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A Letter To Myself: “Accept Yourself As Imperfectly Perfect”

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Dear me,

What’s up? I hope you are doing well. Nowadays, I am not getting any letters from you. Though we talk every day, but letters have their own essence… isn’t it? I know we both are fond of letters and that’s why I thought I should write a letter to you.

So girl, slow down for a second—I have something to share with you. I know life is not the same, the way your “mini-me”, your inner child thought it would be. It has been awesome, boring, fun, crazy, painful, with lots of expected and unexpected things.

In short, there is always a lesson to be learned.

But despite all these, you’ve managed to keep your head up. I have seen you stayed strong even in the worst situations, it’s a great victory. Thank you for not giving up. Well, I must say your “don’t give up” attitude is because of your genes.

Writing letters to oneself can be quite cathartic. Representational image.

I have noticed that you have changed a lot in the past 3-4 years.

Actually, I should say you are back and damn comfortable in your own skin. I can see the real Prerna, the way you were in school, but now the more polished version of that. During our past life journey, you were naïve in the real world and I left you there as it is.

I am very sorry that I was not great enough to keep alive your mini-me. I am sorry I was lost. Worst of all, I witnessed I was dying inside you and couldn’t do much about it. Instead, I should have told you: Don’t try to fit in. Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be ashamed of who you really are.”

Then I wouldn’t have lost you.

But I am proud of you despite all the dark clouds you found the ray of hope. How strongly you picked up broken pieces, put them together, and remade yourself and your mini-me.

This change made you more beautiful, gracefully strong, and more independent—in the same way, the child in you imagined her future self.

I can see how beautifully you are embracing your quiet introvert personality. Self-love and care are pouring on you. And, you got back this attitude: “main apni favorite hoon (I am my own favourite)“.

I know you work really hard on yourself. And you are still a way to go. But sometimes you are way too hard on yourself. You are your worst critic. I understand discipline, sincerity, planning, ethics, and principles are core parts of you.

But, when something doesn’t go well you get upset and stressed. Thus, you miss the beauty of the moments. Don’t push yourself too hard for trying to be perfect. You are perfect, especially with your flaws. Accept yourself as “imperfectly perfect”.

Representational image.

So with that, be gentle with yourself. Everybody is dealing with their fears and insecurities. You are not alone. It takes time and everything will be fine. I know it’s easy said than done. But you are the one who stood for yourself and didn’t settle for the life you don’t deserve.

Wounds take time to heal, sweetheart, and that’s okay. Everything happens for a reason and what has happened till now leads you here.

Things worked out exactly the way they should be and the way you wished. Success, failures, heartwarming, heartbreaking, were all worth it. So, breathe and trust the supreme being.

I know you are very much grateful for this life. After all, you have got such a great supportive family, a true friend in every sense, and indeed the best partner you ever hoped for.

Oh, it suddenly struck me do you still believe that Hogwarts exists? Good! Give me a high-five. This is the only imaginary thing from your childhood you are still keeping real.

And, do you still talk to your plants? Great! Swings are still the way to your imaginary world? Awesome! Your inner child is still alive. I know you have a lot on your plate these days.

But its glad you ordered that unicorn mug. I know how much you love unicorns and how you get that happy face when seeing them.

So, my all-time thinking and observant young woman, let me tell you this you are complete and whole. You don’t need anyone’s approval for it.

And this time, sweetie, I am not letting you go ever. The way we both are connected no one will understand. Sometimes in our own imaginary world, sometimes on a tour with a book, sometimes crying under the shower, holding the emotions to the breaking point, etc.

Whatever it is but it was always you and me, forever…

I have shared a letter which I wrote for myself hoping that you’ll be inspired to write your own love letter. I am sure you will be surprised how this little act can work as a great healing.

Authored by Prerna Dhulekar

This letter was first published on www.justmorealive.com

Featured image, taken from Pxfuel, is for representational purposes only.
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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