Nipa Bhuptani, Parent contributor & Autism expert, writes a letter to herself in the past—reflecting on the lessons time imparted on her dreams, career & motherhood
Dear 15-year-old me,
First of all let me tell you I miss you a great lot! It has been quite a journey getting here and so much has changed since we were together. By the way, I never became the air hostess or the detective or the politician you thought I would be! I did not even pursue the MBA (which was supposed to be my fate come what may)! In fact just the opposite happened. I fell in love and got married! Everything else went on “pause”.
But a super cute son and a super husband and fifteen years later, I felt like going back to study…so I did it. You know the dreams you think you are dreaming right now about your future? They don’t carry the same intensity or meaning in a few years. Change is so constant…just go with the flow…I did!
I became a wife, mother, and teacher and then decided to change my career path and studied to work with the Autism population. Now I’m looking at teaching myself a new wave counseling practice and God only knows what I will do next! While doing all this I had a lot of fun times, and of course trying times, with friends, family and strangers too! Quite a roller coaster–but on this journey I did figure out that:
- There is no need to be in a hurry; there is always going to be time for everything! Enjoy every minute of every experience you have and don’t try to “get it done” because you have to.
- Dare to dream and don’t be shy to work hard. Nothing can ever stand in the way of your dream if you have thought it through and are prepared to work hard.
- Be honest to yourself. You are the only one who can hear your voice (that little voice inside your head. Yes, it is the sensible one—don’t ignore it)
- Take chances. If you do what you have always done then you will only have what you have always had. Take that step on the old dilapidated rope bridge; you don’t know what you might find at the other end. Travel to a new place, risk not planning your next few weeks, say hello to a complete stranger at least once a month.
- If your folks are paying for it, study as much as you can. Believe me it gets too hard to study when you get older! But if you don’t do it for any reason, then don’t give up on your dream to study further—just brace yourself and do it later! I went back to studying at the age of 40 and it was a great feeling (scary at first), but very reaffirming!
- Have some relationships (more than a couple of them). Men are just as complicated as women (don’t believe anyone who says otherwise!). It takes some practice to understand them.
- When you have babies, enjoy them, spoil them, cherish them, shower them with love and tell them you are proud of them no matter what. Try as hard as you can NOT to become “responsible” for each and every act of theirs.
- Play sports, be mindful and get in touch with your spiritual self. Spend some silent time with YOU. Be gentle and accepting of what and who you are—don’t judge yourself or others.
- Party hard. Be a good friend.
- Give your parents as much joy and laughter as you can. They won’t be around forever.