An open letter to myself, for my 31st birthday

Dear me,

I am writing to you because one of the goals in your Day Zero Project is to write a letter to your — or, rather, my — future self. And as our 31st birthday falls close to the end of that 1001-day mission, the first thing that I will be asking you about is your progress. Are you still on this mission, or have you abandoned it? If the latter, why did you abandon it? I hope it was for a worthier endeavor. If the former, I hope you are at least 90% done, because you have less than a month to go ’til the deadline.

I have also chosen to write to you today, because, right now, I am very happy. You know how our mood shifts sometimes, and during the times when we become lonely and depressed (usually thanks to hormones, but sometimes due to external forces), we almost totally forget about the happy times, we feel hopeless, we lose our sense of logic and become prone to making awful plans. I am writing to you while I’m in a happy mood, to remind you that whatever it is behind the loneliness and the depression, that, too, shall pass.

Obviously, I don’t know how you are feeling right now, but I hope you are happy. If not, then remember what I had just said: This, too, shall pass. Sit down, have some tea, breathe in and think logically. Haven’t you planned for and done stupid things before because of how you felt at the moment? Your actions back then were very silly, weren’t they? So please don’t do anything drastic. Heck, don’t do much at all. Lie down, relax and meditate. Cry into your pillow if you have to. Call a friend and rant. Get a professional massage. Or write your feelings away. Eat as much chocolate as you want (just remember to burn it off in the near future!). Just do your best to calm yourself and to bring yourself back into a logical frame of mind. You take pride in being a logical person, don’t you? So act like it.

Remember that you are a strong and brilliant person. Remember all that you have achieved so far (and you have achieved a lot by the time you were 28 years old!). Remember your many good qualities: You are smart, brave, action-oriented, a risk-taker and a good teacher.

Most people live average lives, wishing to do more, talking about doing more, yet do not even try to improve their situations; most of them only complain and suffer. People tend to choose comfortable suffering over an uncomfortable journey to possible happiness. On the other hand, you, at the age of 24, defied social conventions in order to achieve freedom. That must have been very scary, and you were tempted to back out, weren’t you? Yet you swallowed that fear and walked out the door, and made yourself free! Most people in your station would have borne their situation and suffered in silence, especially with social conventions against them, and yet, despite your fear, you took action, and got what you wanted. You had been very, very brave.

And that was just the start of it. With this freedom that you have gotten for yourself, you were finally able to take charge of your own life. You handled your money the way you wanted to, bought what you wanted without having to explain, invested and analyzed as you saw fit. You went to restaurants and stores and movie houses without having to ask for permission. You took vacation and sick leaves as you wished; you no longer had to pretend you were working from home, or pretend going to the office when you were actually getting a spa treatment. And, most of all, you played your career just the way you wanted. After having saved enough money to get by for a few years, you quit your job and pursued your dreams. And you were able to achieve some success on your dreams within the first year! Good work!

But, as of the moment, there’s still more that needs to be done. Honestly, I’m scared that I would fail. I’m scared that I would go broke. I hope you are in a financially better position than I am. If you are, then congratulations! If you’re not, well, know that you can figure this out; you know you can. You have figured out solutions to more difficult problems before. Believe in yourself.

Even though I am scared right now, I am determined to succeed. I don’t just want to survive; I want to thrive! I want to make something bigger than myself. I hope you have kept this philosophy through the years.

Whatever your situation in life, take advantage of it, to do activities that you normally would not be able to do, and to learn some important lessons in life. For example, are you single right now? True, being single can be lonely, but with singlehood comes great freedom. You can do whatever you want, and make personal decisions without having to compromise with anybody. Take advantage of that time, before you meet that special someone. And even if you don’t meet that special person, that’s okay; relish that freedom. Walk naked around the house, redecorate the dining room on a whim at midday, and travel to wherever you wish. You’re the master of your own life.

Remember what you once said about life: I choose to face its challenges head-on, and I am determined to triumph. Believe that you will triumph, and you’re already halfway there. You can do it. Have faith in yourself.

And, as always, take charge of your own life. Don’t put too much stock on what other people are telling you, on how you should live your life. Let no one else be your master.

Lots of love,

You (from 2015)

(Sent via


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