Happy birthday. Today’s the day you finally turn 18. You’re in grade 11 and I truly, hope you’re not stressing about your A levels. If you’re still how I know you, you probably are not. I hope you’re not stressing about college either. I know there’s this kind of pressure coming from me of you going to NYU and pursuing Drama (or maybe journalism). So, here’s this from me: i am releasing the whole concept of the life or death thing when it comes to NYU. The only thing I am not releasing are your dreams. They are big. And if not NYU, promise me that after 18, you’ll be dreaming just as big.
Please do whatever makes you happy. Do whatever brings you pure joy and excitement and butterflies in your stomach. You don’t owe anything to anyone but yourself. Acting is what I love now. But if at one point you discover something and get utterly, desperately lost in it, do that. Let yourself flow in it and let it bring good things to your life. Let it consume you in the best way possible. Another thing that makes you happy now is writing. This, I hope you still do. You and me both know how your thoughts work. Sometimes they are so fast that your head starts spinning and grasps the whole universe with it. That’s how much you feel sometimes. Most of the time, this is when writing gets tricky. When you think about everything, but when you sit down at your computer or with a piece of paper, you get nothing more that a phrase – if luck comes over. This, my darling, turns into your best writings. You sitting down and turning that one phrase into a whole something. You organise things this way. They all clear out and you make the universe not spin. You’re back on earth while you’re still caught up in the beauty of cloud nine. That’s something you can’t lose, no matter how much you deny it.
I hope you learn to accept the beauty that is everything surrounding you. The beauty of quiet nights in next to your mother and the beauty of a good book. I hope you accept the beauty that are even your worst thoughts and how each and every one of them help the good ones grow and develop. I hope you look in the mirror and see everything that is great about you. And in doing so, I hope you learn to accept yourself. Fully. The way you laugh and the way you act when you’re tired. The extreme days where you could either sleep all day or not sleep at all. This makes you, you. The way when you look at the sky when it rains and have 500 feelings about it. You love it but you don’t like that the sun is hiding. And then your mind travels to stray dogs and people who have no shelter, sitting in the cold rain.. That’s what you’re called. A traveller. You travel with your mind and soul. I hope you won’t forget that.
Change the world! And weirdly enough, I actually mean it. Right now, I’m not fully excited about the way you want to see a change in this world and on how full committed you are to arguing with anyone who ever suggests that it’s impossible. Your immediate reaction right now is “What did the world ever do to you?” and then you lose your damn mind. I hope your mindset will be different then, and even though I know you don’t go to sleep 17 and suddenly wake up at 18 a thousand times more mature, I hope your mindset changes through time and eventually accepts to accept.
I hope you know every day is different and that if you’re not happy in a certain situation, you can always get out of it. Travel! As much as you can and as far as you can. Make everything an adventure, even the trip to the grocery shop down the street. Learn new things every day. Don’t treat people bad and don’t let people treat you badly. Never do that. Always remember that whoever is your friend will always be there. Your mom taught you that.
I hope you know your whole life can be different after some short 24 hours. I hope you know each and every thing I listed above and more. Teach other people these things and allow yourself to be taught some others.
It’s a long journey for you and all you can do it ‘enjoy the ride’.
So much love,
April, 4th, 2017’s Maya.
photo: Cristiana Nuță