It’s the 2nd last day of the year and most of us are looking back and reflecting on ourselves. Here, we look to one of the Women We Love, Karina who pens a letter to her younger self.
Owner of La Pari-pari Resort, Langkawi
Karina is a former corporate maven who, in a previous life worked as the Director of Communications and Investor Relations for a top investment firm as well as the Head of Communications for Bursa Malaysia. She left the corporate world to start her own resort in Langkawi. As she describes it, “Karina Bahrin is a former 21-year old who left her university degree and corporate life to set up her own bed and breakfast in Langkawi. She wants you to know that life after forty is severely under-rated, grey hair is easily remedied with dye and laugh lines are the new sexy.”
You can find her at: www.laparipari.com
Dear Young Me
There will be no photographs of your 21-st birthday. You will come back from an evening class to friends already making cocktails in your dorm room, spilling out into the corridors. You’ll be pleasantly surprised but there will be no photographs because you’ve all forgotten your cameras.
Not that it matters, because it will be a night you won’t forget, even years down the line when birthdays blend one into another and you can’t tell them apart. This night will stand out because it happens in a place and time that is unique and unequalled for the rest of your life. Yes, college is awesome, but you already know that.
But here’s the real kicker – all the best friends you need for the rest of your years, the ones that count and will stand up for you, and be there when you need picking up or kicking in the derriere are already around you. You have found most of them for us, so hold them close because you will need them and so will I.
You will fall in love a great many more times, get your heart broken, break a heart or two in return and be better for it all. You will become wiser to the art of loving, and understand over the years that it is not something you should seek to complete yourself, but instead a vocation whose practice tests and defines you.
Your exterior will change, but your insides will not. Who you are, that hidden part of you, will only become more visible with time. Twenty years on, it is your real self who is unashamedly on display at the edge of your curled lashes, the swish of your hair, the ends of your broad nails. She is mightier than the girl your friends see now, but she has not revealed herself fully yet, not even to you.
Your life will take twists and turns beyond your current imagination. At times, when at crossroads, you might feel despair, and days will feel like you are carrying decades of baggage on your back. But all this will only make you stronger, your calves leaner, your spine straighter and your heart wiser.
There is one thing that remains constant. Your courageous curiosity, the part of you which keeps searching for a spontaneous adventure is the cog in your wheel that keeps the rest of your life turning and taking the unplanned detours. Take them without fear, but with careful consideration. Leap only after you have looked and have a clear view of the new landscape you are about to encounter.
But for now, have another drink. Dance another dance. Leave that camera behind. And forget about me for a while because you already possess everything you need to take good care of yourself.
Happy birthday, mighty girl. I’ve already met the grown-up you, and she cherishes you most.
Your biggest fan.