somalia. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. There will be a lot of obstacles in your path. But remember, the struggle you go through will make you become patient, kind, compassionate and humble.
Dear Future Faduma Sahra,
Take a breath. I wanted to write this letter to tell you how far you’ve come, even if you don’t feel it. You’ve been doing this adulting thing for a while now, and it’s safe to say you don’t totally suck at it. I admire your passion for God, people, and travel, and I hope you never lose that. When life gets hard, I hope you always remember how strong, funny, and capable you are! May you never forget the times you’ve endured and use that strength and courage to know that you can overcome. May you always choose fear over comfort!
I hope you don’t allow the pressure and opinions of others to be a catalyst for decision making in your life. I hope you continue to put God first and keep building that relationship. Remember that this life is much bigger than you. I hope you continue to use your passion and purpose to propel others. On that contrary, I hope you married, the love of your life and you are living out of your dreams.
I can’t wait to celebrate the future with you, and watch you develop into who God’s called you to be. You are so enough, even when you don’t feel like it. I would be remiss to end this letter without telling you how proud I am of you. You are one the strongest people I know. I love you so much, and I hope that you keep learning to love all the parts of you, not just the ones that easier to love.