An Open Letter to 2018 Me

Dear AC in 2018,

It is somewhat hard to believe it’s already 2018 and I will (probably) graduate from university this time next year? It is crazy how time flies so much since my high school graduation in 2015. Looking at the calendar, 2018 is done halfway, and I am truly enjoying this year - the new challenges and experiences that I underwent. Leaving Waseda for 8 months on exchange was definitely an amazing experience, like a refreshing pause for discovery. From the initial unease when I entered the host university to finishing this process one month ago, I could not be happier for what I’ve learned from this 8-month journey.

As it is currently summer break, taking this time to ponder about my future path is of utmost importance. When looking at high school friends and classmates around me, one of their foot is already in the boat of working; of course I am happy for them, but this also makes me think as if I have not done enough in the past, which is why I am still lingering in this stage of searching for my career path. It is pivotal for me to be able to grow stronger and more independent this upcoming year - hopefully things will eventually fall onto the correct path for me to pursue.

Now, let us talk about another issue. I have been fighting for a chronic disease for more than 5 years now, and this long path has not been an easy one. I had to wear a protective device on my body in order to heal scoliosis for at least 20 hours every day; there was no way I could endure wearing a tight equipment on me for such a long time. The situation was slightly controlled when I wore the protective device, but now it is gradually deteriorating.

The doctor said: “If your spine continues to curve towards one direction, undergoing a surgery is inevitable.

When my spine starts to hurt, I try hard to do exercises with the mere purpose of relieving my back pain. There is no doubt that I feel desperate about my spine condition at times, and the only thing I can wish for right now is to control my scoliosis symptoms instead of worsen it. It would be best if my spine could be gradually straightened without having to do surgery through my daily exercises.

Just a few more words to say: remember that being envious of others that are the same age as myself is definitely no help; I have to motivate myself more and engage in more activities to open up more opportunities. Make a little effort every day to improve myself wouldn’t hurt, just like what I am doing to recover my scoliosis. Stand tall and strong, and don’t forget to be more confident of your abilities.

Read this letter again in a few years, and you might be surprised by how much you’ve grown!