Way back in 2016, Savio nominated me for a challenge that continues to bring both tears and smiles to my eyes.

It’s the Dear Future Me Challenge, in which I read letters written to me, by me a year ago. If you do go to read those letters, they’re here and here.

If you ended up following those links, you’ll realise how late I am in answering myself, but I had a good reason. I wanted to be able to put this letter out only after all the formalities were complete and everything was dead certain, so I’m writing this and setting it up to release on 1St September, I’ll be somewhere over Europe by then.. or now since you’re reading this.

Here’s the actual letter

Hi Sonali,

It’s really odd, reading letters from myself a year ago, I practically cried while reading the letters from simple me in 2016 to a more curious me in 2017. I think I’ve done a 180 back to hopeful right now.

I’m writing this on the 21st of August, 9 days before I take off to Nantes, with barely any idea of what to expect when I land in the city I will be calling my home in just under two weeks.

Honestly, it’s both surreal and unbelievable at the same time. To answer curious little 2017 me’s question, Yes, I did publish a new story and I’m continuing the Three Line Tales Challenge, even though I took it back up fairly recently. I hope I’ll be able to continue once I get there though.

To all the me’s from before, and to you my future self, always remember this, We made it.

From when we sat on Mithu dada’s computer googling facts about Louis the IV to wanting to visit the Palace of Versailles near Paris and struggling over French without tuition in the XI and XII grades, we made it to the actual country. And I never want you to forget this. We made it happen, I will not let you be humble and say that anyone could have done this, some things we do deserve to be proud of. Only we know how much ass we hauled, how many times we had to get up after we fell, how many times we had to swallow the bitter pill to be able to get this far. I want you to remember that hard work always, always pays off. Maybe not as fast as we want it to, but it’ll come to you someday.

If that hasn’t gotten you all teary eyed (don’t lie to yourself, wipe your damn eyes), let me remind you of IVP, the single most important thing in the last few years, the place where we met all those fantastic people and had so many life and mindset changing experiences. I know you have that constructive criticism and praises saved on Google Keep, read those once in a while and try to follow the small guidelines those wonderful people set.

I’m not at the airport yet, so I can’t tell you how many people turned up, but I can tell you to remember Dawda and Jay’s final goodbyes before they boarded their flights, if you haven’t kept in touch with them, send them a message now.

Always remember the last day at IVP, how utterly emotion charged it was to see those tiny notes written by everyone, those replies to the last mail you sent. The chocolates, and how many people came for the cake-cutting. Never forget Suri, Rinkal, Mugdha, Jay and Dawda. They made everything so very very memorable, effortlessly carving themselves into your life. It’s been three months since I quit, I still miss them.

The next most important thing to happen in the last year – Alliance Française! From Elie to Juliette, from A1 to A2, make sure you keep in touch with everyone who made those ridiculously early 8AM classes worth it. Remember, these are the people who made the hectic schedule of Alliance from 8AM to 10AM, then office from 12PM to 10~10:30PM and finally crash landing in my room to pass out till 6AM rolled around again, absolutely worth it!

How everyone still wanted to be friends after they’d seen me in my zombiest condition is still beyond me.

But never forget the birthday surprise Dhwani planned and successfully hid from you and then had to hold a little earlier because you were sent to Noida for your birthday week.

Never forget Arti – and Pas S. A. D plus(Take a minute to laugh). Pearl, Melita, Harshal, Twisha, Jivanti and her wonderful experiments(we were very willing guinea pigs), Pallav, Punya… everyone. Don’t forget those crazy times in the classroom.

But most of all, don’t forget how full of laughter and tears this year has been. How much love we’ve received from how many people. Don’t forget Jinal’s Engagement and Pooja’s wedding, the crazy shopping spree at Marks and Spencer’s with Mom, the outings with Sneha, the long talks with Dad.

Never forget that you were loved. That in the moment I’m writing this, you were extremely loved and content and a bit hopeful.

I know where you are now, you must be swamped with homework and projects and assignments and at some points of time you’ll feel lost and down and hopeless- like all your efforts are worthless. I want you to know that they’re not. Work hard baby, something awesome is probably in store for you ahead!

Hope you’re enjoying yourself to the fullest!

-Yours Truly