a letter to my 2021 self


For the last five years or so, you’ve always reflected on the past at the end of each year. This year (2020), you’ve come to realize that while it feels nice and warm to reminisce the past, cozy with a cup of hot chocolate and your old journals, there is nothing more exciting than the prospect of what will be another amazing year.

2020 has been tough on you and everyone else. While being holed up inside your room sounds ideal to your secretly introverted alter ego for writing and music-making, you’ve missed your friends and the feeling of roaming free in the state you grew up in. There have been heart-aching deaths of people you admired, cancellations of shows and delays of films that you so anticipated, departures of friends to neighboring states, and we both know it was a waste of big bucks to buy that yearly planner.

The news was constantly flooded with crisis after crisis and there you were, in your bed feeling upset that there was nothing you could do. Or so you thought. You wrote. Words turned into paragraphs and paragraphs into pages. You typed articles and you composed poems. Heck, you even released music on Spotify and rekindled your YouTube channel. You have used the best of your abilities in writing to help those around you, and while you may never know if that was enough, at least you can say you tried.

As the devastating year of 2020 draws to an end, here are some things I hope you’ll have achieved when you read this a year from now.

I hope the virus has cleared up and the new normal has taken over. I hope your family and friends are happy and healthy and I sure hope you’ve made it clear to them how much they mean to you. I hope you still keep in contact with the friends you hold so dear, the ones that know your birthday and Chinese name by heart. I hope you’ve made it to the bustling city of Manchester, where a clean slate awaited you and hopefully, you have successfully made something out of yourself there. I hope university is going well for you and I hope you no longer think grades are everything (we both know how that turned out all through high school and college). I hope you’ve become the independent young adult you’ve always aspired to be, and that you’ve learned how to cook without setting off the smoke alarm. I hope you’ve found love again—be it in the wondrous city, a fresh hobby, a job, your major, someone new, or someone you’ve known for a lifetime; and I hope this time you were willing to fall like you’ve never before, free of the strings. I hope you’ve finished writing that book you were always thinking about. I hope you’ve written more songs and created more videos that truly reflect who you are. I hope your words have grown wiser and stronger along with yourself.

And I guess, I hope you’re happy. I hope you remember that happiness doesn’t come from the country you’re in, the people around you, or the materialistic items you own. I hope you remember it comes from within and that you have the capacity to spread it.

Here’s to the future. Here’s to you.