To the task mistress with love.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America (Image via Wikipedia)

I wrote a letter to myself this week. I plan to read it next year. It has a kinder tone than I expected. A year ago, It would have been a much harsher, irritated tone. I wrote the letter following my post, The luxury of being average and after listening to a TED talk by the historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin. She spoke about the lives of  two past US presidents: Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. You can find the video of her talk here. I understood that I have been imbalance between three realms: work, love and play. Especially play. As you will see from the video, Lincoln appears to have found this balance leading to a fulfilling legency, while Johnson did not. Doris is a great storyteller, a skill I always admire.

In the letter, I tell myself that I’m good-natured, clever and fun to be around. I remind myself of how blessed I am to be alive, healthy and surrounded with the goodness of love. I also try to persuade myself to be less judgemental of my failings and to aspire equally for play and love as I do for achievement (work).

Maybe the older I get, the wiser I’ll be about these things. I’m glad I got to write this letter although I feel some sadness that I hadn’t written it before. Or perhaps someone else should have looked out for me and told me these things a long time ago. Well, maybe somebody did. I was probably too busy beating myself to death about the small things. I’m pleased that I’ve finally arrived in this place. Thanks for reading :).

A special thanks to Kaushic Kalyanaraman who inspired me by sending the TED video to me.


  1. I’m pleased that I’ve finally arrived in this place. … a good position – congrats!


  2. Great idea about writing the letter Kemi. It’s always valuable to remember the person you were as you evolved to the person you are. Growth is never complete!


  3. The older we all get, the wiser we become if we’ve learned our lessons. I think when we’re young, we’re more harsh and critical of ourselves. Don’t ask me why but we are. I think women especially just have so much pressure to be better everyday, more so than others, that we don’t stop and say “You are wonderful” to ourselves. And we are and you are as well.


  4. What a good idea. I think the art of letter writing is dying so to write one to yourself will offer a staging post in your life as you cast back. Are you going to do it every year? Maybe one every year but write the next BEFORE you open the previous one. In the end you’ll have an autobiography building to hand to your children. How lovely.


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