Letters to Myself (Part III)
This will be the last part of the mini-series of writing I’m working on. As I said, I aim for the possible catharsis and healing properties often associated with these posts. I would understand if the series would not feel relatable to you, but I hope you’ll stay tuned in for the series through its last two parts and unto this one. I struggled a bit through Part II because it turns out writing to your future self is difficult when you’ve never looked that far ahead. The connection felt different than Part I but I think I managed to write well enough that when I read it in the future, I would understand why I made it. I think I wrote that it’s the hardest letter to write in the series. Anyway, onto the last part. The third and final part of the series is dedicated to me, right at this moment. My 25-year-old self. This is about to get ugly.
Yes, this is as ridiculous as it seems. I’m writing a letter to myself. Not my past self or my future self. Just myself. You. Me. Us. Right now. Our 25-year-old self. We have 2 months left to be 25 though. Doesn’t time fly? As we both know, we’re writing a mini-series of letters. It’s a thought experiment we designed for ourselves, the first part was to connect and partially heal our inner child in whatever way we can, and the second part was to see what we can say and impart to our future self. This time it’s just you and me. As per the letter that I wrote to our 10-year-old and 40-year-old self, I guess this would be an excellent place to start before I let my thoughts and feelings loose to a professional.
Roughly, this letter serves as a sort of 2022 review for us, and I don’t have to tell you that 2022 has been quite horrendous. It’s quite bad, isn’t it? A few small good things happened to us that are overshadowed by the big bad things. We can probably list the good things easily, those moments could probably be counted using the fingers on one hand. That solo trip to Bali for our friend’s wedding was lovely, especially considering the events that happened before going. The work trips were enjoyable, going to places we never visited before, places that I think we’d like to visit again outside of work. Singapore was great, quite a trip that one. For the first time in my life, I stepped inside a casino. Not just that, I won some money, so that was cool. I guess that’s about it. The bad things that happened in 2022 can be compacted into three events, but I don’t know if I should write in based on chronology or severity. I will, however, condense each problem into one “paragraph”, just so that it’s clear enough.
The first problem of 2022 was work, or basically, the lack thereof. I don’t remember when it started when we felt that there weren’t as many projects that we were taking part in. It felt like we just didn’t get the cut of the pie even with all the things the office is doing. This went on until the year ended. I remembered that we thought it might have to do with problem number 2, the next topic in this letter to you. The impostor’s syndrome kicked into high gear at this point. We’ve felt it before, but it got worse. We feared that we were only here because of how we got in and who got us in. With it being “out of the way”, we feared that we’re kept to shield us and the person. We would never really know. It bothered us that we didn’t do as much as we did. With all of our work friends being busy with projects assigned to them, it fueled a raging fire. It made us not want to go to the office. Sometimes we just went in on the basis that we felt… lonely. Even then, we’d just be in our chair, playing video games until we decided to go home. Just like that, the world went by. No work, no clarity, nothing. Compared to the next big problems, this one seems to be categorized as an inconvenience.
On April 19th, 2022, it happened. The shock heard ‘round the nation. Just a few hours before, Dad told us that he will be testifying as a witness in the cooking oil case (at this moment, I’m pretty sure that if you guys Google the case, my father’s name will show up and you’ll know which one he is). We thought that everything will be just fine. Then came the text: “I’m under arrest.” At the moment of the text, we weren’t sure what to do, we tried to coax an explanation of what his text meant. He didn’t reply, of course, but we didn’t really think anything is wrong. The other shoe soon dropped. A coworker nudged us to show us the news: people that Dad was with had been arrested, and in the background, we can slightly see his figure. I remember we clicked on a video that showed that it was indeed him. We rushed to the emergency exit since it was the closest place of privacy for us and called Mom. The phone was picked up and she was already crying. One of Dad’s staff had broken the news to her. We rushed to pack my stuff up and try to go home. As if a movie, it was raining and the traffic jam around the office area was crazy. We manage to hop into a taxi and got home to find Mom still crying and panicking, and did the best we could to calm everything down. The next day, Mom, us, and the aforementioned staff tried to see him since we already know where he was detained, but we weren’t allowed to due to the nature of the case. It got us quite frustrated since we didn’t understand why it had to be so. After that, came the trials with Dad as one of the defendants. We weren’t around for a lot of it, usually due to work when there was work to be done. Also what I think was the reason we didn’t show up much was that we were trying to lay low from the public eye due to where we work. On January 4th of this year, the sentence was given to him. I can’t say a lot about the process of it all, but here’s what I can say about everything in the case and trial: the State, under no circumstances, is allowed to lose, even when innocence is shown and proven. Two takeaways and consequences that emerged from all this are that for the time that Dad was away, it felt like we had to step up and play head of the family role on some of the decisions. We were lucky that Mom trusted our judgment on the times when she thought it held weight. The second is that I’m quite worried about how this would affect our plan to get our Master's degree. It is absolutely sure that the State’s scholarship is impossible for us. They would do a background check and when the family section comes, we both know what they would see and judge. Through no fault of Dad’s, we will definitely be disqualified from the running. I’m sure that throughout it all, we’re pleased that the ordeal has had its resolution. The outcome didn’t exactly go as we like, but at least that’s done.
The final problem of the year was surprising because of when it happened. January 30th, 2022. Technically at the very end of the year. Just short of a new one. However, as Robin Scherbatsky once said, timing’s a bitch, and I agree. The thing about breakups is that they always happen when you least expect them to. Even if at one point one of the parties has said that they are halfway out the proverbial door. It’s never a nice thing to hear, but I guess it does help prepare for the inevitable. It still hurts, though, at the time when it finally ended, did it not? It wasn’t mutual, but in the end, I think it felt like it was mutual. We knew that we weren’t the perfect partner. A lot of mistakes were made on our part, things we did, words we said, actions we conveyed. She, of course, wasn’t perfect. She had her flaws that we have to be at the end of. To me, at least, it felt like it got more and more destructive toward the end. Throughout almost 3.5 years, however, I felt that we grew as a person. Some of our friends overtly told us that they were quite surprised by our change. We became more mature, we managed to plan ahead better than we ever did, and we were able to handle our emotions better. Out of the things that I think we lost the most from the breakup, I can say that there are 3 main things. The first one is that we lost a sense of identity. What I meant is that we’ve been known as her significant other for such a long time, and she was known as ours. When something like that is being taken out of the blue, it felt very strange and empty, and I know we felt like so. The second one is that we lost a big chunk of the plans we made since a lot of them were talked about and made with her and her being in it. As someone new to making plans that far ahead, it sucks for us that we were finally able to do that and for it to be taken away. The third one is that you have to know when to let go before it hurts the parties involved too much. Boy, that relationship was one hell of a ride and lesson. Now we’re better. Right? Right?
We’re 3 months into 2023 now, and things are… categorically pretty okay. As I’ve mentioned above, all those problems of 2022 have been cleared. We’re starting to get a bit more responsibility at work, inserted into a new project. We know it’s not the most desirable one for us, but I know that we’ll value the opportunity. Dad’s case has so far come to a conclusion, though everybody thinks the road is still long. We will, of course, support and do what we can for him. As for relationships? We’ll see how it goes. Plus it just so happens that I finally finish writing this to you a week before we’re not 25 anymore. Let’s hope for a good 2023 and onwards, for our sanity’s sake. No, it’s not weird to pray for that. After all, I am you.
If you have been tuning in for all of the series, from the bottom of my heart I thank you. I have said that I would understand if this series isn’t particularly relatable to you, so for you to stick around to read it all and experience this “journey” with me is incredibly satisfying and humbling.
The first two parts of the series can be read here:
Part I: https://aditbatak.medium.com/letters-to-myself-part-i-82d492649e30
Part II: https://medium.com/@aditbatak/letters-to-myself-part-ii-92f21bb5b109
Thank you for reading, trust no one, and see you in the next post.