Dear 20-year-old Sinmi,
This is the 30-year-old Sinmi writing to you. I just wanted to say thank you for the life you set in motion for us.
Today makes it ten years since you graduated from UCSD. I remember how excited you were to be done. The emotional call to mom as you walked out of the literary philosophy finals and realized you were done. I still remember the ceremony. You were sitting between mom and dad in the sweltering San Diego summer heat excited. Dad spotted a friend that he had seen in years. Mom kept telling you to listen to the commencement speech delivered by James Avery. I remember dad bending over so that you write out your name on the announcement slip on his back. The dinner at PF Chang’s, the extended stay with mom and Damola as well as the limo that picked aunty up. The excitement of having an apartment for the first time.
When all of that excitement was over, I also remember how much fear you had about going into the world without a grown up job. I think what I am most proud of are the many leaps of fate you took. Do you remember quitting your library job because you believed something would come through? Could you have imagined how working in Macy’s would change your life?
Thank you for setting the tone of my current life. Thank you for fighting for a life filled with meaning and passion. Thank you for not settling. You could have gone to law school. Instead, you realized that wasn’t you, and you chose England. You chose a life filled with adventure and uncertainty. You chose excitement. You chose risk. There are days when I wonder what life would have been if you actually went for the LSAT exam. Ten years later though, I realize that the one small act of defiance still gives me the courage to make the tough choices.
I should also let you know that life gets better when you get older. I am not as lonely as you used to be. I have gotten better at I discovered I was an introvert and I no longer question why I feel strange around people. I have friends that I hold dear. I live in Boston now and deal with the snow every year.
My biggest discovery in ten years is that I would never have all the answers. I have learned to live in the moment. I have learned to prioritize happiness. I am learning how to take care of my mental health. I am learning that my passion lies with people, not things. I am making space for my creative life.