Dear 12 year old Maryam:
We both know about your extreme love/hate relationship with primary school, due to some unfortunate changes over the years. Well, let me tell you: you’re in year eight, nearly nine now, and you’re wishing you could go back. Who doesn’t, I mean, wish they could be younger and redo periods of their lives?
It’s two years later, 8:09 pm, and you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair at your brother’s yearly presentation evening. You’re getting sudden flashbacks. That time in year six (five?) where you were picked to go on a harmony day excursion, and they sung that song. We are one, but we are many.
Yes. You’d be surprised how much that can stick in your head. You’re funny like that, younger Maryam. You’re not very funny in other ways (you’re a late bloomer in terms of a sense of humour) but you will be one day. These are random, the things you remember. They have nothing in common, zilch- except for the fact that they are good. Good.
Just like you.
You are a good thing, sweetheart, and you deserve to be here with your own little space on this planet, making your mark.
And you do that well, when you are surrounded by love and kindness. You’re like a rose- naked, exposed and vulnerable as you bud, blooming into something spectacular. Your petals are experiences.
I can think of one of these now, little darling. That time in year six when your friends convinced you to try out for school captain. They were so positive, even when you were scared out of your mind. You thought it would be easier to just be part of the crowd, another faceless nameless person. Because standing up meant you could be seen. It meant you were in the spotlight, and you didn’t always like that. You were scared of being shamed, of being made fun of.
And it turned out to be a pretty good speech. Sure, you might’ve had a little help here and there, but it was all you, really.
You didn’t quite get the role you wanted, but you became a prefect. Of course, you already know this.
That was a hard year for you. Your mental health wasn’t optimal and you were sad, deeply sad but you pushed past that. You stressed too, like you stress now about year nine next year. You tell yourself that your precious challenges were nothing compared to what you face now, but I feel you, little Maryam- I know it’s hard. I know you want to give up sometimes. But listen.
You’re a rose in a garden. Beautiful to look at, but not without flaws and intricacies. Not all of your experiences were positive, but your growth was. You grew to have such a loving, thankful heart. And that’s because of you, younger me. Your petals fell when they were meant to, but they were in abundance- coming and coming.
If I could give you any advice, it would be this: Stimulate your mind, body and spirit. Love from the depths of your heart, and open yourself up to that same love. Cherish time. Every second. You are not insignificant. Respect, always. Seek what sets your soul on fire. Write lengthy, beautiful stories on share them with the people you love. Let faraway places show you the wonders of being alive. Be inspired by the the poetry worthy world you live in, and do not ever use the words ‘ordinary’ or ‘bored.’ Root for yourself.
And, most importantly, pick as many flowers as you like for a head start on your future collection. Don’t get caught!