by Binti Mohamed Zani
I feel like I should start this off with an apology. I apologise that despite promising myself that I’d write to you sooner, it has taken me this long to get to it. I wish I could get you to answer and listen to you tell me your opinion so far on this roller coaster called life, but since I’m not sure when this letter will get to you, and if you are going to reply, I’m going to share my opinion with you instead.
I have so much to tell you that I don’t know where to start from. Do I start by telling you how beautiful this life is? How there’s so much to it? How you are going to experience almost all types of emotions? How you’re not going to love each and every day of this life, but that you are certainly going to love the good ones and grow to appreciate the not-so-good ones? I really hope I’m up to the task. So, here goes…
Dear Mini Me,
First of all, you must be wondering what went wrong. Where did we go wrong? The confidence that you had, that energy, that optimism? What happened? I’m writing today to tell you to worry not, society may have tried its best to define you, and tell you what you can and cannot do. To teach you how to speak, how to act.
And I know that to some extent, you might have been a little bit bitter about the whole experience. You may have realised that there is a social construct which, although a wonderful institution that helps govern how we all act and co-exist, had failed to define a place for you. Unique you, who was discovering that you may be a little bit different, a touch confident, some might say too confident, fearless, bolder!
Yes, society may not have been fully prepared for your brand of “different”.
I want to congratulate you today, that in spite of a few stumbling blocks here and there, you held your ground. That the tiny fact that you may have lost yourself along the way didn’t deter you. That you managed to get back on your feet and that you are still moving forward. Aluta Continua, my love.
Thank you so much for sharing yourself with me and for sticking with me throughout this journey. I appreciate the times we’ve spent together. It’s been more than a ride, ups, and downs, and I’m truly grateful that we were always side by side. Thank you for sticking it out with me. There were times when we cried until we were wrung out dry, and times we laughed until we were afraid we were going to die of hiccups. Moments we cherish so dearly that we wouldn’t want to go back to, for fear of a tiny detail changing. This, my love, is LIFE.
As we go out meeting and shedding out other versions of ourselves, new Mini MEs, my message to you, that you may also share with them, is that we are never going to have it all figured out, but the most important thing as we keep on making new discoveries, through both the good and the bad, is to always remember to live, laugh and love.
My loves, the world may not have been ready for our different brands of different, but we are not going to sit and let life pass us by. We are going to conquer it by the horns, persevere through the challenges, smile through the tears, and at the end of it all, blossom into the best versions of ourselves we could ever be. Flourish, girls! It doesn’t matter whether you are 1 or 20, you’ve got something to share with the world, and the worst thing you could do is deprive the world of that gift, So, give it your very best!!
Sometimes the best route is the one you will trek alone.
There are several lenses with which to view life, and beauty lies in finding the perfect kaleidoscope to use. Understand that life is one very big paradox, and there’s hardly a manual, so we’re mostly guessing our way through it. For instance, I’d tell you to not ever be afraid of being alone, because sometimes the best route is the one you will trek alone, yet don’t endeavour to be lonely. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Be confident, yet humble.
Be prayerful, this journey is infinitesimally easier with God by your side. Every second of life is precious, treat it like so. Life is fleeting, learn to treasure even the littlest moments. Hug your loved ones a little bit tighter, and always tell them that you love and value them.
There’s so much more to say, but for now, you are enough and you are unique. You are also important, so don’t forget yourself as you serve the world. Be just a little bit selfish sometimes and learn to put yourself first when it counts. Don’t ever dim your glow to fit into somebody else’s life.
Last but not least, always remember to laugh a little bit louder, smile a little bit bigger, shine a little bit brighter, stand a little bit taller, try a little bit harder, love a little bit deeper, and ultimately life will get a little bit better.
Binti Mohamed Zani has just completed her degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is very passionate about leadership, youth empowerment and development and social entrepreneurship.
The featured image depicts a woman and a girl in matching outfits, holding hands and walking in a park.