Dear Tulie…


This is a letter from your future self in 2009. Don’t be sceptical, it really is possible.

At the moment you are probably snorting your way through a Jughead Time Police comic and wondering what your favourite comic book series has come down to but it really is possible.

Well, we haven’t perfected time travel yet but I am able to write to you, aren’t I?

Anyway, 16 years old eh? Seems just like yesterday though it was all of 12 years ago πŸ™‚

You are going through a very rough patch in your life now, aren’t you? For the first time in your life, you are feeling clueless in classes and feeling like one of the dumbest kids in class instead of one of the smartest.

Don’t worry, this is a necessary experience for you, unpleasant though it be.

You were always a little too arrogant about being the youngest as well as smartest kid in class. Yes, I know you were always outwardly placid and courteous and took care not to associate with the bunch ot snobs in school who banded together, virtue of their ‘superior intelligence’.

Nevertheless, you place too much value on intelluctual capaciy and IQ and are a little too smug inwardly (or at least you were uptil a year ago) of your own intelligence.

You need to understand how it feels like to be a dumb kid in class for a change. As soon as you finish your A’Ls in a couple of months, you will teach in a school for underpriveleged kids and this experience will help you to be more compassionate and focused on the backward kids in school instead of concentrating only on the intelligent ones as most teachers tend to do.

You will look back and remember the time now, your two years in High School doing A’levels as two of the worst years of your life. But the best two years of your life are to immediately follow.

You will surprise yourself by finding in yourself the capacity to be a really good teacher – a talent you were not aware of before. This will do marvels for your self confidence, something that will stand you in good stead when you move on to work in the corporate sector and your ‘superiors’ deliberately try to undermine that hard won confidence.

You will learn during these four years that high marks on the report card does not automatically translate into high intelliegence. You will also learn that repeaters, back benchers and the so called ‘under performers’ are generally bright and intelligent people.

Unfortunately, you would be one of very few people in this world to make this unique discovery.

The rest of the world tends to judge people by their academic records and if they don’t do well academically, then it’s a safe bet to say that their future careers are not going to be too bright, no matter how talented they are.

Yes I know you have read of high school drop-outs becoming great successes but get real… Bill Gates and Richard Branson could be part of fairytale land for all that counts…

I have some bad news for you – you are going to flunk those A’Levels.
It’s not your fault, the teachers were all bad and incompetent – your bad karma to be caught in this particular experiment of the school 😦

I won’t go into all your education related woes from hereon in but it would seem your time as a sunshine girl in school is over.

You will be doing useless courses and encountering useless ‘teachers’ (and I use that word loosely) in rapid succession hereafter.

Right now(Whoops, thats relatively speaking isn’t it? πŸ˜€ I mean 12.50 pm, November 26, 2009), your 28 year old self is typing this letter to you in her Dreamweaver class in Journalism College.

The teacher is one more of that useless kind and so I am pretending to work while typing this to you instead – as I have no clue about how I am supposed to do what I am supposed to do 😦

Yes – you have finally achieved your life long dream of becoming a journalist πŸ™‚

It took several years of whining to your parents (but I think the clinching factor was your repeated flunking of CIMA, that put paid to their high hopes of seeing you as a respectable, high earning number cruncher) but you’ve managed to achieve it at last.

Don’t worry, you make a damn good journo (even if I do say so myself) but all the years in between, trying to struggle up the corporate ladder has given you a complex about your lack of qualifications.

So now your 28 year old self is in a prestigious journalism college because, though she knows she is talented, she doesn’t want an M.A in English Literature or Journalism or some such crap walking in later and lording it over her. Believe me – that’s a very realistic fear, most of these nerds are clueless when it comes to the actual work but think no end of their own superiority thanks to their qualifications (that wouldn’t have taught them anything worthwhile in the first place).

So you are now in a ‘professional’ college that gives you hands on training instead of useless academic skills.

See, this is the thing – If you work long years as a good journalist, that still somehow lacks lustre without a good ‘qualification’ but in oder to get that qualification, you need to attend colleges like these, which if you lucky enough will give your some worthwile practical training instead of worthless theory.

So now, in this college, I am doing the same thing I did last year, except now I am a student who doesn’t get paid for my stories, have to find and pay my own way around instead of getiing a vehicle and don’t have a media ID to back me up and get me places to get the story 😦

Journalism is a really fun job, you learn a lot of interesting things every time you go out but somehow it is not so much fun when you are a student, forced to find a happening story every day. You don’t have the access and prestige the real media do and people are not as willing to talk to a ‘student’ doing only a ‘project’.

You probably would have learned far more had you continued in your line of work but the way this world and its values are structured, you unfortunately do need that qualification and so are sticking it out. πŸ˜›

Let move on to brighter things shall we?

Erm.. well… You still haven’t found the love of your life, If he even exists, he is taking his own sweet time in showing up.

BUt the good news is you’ve finally settled in Sri Lanka now as you’ve always wanted to πŸ™‚

The war is over now (can you believe that???) but the country still has some way to go in uniting its peoples. *fingers crossed*

All the others who discovered this method of sending letters to their past selves dished out lots of advice, some even gave gambling tips and financial advice but I don’t want to do that, mostly because I don’t know what advice to give πŸ™‚

You were always a goody two shoes who was afraid of putting a foot wrong. Well, you haven’t changed much, you still are in 2009 (for all the good thats done you 😦 )

The only thing I know for sure looking back is that you should have chucked Cima and gone in for journalism from the start but you always knew that didn’t you?

Try to be a liitle more assertive, even though they are your own parents, who fancy they are doing only what’s best for you.

…er…No, I still haven’t upped the assertiveness quotient as of 2009 but try to work on it all the same πŸ™‚

Well, that’s enough for now wouldn’t you say? Cheer up, I know you are going through a rotten phase right now but good times will soon follow.

Perk up and walk straight. Academic qualifications are not all there is to it. You are still basically a good person and what’s more, you are an intelligent person – don’t ever stop believing that.

It’s Ok – there are several pitfalls along the way but you will get up with each one, sometimes hurt and scarred, sometimes strengthened and emboldened.

With all your cautiousness and care, you still can’t avert adversities in life – they are a fact of life and you have to learn to accept them. They are not going to go away with that ostrich like attitude you put up everytime something happens so pull your head out of the sand and face them head on.

Also relax, unwind, enjoy yourself a little – That’s something you never did much of.

With lots of love from your future self – don’t worry so much that no one loves you – I DO πŸ˜€



7 Responses to “Dear Tulie…”

  1. Dude this is one looong letter. I’d hate to see what would happen if you wrote to someone else πŸ˜›

    “You will also learn that repeaters, back benchers and the so called β€˜under performers’ are generally bright and intelligent people.” That strikes home so hard I think I’m going to go into a quiet corner and cry

  2. Now this is one 16yo post I could really relate to. πŸ™‚

  3. Wow… your poor 16 year old self will be traumatised by this! πŸ˜›

  4. 4 Tulie

    @John: You were an underachiever in school??? Who would ‘ve thunk πŸ˜›

    Also, I am generally not at all in the habit of writing letters, long, short or otherwise πŸ˜€

    @Papare Boy: Thanks – and do you realise this is the first time you’ve commeneted on one of my posts ??? Humph

    @The Puppeteer: Why? I thought I had got the tone of affectionate, kindly big sister just right πŸ˜›

  5. Not the tone… πŸ˜›

  6. 6 Chavie

    loved it! and β€œYou will also learn that repeaters, back benchers and the so called β€˜under performers’ are generally bright and intelligent people.” – true that! πŸ˜€

  7. Aww at the way u ended it. πŸ˜€ Naice.

    “Perk up and walk straight. ”
    YES. Always. With ur head up.

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