Dear Me, Love Boriana

written on 09 April 2021 by Boriana Hadjieva

Art by Erin Iwata


Dear 10 year-old Boriana,

Life sucks a lot of the time! There is no point in sugar-coating it. You’ve been bullied and alienated at school... and that will continue happening. You’ve felt like a weirdo a lot of the time... and in high school it will be like you’re a weirdo on steroids (don’t do drugs!). You are about to move countries (twice!), so everything that has felt familiar will be upturned. And when you start feeling like you’re getting a grip on your new environment, it will change again.

On the one hand, you hate change, and on the other, you’re craving it. Close friends will come into your life and inconveniently disappear, and languages will keep changing. At the same time, you will feel boxed-in and itch to go somewhere else. But feelings of loneliness will somehow always stay the same. It never gets easier or more fun to say goodbye to people, especially your family. When you turn 18 that is exactly what you are going to do. You will feel ready to experience the world by yourself, which means leaving your parents and your brother. I won’t spoil where you are going to go, because it will be a great and unexpected surprise. But for once, changing and moving will have some positives as well as some negatives.

Life can be exciting when you can take control of how/where you transition to. At university, you will find out that it’s not as difficult to make meaningful friendships as it was when you were a teenager. Especially the first year will be like a breath of fresh air. Of course, people around you have different plans from you. Just as soon as God gives you a new close friend, He will take them away. Don’t get devastated just yet! Although in your teenage years you will feel completely alone in your faith, God will give you an open and loving church family.

Fast forward 3 years, and you will find yourself in the middle of this thing, called a pandemic. This basically means that touching people and going outside will be almost deadly. I can’t say that this will be a good time for you. Feelings of loneliness and stagnation only amplify when you are constantly stuck between the same 4 walls (though you will spend that time with your family. Cherish this! Once you go back to Ams-... I mean, back to university, you won’t be able to see them for a year!). You will be struggling to finish your thesis while feeling depressed and... well, lonely. But you’re strong! You will get through it.

Final fast forward to today, and I don’t know if the end to this pandemic is yet in sight. I don’t know how much longer it will be until you can see your family again. I don’t know what else is going to change. I’m only 22 after all, I don’t have all the answers! But one piece of advice, that I am still trying to follow even now, is that change is always a blessing from God. I know you want a lot of close friends, and you only manage to scrape by with one or two. I know it’s sad that seasons of your life change, and there is no going back. But take note of the people you have around you in every moment. They are all here because God has placed them in your life, and they are always a blessing. You can (and should) be a blessing for them too. You just have to find peace in the fact that life is all about change, and change can often be so good!

In the words of one of your future friends, “people in life will come and go, but Jesus is always in the centre.”

For you from you,
22 year-old Boriana

P. S. If you’re going to keep watching the Disney Channel, you might as well know that everywhere you go, you will be mistaken for an American. Just a little heads-up!