Open Letter Pt. 2: The Present

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Dear present Natalie,

It’s that time of the year again. T-minus a year to our graduation from university, and it is absolutely surreal how quickly time has passed. This semester is the fifth out of six semesters in our time as an undergraduate. It seems like just yesterday when we were fresh-faced, starry-eyed students walking to lectures. Today, we are jaded and excited to finish.

I know you have big plans for your future. You want to complete your bond with the government then study abroad. Maybe, just maybe, you would want to settle down in whichever country you choose to go to. Singapore? Australia? Canada? It all seems so exciting. You have it all planned out– graduation at 23, bond completion at 27, finishing your Masters at 29, and finally getting married at 30. But what if you are released from your bond? Even better; Masters at 23, then goodbye Malaysia.

However, you did not factor one thing– falling in love. You know that your career comes first, but you worry anyway about where this relationship is going to go in the future. Remember seeing him crestfallen as you told him your plans to go overseas? “So far away,” he’d said. If a long-distance relationship within Malaysia is difficult to keep up with, how much more difficult will it be when you are continents apart from each other?

That is one thing to worry about, but what about unemployment? The world’s economy is depreciating, and jobs are harder to come by today. Wherever you go, there is so much competition among locals and foreigners. You strive to be a writer, but anyone can be a writer– so that just widens your competition pool. What if you don’t end up writing? What if you end up in some dead end job that you hate, and end up miserable for the rest of your life? Worse, what if you end up being stuck in Malaysia for the rest of your life?

I know you’re more than ready to pack up your things and leave this place. You have been craving independence since you were younger, and now, with only a year left, you can hardly contain your excitement. But with this, also comes the uncertainty of what lies ahead, and we both know that the one thing we absolutely hate is uncertainty.

However, every day is a constant reminder that things are always subject to change. Live in the moment, just like he always tells us to. Fret not about what lies ahead, but instead, bask in the now. It’s the final sprint before reaching the end, and if you do not fill it with valuable memories, then you are going to look back and realize that nothing was worth it. Take it easy on yourself, and be the you you have always dreamed of being.

Love,

Present Natalie.

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