You probably don’t realise I’m talking to you because you won’t earn that nickname until you get to uni. Which you do, of course. And not to study forensics (Dad gets over it). You’ll meet some crazy bastards there. These crazy bastards become your very best of friends. Treasure them.
I wanted to write to you to let you know that we’ve made it to 29 and 3/4. I KNOW! Surprised?
You’ll be even more surprised to learn that we grow up to be a buyer. Just like Rachel from friends. Except it’s WAY less glamorous and we DEFINITELY can’t afford a studio apartment in NYC… But it’s buying. And for the most part, its fucking ace. Trust your gut. When you’re right, you’re right. Go with it.
The reason for this letter is that you’re at a cross-roads right now. The first of many, I can assure you. Clearly you make the correct choices when the time comes. But it’s going to feel, for a while, like you haven’t.
You find the most amazing friends that will love you unconditionally. You’ll be a bridesmaid. A few times. And your sister will become your best mate.
Things have already been tough for a while, and I’m sorry to say that some more bad shit is about to happen. And it will keep happening for a few years. But I promise, wholeheartedly, that it gets better.
You’re stronger than most people give you credit for, including yourself. On your darkest days, you will find light. You just have to look for it. You are nails. Believe me.
So you know, Mum gets better. SHE is nails. Hold her hand.
Ask dad questions. He knows a LOT and he will help you immeasurably.
Hold Granny and Grandad tight.
Walk Jess when you’re told to. In fact, stop being such an asshole to mum and dad. And to Lissie.
Perhaps the most significant change for you won’t happen until you’ve made it past 25. You start running. I KNOW. We fucking HATE running. But not for much longer….
You’ve spent a great deal of time comparing yourself to others without realising what you have. If I could have the time back now that was spent hating this body, I could put that time to damned good use. So stop it.
There will be fat days (there are always fat days) but one day you will power yourself through 70.3 miles worth of triathlon with no fuel other than soreen (seriously), juice that tastes like it should be alcoholic (definitely isn’t) and sheer fucking grit.
What I’m saying is: When you reach the point of change or no change, make the fucking change.
What happens over the next few years alters you completely. You are stronger, faster, more awake (sometimes not more awake. Without going into too much detail and scaring you off completely, there are 5am starts. In the rain. In lycra. And I’m not sorry) you are healthy and happy and eventually you will run a marathon, become a triathlete and aspire to be an Ironman. Here’s the crucial bit: YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EAT CAKE AND NOT PUT WEIGHT ON.
Do not let the negativity of others dent your self-worth. Do not let self-doubt get in the way of what you think you deserve.
Stop trying to bleach your hair and definitely don’t do it with Domestos: Gwen Stefani you are not. You’ll pay for that mistake until the breakage stops in about 6 months. Even then your hair is never the same.
Stop lusting after boys who treat you badly. Especially ones who make you think it’s your fault when they don’t treat you nicely. Tequila is absolutely 100% not your friend. It is a sultry temptress that will lure you into believing your problems are solved. Then you’ll wake up naked in an empty bath with a bath matt draped over you. There is sick everywhere.
And please study harder for that final exam. Because finding out you missed a first class honours degree by 8 marks is a total pisser. (Not that it makes a blind bit of difference to where we’ve ended up thus far…)
Most importantly, if you’re going to take in any of this…. Be kind, be brave, be yourself. Nothing is worth doing if it doesn’t inspire you or bring you joy.
Life is short.