Dear me, myself, and I – letter to my #youngerteacherself

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Dear  me, myself and I

I’m writing this to you from the future, even though you think you’ll never be a writer. Let me just start by saying that you are lucky enough to have had one of the greatest starts in life – that of studying literature. You’ll still think of William Blake and quote him on your blogs twenty years from now when you realise that 40 is the new 20, and that while you still haven’t given up your day job, you have, in fact, invented your own way of working and that you have found a new medium for writing.

Oh yes, if I had to go back to in time again, I would study literature all over again. In fact, one never stops reading about human nature, life, love & the art of living throughout a thousand life spans.

Oh, younger me,

It’s so strange for me to talk to you now, knowing that blogs still haven’t been invented – at least not as a teacher/writer tool, though one of the first bloggers started in 1994 – one year after your graduation from university.

You will be a late bloomer and start blogging in 2010;)

Right now you are telling yourself that you need to live more in order to have something worth writing about. Well, younger self, now it’s fair to say that you have lived, and lived & lived – a lot in twenty years – enough for a few compressed lifetimes – so what I have to write to you now is worth writing about;)

My message to you is a challenge because I know that you will spend your life meeting them.

The big, bad world out there will try to roughen you up and pull you down, but even though it’s tough being ‘too nice’, you will develop your own kind of strength much tougher than the rough edges of cruel experience.

“Life will try to gobble you up but you’ll  read your away out of the cookie jar”



From where you’re standing right now, you think you have become a teacher because you’re not brave enough to become a writer. But the truth is that we are all teachers and learners in this life. You will join this teaching journey with many inspiring people who may also have thought they weren’t brave enough to do other things. Yet, you will be inspired by their bravery.

We all bring our souls into the job, and the teaching experience is transformed by each personality, each learner, each struggle and each achievement. You will become a teacher who reflects a lot, shares a lot and appreciates a lot. You have seven magical strengths that will keep you out of the cookie jar & forever cognizant of the finer things in life.

1) Your love of reading.
2) Your optimism.
3) Your experiments.
4) Your creative instinct.
5) Your friendships.
6) Your moments.
7) Your mystery.

When everything else falls apart, your seven magical strengths will recreate something new from the shattered pieces.

Your greatest ”aha” moment will come to you at the age of 43 and a bit.

Walking along your lovely yellow brick road along the seashore on your beautiful Greek island….(yes, Greek island…..)

….You will KNOW that things are going to be okay, you will know that your desert will once again become a garden of roses and that you will help other people out of their own deserts.

Some friends will inspire the planting, some will join you in the gardening, & some others will paint your garden for you and show you its beauty.

desert   You will already have a personal legacy when you are in your ‘new twenties’.

There will be children – I’m not telling you how many – it’s a surprise – oh yes – surprises indeed;)

Your children will learn strength, resilience and learn about love – love of family, love of self, love of learning, and love of humanity.

The ”aha” of your existence will lie in finding the answer to life, love and the universe.

I can tell you what it is now without spoiling the mystery, because the elixir itself is its own mystery.

The answer to life, love and the universe is creativity – for you, your children, your family, your friends, your colleagues, & the students and teachers whose lives you touch. Your brand of creativity will express itself through motherhood, blogs, books, literature, psychology, art therapy, storytelling, nature, cloud-watching and star-gazing.

Let’s not forget technology.

Technology is allowing me to send my thoughts and dreams back in time to you now, my younger self.

What is my final message?

I can’t shelter you from your challenges, but your challenges will turn you into someone greater than you know.

It would even be wrong of me to undo your mistakes, because each mistake will help you to teach others – and that is your purpose. You are not teaching because you’re afraid to be a writer, you’re teaching because your life is going to be the novel of a heroe’s journey – the same journey that’s imprinted in the souls of all people.

You are Every woman, Every mother, Every …?

I’ll let you find the rest out for yourself.

That’s the beauty.

Younger self, I’m proud of you and who you are becoming.

PS – my lovely me, This is still my favourite quote:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

I mentioned  it here for my #eduheroes.

I even made a comic strip of the heroe’s journey that you are about to embark on. Thanks to Shelly Terrell for #Edugoals and #Eduheroes – she’s one of the special people you’re going to meet on your journey;)

There are others – you’ll know who I mean when you meet them;)

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Sylvia is is an online teacher & writer with a background in English Literature, history and education. She is also an award winning blogger featured by The British Council, online teacher, official blogger for WiziQ, professional development organiser, and passionate researcher into creative learning via Educational Technology @Eslbrain. She is currently focusing on ELT publishing and children’s publishing. Her personal projects for 2014 include writing ELT books through story-telling, comics, poetry, and social and emotional learning, while continually creating and sharing brain-friendly learning materials and ideas online. Her other main interests are art, writing, poetry, and psychology, which which help her to create fun quality time with her children and add colour to her language lessons. When she's not teaching online, she's writing course books, blogging or running her English language Facebook groups.
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  • Hi Sylvia,

    Thanks for writing such a wonderful and heartfelt post. I am really loving this challenge because everyone focuses on something else. This was such a lovely post and I really like this sentence: I can’t shelter you from your challenges, but your challenges will turn you into someone greater than you know. That’s the beauty of the obstacles we face in life and our career. We cannot avoid them, they come, some unexpectedly, some are anticipated, but we need to equip ourselves with the strength to deal with them. If they make us fall, no worries. We pick ourselves up, and move forward to the next challenge, and the next, and the next one….

    Thanks for writing and stay strong and lovely (I am glad I had the chance to meet you in person and look forward to seeing you again in the future :)).


    Joanna Malefaki Reply
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