[ DAY 138 ] Letter to myself a month from now

Dear future Thi,

You have to know that I won’t be writing to you except when most necessary. And you might or might now remember what happened today or the events that lead to such letter, so I’ll remind you.

Today, you hit your sister two times, and you “taught” her with harsh words. You implied that she was ungrateful towards your love for her, and to me you sounded more like a monster than a sister. I understand why your sister would be having nightmares about you, but to be honest she might not give you the second thought.

After what happened, you guys had lunch with this dreadful atmosphere, and you went back to your room, she to hers. The house fell back into silence, and it is a little bit more than two months when you leave and God knows when you’ll ever be back to your home country and reunite with your sister again, given pandemic and all. You regretted what you said, so you, as a Gen-Z, went online and searched, “how to be a good sister.” “Does age gap make it harder for siblings to get along?” “Why does my sister not respect me?” As you were typing these into the search engine, you actually already know where the problem is. It’s you.

You have always said it’s not about gaining the respect of others, but the respect of you towards yourself. You said that you don’t wear a nice dress because it shows others you have a good body, but because it shows yourself that you are confident and beautiful. You told your sister that, just the day before, remember? So there’s no reason for you to seek your sister’s respect, and if anything, that respect is out of reach, because it’s your sister’s decision, not yours.

But the Internet, powerful as it had always been, emphasized on the same thing your dad always told you, that you had to set a good example before making your sister do what you want. You have to do chores, before telling her to clean her room. You have to study well, before encouraging her to work harder in school. You have to be the example, because otherwise your words are like thin air – it doesn’t have weight and certainly no significance. Perhaps the only difference your words will make is that they scare the hell out of your sister, and isn’t it so sad to be pushed away for such reason?

So there, future Thi, you have got the reasons for such a letter. You have a few weeks left to set a foundation for your sibling-y relationship, because you failed the previous 12 years. You might think “ehh you can’t change something that lasted 12 years in 2 months,” but you don’t want to regret, so give it a try, I demand you.

How are you going to change?

  1. Continue with the good habits: run before your sister wakes up, clean your room and keep it dirty-free, help your mom and dad with chores
  2. Work hard on the stuff you are working hard right now
  3. Read, read, read. Your sister isn’t giving a f*ck about reading right now, but don’t force her. Be the example.
  4. Ask her what’s going on at school. What’s up with her life. And remember those things! It doesn’t mean anything if you keep asking the same question every day.
  5. Know her preferences, which so far are basically what you hate. But hey you guys do have something in common, such as seaweed salad, right?

I’m sticking this up on your blog so you remember what to do every day in the next month. Check in then and let me know. You are a big sister, and you want to make your sister fee that you are her ally. Life is harsh, and she doesn’t need to deal with another hell-knows-when-it-is-going-to-explode bomb in the house.

Thank you for trying your best,

May Thi

Published by Thi Le


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