Creative Writing, Kainoa, Nostalgia, Transitions

Letter to My Younger Self

A few years back, celebrities began writing letters to their younger selves. Now that I’ve hit a major milestone, I thought it’d be an interesting exercise to take stock in the things I’ve done, to let go of some of the things I should’ve done differently, and to revisit some of the things that I still have time to do.


Dear Younger Kainoa,

Despite those feelings of insecurity, trust that you’ve been raised right, that you’re intelligent and creative, and that you’re beautiful. Here are a few pearls of wisdom to guide you on your way:

  • Rebel every once in awhile – Considering your lineup in the family, you’re always expected to do the right thing, the safe thing, all the time. Take risks and do things that challenge your obedience. Do it now before it floats up when you’re 40 and it’s no longer seen as cute, but as a desperate last-ditch attempt to hold on to your youth, pre-midlife crisis.
  • Feed your need for adventure – When an opportunity arises, get out there and explore! Travel, see the world and broaden your horizons. Hawaiʻi will always be here.
  • Cultivate your relationships – Amazing people enter your life everyday. Learn from them and let them into your heart. You’ll be lucky to call a few of those people your closest friends.
  • Become a joiner – It’s okay to be an introvert, but opportunities abound when you put yourself out there. Step out of your shell when you can.
  • Take care of yourself – You’re thin, you’re young, you think you’ll live forever, you eat junk food and you don’t exercise as much as you should. You’ve got good genes, but they’re not that good. Put in the work.
  • Flaunt that body – You’ll never be that thin again in your life, so stop being a prude and work it before gravity has its way.
  • Your hair is beautiful – Despite societal preference, your wiry Hawaiian hair is perfect just the way it is. Remember, grandpa had wiry hair too so you’re in excellent company.
  • Find your passion – Pursue your interests. Date. Work toward a career you’ve always wanted. Just don’t settle and end up living the life your family always dreamed about.
  • Leaving hula was necessary. You feel guilt about quitting hula. Don’t. Mahalo that it played an influential role in your life. You’ll go back to it and when you do, it will be right.
  • Laugh a LOT – Don’t take yourself too seriously and constantly feed your sense of humor.
  • Love – Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. Everyone gets hurt at one point, so better to experience early on so you’re not a blubbering mess later. Love fiercely, love hard, love with all your heart, and throw caution to the wind.

Love you long time,
Kainoa from the Future

What’s the one piece of advice you could give your younger self?