A Letter to My Past

Monday, September 30, 2019 / 9:05 PM

Dear Me,

There are so many things I want to tell you: Eat your vegetables, don't lose your Cantonese, write every day (sing every day), learn to love the snow – because you're going to be living in a lot of it in the future.

But I also want to talk to you about something that I know is on your mind. You're probably at that age where you don't look like "you." Your eyebrows are gone, your hair is falling out, and your parents – though they have the best intentions – just end up making you feel worse.

You'll be angry and lonely, and you probably don't want to hear this, but trust me (and I wouldn't lie!): this isn't the end for you.

It isn't the end when people talk about you, rather than to you; when that teacher humiliates you in the hallway because you won't take the scarf off of your balding head; when a makeup artist tells you you'll look "better" with eyebrows drawn on your face. 

It's painful, I know, and you'll want to hide away. But don't be angry at the world. The world isn't against you. As you grow up, you'll meet amazing people – people who will celebrate the things that scare you about this unique condition that bonds you with people all over the world (some you'll even get to meet!). You'll be encouraged. You'll find communities of strength.

And sure, there will be setbacks you'll encounter throughout your life, and even at age 30, you'll carry a fragment of insecurity inside your heart. But don't let that harden you. Don't close up and close off from the world. There is so much to experience in life, and I know that I've lost out by being afraid in the past.

So when the setbacks come (and they will come) don't give up. You've got a lot of living ahead of you, and the world is ready for more of you – no matter how you look.


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