Dear 16 Year Old Ayee

 Dear MeDear Me,

At 16, you probably are feeling lost and insecure. You haven't quite figured out who you are and who you want to be. You were stereotyped as the nerd. You were misunderstood, they thought you are too smart for normal people. And so you had limited friends. But be thankful, those few friends of yours will stand by you through heaven and hell. You will witness each other fall in and out of love, get married, achieve dreams, and have babies. You had a few, but they turned out to be just right for you. You can't possibly handle a bigger number of friend, because even in adulthood, you will be a ambivert. You will learn the art of socializing but will find the greatest pleasure in your own company.

At 16, your self-esteem is at its all-time low. You haven't quite bounced back from the bullying you incurred from them, a whole section of your seniors ganged up on you on your first year in high school. That's not exactly a good was to start your adolescent years. But it's okay. Because you stood firm against them. And although you still do not understand why you were bullied in the first place, I am telling you that I am proud of you. Because 11 years later, you are a 27 year old woman who stand up against bullies, no matter who they are, no matter how small they make you feel.

At 16, you thought you were in love. But please be cautious. That boy is great, he will be one of you closest for-life friends, but you will meet many bastards. You will learn to distinguish the wolves from the sheep. You will learn the hard way. You will make the biggest mistake in love. But know that your heart is not a fragile jar. It is a lump of gold, soft and moldable. It will learn to cling to different people and you will love them sincerely.

At 16, you won't see a trace of beauty in yourself. You hate how unruly your hair can be and you hate the color of your skin. You will look for someone, just anybody to affirm that you are pretty. But trust me on this, you will love how big and messy your hair is, it will make you feel like a siren, and it will be one of the reasons why it was difficult for you to wear the hijab. You will love the curve of your body, the lightness of your bones, the strength of your legs. You will stop buying whitening products because you will love how different you will look, in a see of white faces, red lips, and braces; your look is dusky and understated. But most importantly, you will find out that beauty is who you are. Beauty is the way your mind wraps itself around your passions. Beauty is the grace and humor of your replies, the sarcasm in your retorts.

One day, a man will see you in your ugliest, and he will tell you that you are the most beautiful among Allah's creations.

My younger self, take it lightly. Everything is already written by the Hand. Maktub! It is written. Enjoy your growing years. Savor the exhilaration of experiencing things for the very first time.
Years from now, you will grow more self-assured. You will find your place in the world. You will see where you want to be. It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to be afraid. You will learn. You will stand up. You will wear your scars proudly.

You are a pawn in the game of life now, you are now on your way to becoming a queen.

How about you, what will you tell your younger version if you a chance to send a letter to the past?