Letter to my younger self - Jawahir Ahmed

Dear me,

It is nice to be writing to someone with such an innocent mind set on life. Where your biggest concern is why Abbe won't let you eat your third candy bar in a row. You'll thank him for that one day. Your fluffy hair and skinny pole-like body is embarrassing to you. Your boyish ways and attitude is intimidating to others. You feel like your parents are constantly picking at your flaws and your siblings are not getting any of the heat. All of this will change with years to come. Lots will change. You will realize your uniqueness is what makes you, YOU. You will realize your parents repetitive advice will finally sink in. Your circle of friends will change; and the ones that fall like leaves, will be the ones your parents have proudly predicted and forewarned you about.

See that your sisters are your best friends and biggest supporters. Do not hurt them and most of all do not hurt your parents. I cannot stress how much they will give up just to make you smile. They are psychically and emotionally willing to do anything for you.

Your father will need you more than ever with years to come- remember what he's given up for you. Make sure you're willing to give everything up for him. Your mother will go through many dark stages but you will all be her light.

Your decision to live at home during college will be 'forced' but in the future you will be happy you did. At times it will stress you, grades will slip, but in the end it will benefit you. The friends and memories you make at USU will be lifelong. Those you meet here will embrace your corky awkwardness. People will look up to you. Lead by example. Don't treat people how they treat you, otherwise you might treat loads of people poorly. Treat everyone with kindness and always smile. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Don't waste any opportunities that are brought to you. Just one rare opportunity can change your life forever.

Most of all keep in touch with your roots. There will be days where you will physically feel your parents Somali roots slipping away from your fingertips. You will find ways to avoid the guilty feeling. Embrace the Somali culture with open arms. The Somali culture is shy and difficult to persuade but you will find a way for Somalia to love you as much as you love Somalia. Although you weren't born in Africa, always remember Africa was born in you.

I love you; and stay away from strangers unless their Australian. Give an old bloke a chance.


  1. "Africa was born in you" indeed a beutiful reality! This letter is brutally honest , and very well written!

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