19. A Letter to My Younger Self

I watched Amanda de Cadenet’s internet TV show series, ‘The Conversation’ a few years ago, and her advice to her 14-year-old self was to “keep her knickers on a bit longer.”

Like the song, mine will be too few to mention.

I will love. I will be loved. I will be in love with someone at the same time that they are in love with me. This will happen more than once. I will love someone who does not love me back and that will be agony. I will have my heart smashed a few times. Twice by the same person and I will still consider going back to them again.

I will definitely hurt people with things I’ve said. I will wish I could go back and do things differently. Sometimes, those words were bad timing and said out of jealousy, fear, anger, sleep deprivation, hunger, pain, lack of caffeine or nicotine withdrawal. Like me, those people might still be haunted by how those words made them feel, but not recall a single thing about the person who said them.

I will not report my assault to the police. I will choose not to go to the sentencing of my burglar. I will want to be able to potentially walk past him in the street, not recognise him, so not be reminded of what he did to me, and all those nights of sleep I never had.

I will be brave to leave, but cowardly not to give a proper explanation of why.

I sincerely hope that I will not be ” the one who got away.” If I was, I will not want them to tell me.

I will win easily. I will lose badly. I will not try. I will wish I tried harder.

I will cry and laugh. A lot.

People will tell me that the best sex is with someone you love who loves you, or that there’s no place like home, but sometimes I will want have to find out for myself. See the world with my own eyes. Listen more. Be curious and open.

Dita Von Teese:
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s
still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

My weight and what I look like will always be irrelevant.  There! I have saved myself a few years of worry.  The world’s perception of me is will not be how I see myself. Comparing my day to day life with other people’s edited hightlight reel on social media will not be healthy. It will always be conflicted in my own head.

Enjoying my own company will be my favourite thing to do. I will be told by many people that I am a brilliant friend, annoying, generous, kind, fun, honest, open, compassionate and weird. But not everyone will like me and that’s ok.

No-one will ever know what other people are going through. It will take me a long time to realise, identify, accept, and work through my personal mental health and issues of anxiety and depression. When that cloud melts, and my thoughts become free, I will be more creative and find myself with an abundance of time to think about other things. The flip-side is that more of my life will now be behind me than in front.

“When my head clears, I will have more time.”

I will never blame my parents: they were young and did the best they could at the time with what they had. Peri-menopause hormones will give me the experience of being  a 14-year-old girl all over again, yet that time round, I will be able to see around the corners of decisions I might make. I can change the ending if I know the consequences in advance.

If I could name three things that I would do differently, they would be these.

  1. Not to take up smoking. Not because it is bad for me, but because it is expensive, smelly, really hard to give up, and my circle of friends will become mostly those who smoke.
  2. To get a job and save money for a long-term plan. (travelling, car, rainy day saving, house deposit for security) Spending money as I get it, will give me fewer life choices. Debt will cripple me with worries.
  3. To cultivate a transferable skill that I am good at, to open up my opportunities, so I can possibly live abroad. Get fluent in a language, learn an instrument, how to cut hair, to drive or play sport.

Sometimes I will want to dip my toe in and sometimes I will jump right in. It’s my life. I cannot tell my younger self how my life turns out, because if I had the chance to live it again, circumstances would be very different.

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