To Dani in 2014

This week we have the partnership of María Miranda, 2nd year student of the double degree Degree in Law and International Relations. In this story, she tells us how the passage of time, apparently harmless, can change everything.

Dear Dani of 2014,

Today Patricia, the psychologist, asked me order to write you a letter. So, evidently, she wants me to unveil some class childhood trauma. I don't know what she thinks. I'm not going to get to connect with my inner child, I'm not going to pluck out memories hidden by my subconscious, I'm not going to discover a reason why we went down, the mysterious secret why things are going the way they are going for me is not going to be unveiled; because there is no secret, I have no excuse. This is simply the way I have grown up and if I don't work out, there is no need to look for the fault in others.

The point is that I am writing to tell you things and warn you of others, to prepare you. Because although we have the same DNA, we are different people, I have nothing left of you, I am nothing of what you think I am . It's funny to see how ten years change a person, how they make another one. I've shaved my hair and you always wear it in a ponytail, because it's cooler. I don't play the violin anymore, I'm not a great musician, no matter how excited you are, we can't last more than two years with the classes, too much discipline. We have not continued with athletics either, as far as you know, we have changed it for weights and the punching bag. Instead of legos, books and pictures now occupy the shelves in our room. I painted her walls beige, we had to turn the page and get over the turquoise.

We don't even look alike in the whites of our eyes, literally. There are days when I come home with dilated pupils surrounded by a reddish hue, almost every day except Thursdays. Those are the days I have my session, but that's not why I stop, it's because Abdu and Marina come to pick me up afterwards. I'm going to give you a spoiler, the girl who did her third grade project on Taylor Swift, that little person with the tousled bangs is going to become the most important person in your life, along with Abdu. Dani, don't forget him, the new kid who still can't speak Spanish, the one who sits cross-legged on top of the chair, because you're going to need Abdu more than anyone else. Every Thursday we take a ride in his car to clear our heads and complain about life.

I knew I wanted to talk to you about them. About what you are going to share, what matters. The recesses, the drinking, the clothes, the chats in the sun, the Sunday lunches with a fag on the terrace, the mornings with a hangover watching "Friends", the navel piercings, the fights, the punches on the wall and the skids with the bike in the parking lot of the school. All of it. Even when you don't even remember your name, you'll remember his. The best committee I can give you is that you take care of them more than anyone else; and it will be the only one, because seeing how I have done, I am not a model to follow. Not even for my eight-year-old self, especially my eight-year-old self.

The last thing I feel the responsibility to tell you is that I'm sorry, it's my fault and no one else's. It wasn't mom and dad's nagging, or the bully who will force you to learn to defend yourself. It wasn't mom and dad's nagging, it wasn't the bully who will force you to learn to defend yourself, it wasn't even that subject who offered you the first scratch. It wasn't, because it was me who turned anger and problems into violence, who went from defending to attacking, who said yes to stop thinking. I was the one who needed to end the pain in any way and decided to choose the worst of all. When things are done in any way, no matter how, they go wrong. The moment you decide not to think about the how, there is no longer a why and you become a pure receiver of stimuli. Things happen to you, you suffer and laugh without it having anything to do with the way things unfold. You get lost, you let yourself get lost, because deep down you repeat to yourself that you don't care. This is the biggest lie that we tell today and that everyone accepts as a legitimate way of living. Nobody gives a damn about everything, because the moment that really happens you run out of reasons to go on.

It took a lot of things for me to realize it. In the movies it looks like a shocking event: a death, an accident, a scare, a breakup, a person. But it's not true, it's the looks. Those that few people notice, but if you look closely, they shake the soul. Those of your friends when they stop laughing with you, because it is no longer funny that you show up again at their house at eight in the morning with nowhere to go. Those of their mothers who are like your aunts, full of concern because they notice how you are. The one of a stranger, elusive, who shakes hands with her son and changes sidewalks so as not to cross paths with you. Your own parents, desperate because they don't even know who you are anymore. The worst, your own, because neither do you.

One day you gather enough courage to draw conclusions from all those looks and you realize that you have made a mistake. You need financial aid and the second you ask for it, everything rolls. You are the engine, if you don't make an effort we are not going anywhere, but you are not alone. After a while you realize that you want to study again, you want to concentrate, to take care of yourself, to be clean, to change. So you try, you come to therapy, you do sports, you wake up and do these exercises. You fight against the monkey, you fall down again, but the next day you try again, because even if sometimes you don't see it, you have reasons to do it, people to give you another chance. Because you are worth it. You don't know it yet, but you're worth it.

With love, the Dani of 2024.

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