Way back in January I guest posted on Chosen Chaos with a letter to my 18 year old self. Now Jamie has got together everyone that did the same in one awesome party. Click on the link to come and join in. Bring a bottle!
Before you go, have a read of what I would say to my 18 year old self and have a think what you would say to yours...
There are a few things that I would like you to figure out sooner than you end up doing so listen hard please.
No seriously, put the beer down, pay attention.
Your body is amazing. It is going to build actual people. Actual, living, thinking, feeling, wonderful people. And then it is going to feed them so they grow big and strong and loved. AM-AZ-ING. Sure it doesn’t do the best job in the world, it misses some bits off but that makes those people more special, not you any less special, although it will take you a while to figure that out too. My point is don’t give it such a hard time because it isn’t exactly how you would like it to be. Your thighs are not the size of a rhinos and the size of your boobs is not as important as you think right now. The fact that they can sustain life - that is what is important. In about 2 years time your obsession with your weight and dieting and trying to look like what really would only resemble a stick is going to come to a head. It’s going to be messy. There are going to be tears and drama and drugs and professionals and relationship breakdowns that will never recover. Physically you will get over it but emotionally not so much. So how about we just skip that bit and start appreciating your body now? Yeah? Cool, OK.
Men. They won’t make you feel better about yourself. Stop picking ones you know you can’t have. I know that you think it is easier to be in these casual, fleeting relationships. But you are wrong friend, wrong. Have some respect for yourself please and move on when you realise they are no good, don’t try and change them or help them, or worse, persuade them that they are interested. They are not worth your time, energy and tears.
One day, when you think you will be left on the shelf forever (ridiculous at 24!) you will meet someone that won’t let you off with a casual relationship. Someone who stalks you until you agree to go on a date (sounds scarier than it is, there is this website called Facebook that has somehow made stalking not only OK, but pretty standard — weird I know, but what can I say, the world changes in the next 10 years). Someone that genuinely likes you for who you are. Someone who can see all the things you can’t. Someone whose favourite thing about you is how much you can make him laugh, not how skinny or successful or drunk you are. Someone that will turn out to be your soul mate. Yes, yes, I know you don’t believe in all that ‘the one’ nonsense, I am still sceptical myself but honestly — you are wonderful together, I don’t see how anyone else could fit so perfectly with you. So now you know he’s coming, just wait patiently right? Avoid all those other jokers and in turn avoid all that heartache.
So that’s what you do wrong but now we have sorted those let’s talk about what you did right.
Travel. Do it. Leave home, go to the other side of the world. Then go back and then go away again. The experiences you will have won’t all be good but the lessons you learn will be and the friendships you make, even the ones that don’t last will stay with you forever. And it comes in handy when you meet that man we were talking about — he’s not exactly a small town guy. Or a one town guy. You’ll see.
Go to school, to 6th form and to university and get yourself an education. The qualifications themselves will mean little in the end mainly because you make a terrible choice of what to study for your degree but you know what? You get that 2:1 so it’s not all bad. And as you always said, it was too much to ask you to make that decision at 18. The people you meet and the experiences you have make it all worthwhile. Friends for life everyone said before you went and they were right.
Love, laugh, drink and be merry. Cry, learn, grow. Be strong, be weak. Be a good friend. Be yourself. Don’t be ashamed or afraid.
So there you go. In the next 10 years you are going to experience highs higher than you ever knew possible and lows like you would not believe but that’s adulthood for you. You are going to learn some hard lessons so it would make life easier if you just got those first two I mentioned out the way. But remember this — you are lucky. You are lucky to have a body that works and is healthy. You are lucky to be able to travel around half the world and see the things you get to see. You are lucky to have the opportunities you have had and will have. You are lucky to fall in love with someone so amazing and be able to have children. Sometimes you lose sight of this, try not to.
One last thing — when you go out tonight, how about doing just the one shot of sambucca instead of 6? No? OK, well don’t say I didn’t warn you, tomorrow is going to hurt.