To my 10 year old self,
That was a pretty epic birthday party! McDonald’s and then a party at home after?! Whoa, who knew you could get so spoilt and have so much fun! Surrounded by family and church friends, having a whole mini van for just the kids, that’s pretty special stuff! It might be hard for you to hear, but you are now 25 years old, and a lot has happened since your 10th birthday in Nadi. I know the idea of being 25 seems really old and grown up, but to be honest, it doesn’t feel too bad.
Right now you’re missing England, your baby cousin Atu and crisps, Frosties and chocolate digestives, but let me tell you something, in a few months, you’re about to start school in Fiji and it will be one of the best experiences of your life. You learn how to share when you see everyone sharing their lunches and food, you learn how to respect all your elders, regardless of whether they’re your family or not, and most importantly, you learn how friends can become family. Some of your friends that you make during this time, are still your closest friends today, how cool is that?!
As you get older, you have lots of fun but you also miss your Dad and family in England more and more, so, after finishing primary school, you come back to England. And guess what, you hate it! All the things that you missed have seemed to have lost their novelty, it’s cold, and you miss your friends. Quite the plot twist huh? But, nevertheless, you make the most of it and begin to make a lovely group of friends in your new all-girl school. Yeah, that’s right, you go to an all girl school. At first you’re unsure, but after you get over the initial shock, it’s kinda a bit easier than dealing with annoying boys.
After 2 years, you complete your GCSE’s and because you’re still homesick, you move back to Fiji to live with Mum again. But, the school system has changed once again and because it’s not challenging enough, you somehow manage to pick going to school in New Zealand. That becomes your home for a year. New Zealand becomes the mixture of England and Fiji that you feel you can fit into. The infrastructure is similar to England, but because of your Pacific Islander and Maori friends, the culture you are exposed to is similar to that in Fiji. It is in New Zealand that you turn 18, and it is there that you begin to go through the motions of being a teenager. Hormones, emotions and confusing thoughts bombard you as you try to remain a good student at school, but somewhere in between, you let go. Looking back on it now, it is obvious that you were being an whiny teen, but back then, it seemed like life was so hard. You wish that you made better choices whilst you were there, but you try not to regret anything and accept it for what it was. And again, you built good friendships and relationships whilst you were there.
I know, by now you must be wondering…so where do I live now? The answer is: England. It’s been 8 years since you lived in New Zealand, and longer since you permanently lived in Fiji. Since then, life has been like you know it now. Living in England, with summer holidays/yearly breaks in Fiji. Tuka Atu, Bubu Silika, Tutu Jone and Bubu Liti are getting old but they are all still around. Mum still lives in Fiji and Dad still lives in England. You have more cousins now, and Momo Jone now lives in England. You have been through univerisity, twice, and you are engaged to the kindest man. Yes, that’s right, you’re getting married soon ya nerd! You live together in your own flat, and have a car, and bills, and all those other grown up things – and, life is pretty good.
You make it through all the heartbreaks, and learn to trust and smile again. New heartbreaks come, but you will get through those too. You find the answers to questions that you’ve held onto, but more questions come, so you learn to let time do its job, and let it pass. The stuff that is happening in the world today will break your heart as it becomes crazier by the day but you will find comfort in God because He still remains the constant in your life. And all the important things remain unchanged: You’re still obsessed with stationary and notebooks, your travel bug is still alive, chicken and cashew nuts is always ordered when you have Chinese, and you never find that athletic bone in your body!
So chin up sweetheart, enjoy the good times, and when the bad times come, remember that they too, shall pass.
The 25-year old Sainimili x