On April 22nd, 2020, I decided to write a letter to myself. I had learnt about this website called futureme.org that allowed you to write letters to yourself which they would deliver to your chosen email in a year, three years or however long you choose. I found the idea fascinating; I was always curious about what the future version of me is saying right now. I wonder if she is proud or embarrassed of the person I am right now. 

When I wrote this letter, it had been a month into the Covid 19 surge in the United States. Though I did not know it yet, I was about to enter one of the most emotionally and mentally challenging years of my life. In a course of a year, I dealt with losing friends, starting high school online, being isolated in my room for days on end and missing family who were stuck halfway across the world. As it was for many teenagers, 2020 soon became synonymous with change and growth. 

My letter read,

Dear Zoya as a 15-year-old, 

Hi its Zoya! Today is April 22nd, 2020, and the world has gone crazy. The coronavirus has taken over the world and i am stuck at home doing “online school” watching Netflix and YouTube and eating to feel better. It’s awful. I am really worried about my grandparents and family. I hope, when u get this letter, they are all okay. 

I hope when I get this letter, I will be happy in high school with lots of friends and no social distancing!!!!! I am so excited for that! Right now, I’m a 
hope u/I have a good summer. I am really bored, stressed, and worried. This pandemic is making me feel gross. I hope that 2021 is better.

Remember to take care of yourself, have fun and i love you! 
(but 14) 

It was funny to read the musings of a clueless 14-year-old who had no idea what was about to hit her. She didn’t know that “online school” would soon become normal; distance learning is the new thing. The Coronavirus would ravage the world, just a few days ago a statistic came out saying that every 1 in 500 people in the US has had Covid. That statistic terrifies me, especially having seen the negative impact of the disease in such a brutal form. As strange as it is, to see my thoughts from April 2020, a part of me is hopeful too.

This is my reply.

Dear Zoya as a 14-year-old,

Today is September 16th, 2021. One year ago, you wrote a letter, sitting on your bed, not knowing whether our social studies teacher would be hosting a Zoom call for class or not. It is funny to see how much changed in a matter of a year.

 The world did go crazy, especially our own little one. We got into fights with our friends, lost a few of them too. We even saw a few friends reveal their true colors this year. We cried more than we admit, you have a lot to look forward too. 

It sounds scary when I say it out loud. A lot goes wrong but so much goes right. As I sit here, in my bedroom, knowing that tomorrow I will be seeing our friends in school (actual, real school),

I know that we have changed so much. 

We learnt about the world around us. Whether it was discovering a passion for social activism or rediscovering our love for journalism. We made so many friends in the new school you were terrified about joining. It’s not that bad, you know. Everyone went through hell that year and everyone needs a friend. 

We had a good summer. We adopted a dog, finally, whose name is Prudie. She’s the highlight of our year and made our mundane quarantine much better. I know how excited you were about getting a dog, good job finally convincing Mom and Dad!

Our family has stayed safe and are doing well. Our grandparents are vaccinated and looking forward to us visiting soon. Whether it’s this December or next summer, we have that to look forward too. I know you need to hear that, even if you won’t say it out loud.

So, the world does go crazy. But remember the person you will become soon. Someone who has been through a lot and couldn’t be more grateful to be writing to you, today. She wants you to know that she loves you. Remember to take care of yourself, drink some water, wear a mask (it’s a thing now) and I love you more.

Zoya (as a 15-year-old) 

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