A Letter to Myself in 2020

Be everything all at once, Sartaj. You are infinite.

A Letter to Myself in 2020

Dear Sartaj,

Congratulations, you made it. Another year has been etched into your bones.

This year has been strange, challenging, and weary, but you should know that your privilege has protected you and your family in ways you cannot immediately comprehend. So many have lost so much this year. You too have joined their ranks recently with the loss of your friend of 11 years - Prince. Even in his passing, he has remained faithful and loving. And this is how you must remember him. It is as Meeraj Faizabadi's couplet prophesied...

It's something else that they have taken him on their shoulders.
At least for some excuse, the lover has returned home.

Your joys have bloomed in a field of miseries. And if you remember, then you will remember everything, so instead, please choose to be gracious. Our blessings multiply when they are shared, so do well by doing good. I told you last year that you could get anything you wanted but not everything you wanted. And indeed, what you chose was given to you. But did you choose well?

If the answer is not a resounding yes, then do not fret because you have another opportunity tomorrow. I still believe in you. Changes like these happen bit by bit, and then all of a sudden. Learn to be patient with yourself and the choices you make. This inner work is never simple or easy, but it is always worthwhile. I hope, whenever we speak, I push you to turn inwards and see yourself. Remember that you are more than the sum of your choices and flaws. There is good in you. I see it often on the days you doubt yourself.

I should leave you?
The shadow should part from the wall?

You could not choose the faces that flashed before your eyes when Tehzeeb Hafi shared this impossibility with you. There were some who have your heart, a few you have forsaken, and the one who caused the Naqba (catastrophe). However, in the end, you remained. This year was transformative precisely because it limited you. Breath became air. It forced a nomad to turn into a homebody. Stillness became normal.

Stillness isn't your superpower yet, but it may be the key to realizing your potential. You must learn to be more patient with yourself and the opportunities that surround you. Nothing good ever gets away. If someone tells you otherwise, walk away. Giving into haste only fans greed and invites mistakes. So, double down on focus, patience, and clarity. But, when you are convinced, turn every ounce of conviction inside you into action. The universe has conspired for you more visibly than ever before, and yet you let self-doubt creep in. Learn to receive a gift with both hands. Lean into these instinctual truths without fear. Do not allow this well of knowledge to be corrupted by your doubts.

This year of doing, growth, and maniacal focus may have fueled your ambition and self-worth, but it also consumed you. Do not neglect or compromise any single part of you to succeed in the short term. This never works. If you are to build a significant life, then you must exercise and rely on all of yourself. Put in the time and effort needed to design and deploy the systems that will power your present and future. I want to help you realize all of your potential. This is a debt you owe to those who raised you and everyone who believed in you.

The trade of lovers is unique.
They forsake profits and share their losses.

Faiz knew love intimately, and so do you. This problematic year has crystallized and magnified all your passions: kindness, belief, creativity, trust, and support. You are joyful, and happiness attracts happiness. Stay this way, Sartaj. It looks beautiful on you. However, I would not be a mirror to you if I did not point to the impending storms. The sun sets on everything eventually. You have known this for quite some time now, but each passing year only pushes you closer to loss and darkness. When the night swallows you whole, you must be prepared to go through it. You will feel a piercing pain with every breath, but I know you will survive because you have walked through hell already. Whenever you encounter this period of loss, I hope you will share it with others with grace and affection, so it does not wear you down. Please remember to be kind then.

Be everything all at once, Sartaj. You are infinite.

All my love,