To the daughter, on her stepping into teenage

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Hi baby.

This is that one letter which I have been planning to give you for a long time now. You have just stepped into your early teenage years and I realize that you are filled with a lot of excitement. Surely your friends would have talked a lot about steeping into teenage, and you must be giving time in thinking about what happens next. Well, I am writing this to you to let you know what happened in my teenage days, and how I wish some things would have been a little different than what they actually were. My teenage, was eventful! I am nineteen now. Yes, nineteen. And I am in the last few months of my teenage life, and I have that entire span perfectly painted in my mind, so it would not be that difficult to remember details.

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When you step into thirteen, you will make many new friends, in school and outside school. Among them, there will be a few friends who are going to be really close to you. You are going to share all your secrets with them, tell them exactly what you like and what you do not like and also, share your deepest of all thoughts. Now what I want you to remember is that, your best of friends are the same age as you are. The solutions they give you to your problems are nothing more than what you yourself can anticipate. They are going to think of the problem with the same thirteen year old mind, not thinking outside the horizon. If something bad has happened, say you have got a scolding from me where I have said certain hurtful things to you, in a fit of anger. Now, you are not mature enough to understand what I said to you and the reason behind my anger and also the brighter side of it.

That is when I want you to come to me and talk to me rather than crying in front of your friends because that is the best solution. If you do not feel like speaking to me then go and speak to any of the elders in the family and say exactly what happened. We are all family, dear. No one will understand you better than us. And no one will love you more than us. Anger is a momentary emotion. And the next morning, to your surprise, you will find us talking normally with each other, like nothing has ever happened. I have spoken to my friends a lot about my problems, and each time I got solution, which made things even worse. I became more of a rebel. Relationships turned sour. You would not want that, would you?

When you grow a little older, say when you become nearly fifteen, there will be certain changes in your body and your mind. Mind specifically. That is when attraction to the opposite sex comes to play. You might get attracted to other boys, they might seem very likeable, might become special to you, and lastly you may feel that you are in love with them and they are the ones whom you are going to get married to. Bad idea! I wanted to marry a guy I knew when I was just fourteen. Believe me or not, I went against your grandparents for him, fighting almost every day and crying myself to sleep every night. I was so much in “love” with that boy. And what happened to that guy later on? I do not even know whether he exists! That is right dear, people come and go. The one’s who stay for a lifetime, are the ones who are family and whom you consider as family.

When you are sixteen, you will be entering into a vital stage of your life. Most probably, you will be giving your first big examination. Now listen, all parents want their kids to excel in whatever they do. The educational system of our country is a farce. It will make interested students uninterested in studies. That is how bad and competitive out there. Whatever we study in our school and college life, majority of the things are not at all needed in your life ahead when you are looking for a job. Studying is supposed to be fun. Exams are supposed to be a challenge. Just treat it like a game. Never listen to people saying “You have to come up with good results” or “If you don’t study properly then your future is doomed”. Nonsense! Nobody is going to force you to study. If you like the materials and the information, you will start studying on your own.

One last thing, many people in this world do not get opportunities they deserve. So when you are given an opportunity, do not let it go. Just grab it! And whatever you do, be passionate about it. When you are good at something, practice and make yourself better. People are born with gifts and talents. Do not waste it. Your family will be liberal and supportive in whatever you do. So don’t feel afraid to speak your heart out. We love you.

 

Maa.

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