Being at a point in life where I’m headed towards adulthood, but not quite sure whether or not I’m ready for it, I decided there are some conversations I need to have with myself.
My friends and I casually joke about how I haven’t grown up much since I was 15, but my overthinking inner self blames it on my lack of closure with the past. She has been through every teenage drama imaginable- even some that weren’t her own- and can proudly attest to the fact that adolescence is the fine line between sanity and dysfunction.
Since we’re all jamming to “Thank u, next” this season, carrying the baggage from my past self into 2019 seemed bogus to me. I probably don’t have much to be thankful to her for, but this is an attempt at getting closure from a time that has scarred my social being.
An array of defaults
From a series of sleepless nights filled with self deprecating thoughts and over analysis, I have come to realize how unambitious my former self was at 15. I was so immersed in an unrequited infatuation and numerous failed friendships, I devoted all my time to being miserable: I deliberately ignored my falling grades and stopped paying attention to hobbies that were a larger chunk of my day in a then recent past, replacing it with my iPod touch, wasting away.
I defined my personality by how many relationship issues I was solving, how many of the people I talked to had a “popular” aura about them and was constantly challenged by the need for validation. I was still battling to cleanse myself of an internalized misogyny. Even then, I strove to figure out what was wrong with me, but failed to feel the fangs of toxicity that was engulfing me.
Shards of a broken mirror
My former self, living in her procreated bubble of ideology and sophistication never thought of the flaws in her judgment, decisions and personality to be a problem. These were minor inconveniences to her, a Utopian notion of mismatched fate. In the lieu of being the “right” person, I had, against my knowledge, become an alpha, faux socialite.
However, like every sweet dream, my bubble popped as soon as I was faced with a person similar to me, who shared my very mentality and dominance. I was, of course, a product of past events, but I never meant to turn out the way I did. Naive as I was, I saw myself turning into the very monsters that haunted me into being someone I was not.
The arch of sophistication is a deluded box of narcissism; I thought it was cool to be homophobic and stereotypical to my own gender and cohorts. Absurd as it sounds, I let an alleged “crush” walk all over me and demean my character and personality until it pushed me way deep into insecurities I am still battling to get over.
Rebuilding from scratch
I was a couple years too late to realize the damage I had brought upon myself. If not for that delay, I would have had much less insecurities, lesser abandonment issues and a better mental health. But a journey of self evaluation is enlightening nonetheless. At seventeen, upon leaving school, I realized how unnecessary it was to stress over things that did not even matter. My mind had been so preoccupied by what was happening around me, and the need to be a part of everything, I had lost my sense of self.
It was impossible to hex my personality overnight, so I started by cutting off people who made me feel the need to be someone other than myself. I stopped filtering my social media to represent a cool persona, I talked to everyone I found interesting. I didn’t care whether the person I was interacting with was deemed “acceptable” to certain delusional social circles.
It is extremely important to view the world in multi-dimensions from an early age if you don’t want to end up as a hypocritical tyrant. I can’t help but “tsk” at my former self when I come across a sexist comment, or an judged by others; because at some point, I did that too, without proper knowledge as a pawn to the society in a much denser exposure.
At nineteen, when I am faced with the same fears I had back then, I want to rip off those pages from my life, delete my phase of characteristic depreciation, unsee my dark side, but would that make things any different than they are now? After all, hating my former self for not being a better future self is exactly the kind of toxicity a fifteen year old would approve of.
I have come close to accepting that teenage is weird, and being a traveler with no torchbearer ahead allows for the highest level of exposure. Therefore, before I turn 20, dear fifteen year old me, I would like to leave you behind as you are.