Letters to my future self

STEEPED BY SAMIA #20 | 04.17.23
On 25, heartfelt letters, & a constellation-studded sky.

In March, I was rummaging through “SAMIA’S BOX OF IMPORTANT THINGS”, and I came across two letters: one from 5th grade and one from 12th grade, both addressed to my future self. Approaching my 25th birthday and in a reflective mood, I was compelled to read them.

The 5th grade envelope made me grin. The front says, in big letters, “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL: JUNE 2012” (my middle school grad year). Inside, there’s school ID cards, a spelling bee ribbon, and handmade bookmarks laminated with tape.

The letter, scrawled on binder paper, was a series of statements about myself, like: “My favorite color is light blue” (I painted my walls light blue a year later) and “I want to be a famous chef when I’m older” (inspired by the hours of PBS cooking shows I watched after school!).

The second letter, written in black ink on lavender paper,

I wrote for ASB class in 12th grade. Every year, we wrote ‘goodbye’ letters to each person in the class to be read during our end-of-year dinner. That year, we decided to write letters to ourselves in December 2015, which would be handed back to us in June 2016. At the time of writing it, I hadn’t known what college I was going to, nor what memories the end of high school would hold.

Reading it transported me back to so many feelings characteristic of Senior Year — the anticipation, bittersweetness, excitement, uncertainty.

I laughed (and sometimes cringed) at the teen slang & inside jokes, and felt moved by the timeless gems of wisdom. A particular part repeats in my head, “I will no longer exist. I am merely your shadow. You are the real me. And you are amazing.” I wish I could hug 18-year-old Samia; she’s so cute & pensive.

I love handwritten letters;

My bedroom walls are lined with beautiful cards, and it brings me joy knowing each one contains a handwritten note from someone I admire.

Handwritten words can unearth such vivid atmospheres. Gentle hands reach out from the past, squeezing me warmly, and sending me off into the present with a push.

So, I thought about it: To commemorate 25, should I write a letter to my future self? To Badass Samia who is embracing 30 or 35? It sends a tingle down my spine just thinking about it.

I’ve tried and failed to start this letter. It’s in the back of my mind, though, to just write it and stuff it into my “BOX OF IMPORTANT THINGS.” A gem to be forgotten and rediscovered (or to be scheduled into Google Calendar, to read in a future April).

I turned 25 amidst a beautiful & abundant spring.

The jasmine-scented fragrance of orange blossoms in the air, an abundance of lilac-colored daisies & California poppies scattered on hillsides.

My birthday was the first solid day of sunny & 70 degree weather we’ve had in the past 5 months. We went to a lush Japanese garden, walked around a downtown, and had halal Mexican food for dinner (shout-out to El Halal Amigos). 

It’s no secret last year was a very difficult year. It still hits me in waves, how much it dampened me. So, spending quality time with my family (esp. Ferheen who came home for a week during her vacation!) — together and safe — for my birthday and receiving heartfelt messages from friends was so meaningful in itself.

The night of my birthday, the sky called to me.

I walked outside to toss something in the recycling bin. I noticed the glowing crescent moon and said, “Chanda Mama looking soo cutie, eheh.”

What made me linger was the stars twinkling so clearly in the cloudless sky. I slowly spun around in circles, my face lifted toward the stars. The world was quiet and still.

I ran inside to get Sufyan. He pointed out Orion’s Belt, the Big Dipper, and the brightest of all, Venus. We chatted about a recent space discovery, the vastness of the universe, and how we miss watching Nova Space episodes on PBS.

I felt so calm and present that night. I thought: Wow, everything is okay, isn’t it? And: This is what I need to write about in my letter.

Just a few days later, I read a passage in The Last Pomegranate Tree by Bachtyar Ali — a coincidence that left me awe-struck, which I will leave you with for now:

“At that moment, I looked up and saw the sky. I saw millions of stars. I saw my smallness compared to the universe, I saw myself within that world. Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t had time to think about the sky, to look at the moon. At that very moment, I understood that I’d lost half the world.”

— The Last Pomegranate Tree by Bachtyar Ali


Steep On This, All-Time Faves Edition*:

*These are not the top faves, b/c I don’t have a top fave of anything! But definitely in the top 3, lol.  

Catch Up:  

03.19.23 | On “Resting Anxious Face”

STEEPED BY SAMIA #19: If you have Resting Anxious Face, you may be entitled to compen—

About This Blog:

Steeped by Samia is a space where I can simmer on thoughts & curiosities in the scope of digital culture, creativity, life, & more. Far too often, my writing ideas fizzle out in energy; I never get to see them to their full potential. While building my rhythm with writing, I want to share these ideas with you. 

Stay Up-To-Date on my blog by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the page, and you will receive an email every time I post. I aim to post a new installment at least once or twice a month. Thank you for supporting my storytelling! 🧡

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