I think there's something about youth that a lot of 'adults' forget:
those years between 20-25, might as well be 15,
they are long and arduous
and will test your will more times than you think possible.
But it is here where your character is forged.
Where your soul picks a path,
an identity in relation to this world.
Because what is the self if not in relation to another?
And from there, the current of this identity takes you along to 30, 35, 40, 50, 60 and onwards.
Some people buckle under this pressure,
it is intense and cutting.
And takes both rigidity in one's persistence
softness in one's heart.
Because a hardened heart cannot be imprinted on.
And that might just be the point of existence.
To be imprinted by love and to spread the same.
Kindness is a choice.
We choose in the pressure chambers of our 20s if we are nice,
I hope when you look in the mirror, you are as proud of your choice as I am.
It is this kindness within you
that you have nourished and grown,
with intent, and through a labour of love,
that will always carry you forward.
Kindness is a choice, but we were also lucky to be gifted this by Mom and Dad,
and from them ever since.
Their commitment to kindness
to keeping this softness in their hearts,
reminds me to do the same.
They have this inherently within them because of the communities they grew up in.
We are removed from these parts of our roots,
and that particular cultural piece
is not the same for us.
it will be our life's work to keep this knowing at the forefront of our minds.
However, this is still not a weight we must bear alone.
We do this in communities just the same.
It will not be easy
and will take both hard work and dedication,
but it does get easier.
The current picks up with time.
I feel fortunate to have you
on my team for this task ahead.
We have our work cut out for us,
and at this particular moment, we must go at it alone.
But that does not mean we are ever alone.
That safety net.
Those hearts imprinted with yours,
of past, present and future,
This is my hope for you
as you go into this next chapter: that even when you are alone, you are never lonely
with this knowing.
My heart always remains soft and open to yours,
To my babysister,
on the other side of 25: it only gets better from here.