The Vows You Need To Make For Yourself


Dear Self,

Life will get tough. Situations will get really dark, and circumstances will get really dire. There will be days when you feel like there are boulders stacked on top of your chest and the only way to survive is to disappear. When these days arrive, hang in there. Because I vow to hang in there with you.

When you don’t feel like getting out of bed, don’t. But keep breathing. Cry if you must. Listen to all the mellow songs you have reserved for the bad times. Stay however long you need to stay in the shower, even when the skin on your fingertips start shriveling up and the only thing you can see through the steam are the waterdrops that have merged with your tears. Through every heavy breath, I vow to remind our lungs how to function.

Whatever you have right now won’t always be there. I vow to motivate you to be okay with that. In the unfortunate event that you lose everything, I will be right there with you not to help you search for that which is lost, but to help you create something new and better. There will be moments when you feel like you can’t live any way else, and I vow to be the one to tell you that you can. I vow to never let you fear the concept of spaces. When one thing leaves, it allows room for another thing to come. I vow to see to it that wherever you’re at in life, you always leave room for new things. That no matter how busy or how serious life gets, there is always time for new friends, for new hobbies, for new homes, for new love.

You will lose them. You will find yourself saying goodbye to people, and you will find people saying goodbye to you. While a few of those goodbyes will be temporary, all goodbyes will ultimately be permanent. I vow to hold your hand when no one else will, and to keep finding bits and pieces of joy in times of sadness. I vow to keep picking you up each time you break down and to give you rest even when the only thing your restless heart wants to do is to keep breaking. I vow to remind you of the good times that came before this, and the good times that will come after. I vow to encourage you to be grateful and not resentful, and to see the beauty in being lucky enough to have people in your life who can shatter your entire world just by leaving it.

Your health will decline. Your bones will become brittle, your skin will lose its elasticity, and your hair will no longer dance with the wind the way it did once upon a time. And regardless of the severity of it, the fact is that you are on a linear journey towards your inevitable end. But with every ticking of the clock, I vow to be your hypeman who cheers you on to see the timeless magnificence all around you. I vow to make sure that within this finite existence, you live so fiercely and so unapologetically that you get to experience infinite happiness. While we still have the youth we have, I vow that we will keep doing our absolute best to not waste it.

When it comes down to it, the best things in life aren’t things. And so I vow to allow you to smile until your face aches when you are in the presence of somebody you love, and to allow you to laugh until you can’t see clearly anymore when you are with your truest friends. I vow to be the keeper of the priceless memories that you live for: those starry nights of gazing at the moon that taught you lessons on purpose; those rainy mornings of cuddles that lit a fire in you; those lazy afternoons of tea and coffee that ignited the greatest of conversations.

This life and this world you live in are both a mystery and a revelation. I vow to be wise enough and receptive enough to realize that neither one is better than the other. I vow to fly high with all your questions and to bask in the glory that is the answers. I vow to always help you see the strength that lies in moments of weakness and the splendor that dwells in the midst of chaos. I vow to sing you to sleep when you are exhausted and to lift you up when you are ready to face the world again.

And if at one point during your relentless sprint towards the finish line you hit a wall, I will be the cold compress that comforts you with the realization that all this is a marathon, not a sprint.

A marathon which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A marathon that regardless of its duration and intensity offers wonderful scenery along the way, with great people, great experiences, and great opportunities for self-discovery up for grabs during occasional breaks. A marathon that leaves you to decide how you want to make the most of it. A marathon which, just like any other marathon, offers something truly unforgettable and rewarding regardless of the pace at which you are going. And I vow to be there with you every step of the way.

For better. And for worse.