Today's blog is addressed to my 25-year-old self. A bit of a pivotal year. I'm not sure how she'd take a letter from her future self. But here goes.
Dear Darling Girl,
I know that this is something that you've never been called, but at this time, twenty years on, I’m going to be very kind to you. You've not been afforded many kindnesses in your life until now and as you’re about to make a decision, the ramifications of which will reverberate through your life for the next ten or so years, kindness will help you on your way.
You don’t know this yet, you’re just following your instinct at the moment. I commend you for this. You’re still one of the bravest people I will ever know, though for some, the decision you’re about to make verges on lunacy. The decision to stay in the UK will form you. It’s okay, it will work out alright although it will feel like you have to look over your shoulder for a very long time after, not getting close to people, not feeling like you belong anywhere. You will gain some things, lose others. Most of all, you'll work out how resilient you are.These are large and hard lessons you'll be learning.
What do you want to know about life twenty years on?
On the good side of things you’re employed, employable and solvent. You have great friends. Your life is interesting and varied though you will be seeking more down time as the years go on. You’re fit and healthy for the most part. You’re not lonely. Your car is cool, well, you think it is anyway.
There aren't really bad things in your life, something that you have to remember and remind your self of often as you travel through the next twenty years. You’re going to start a long and solitary journey of self-discovery. It’s a different road to many, but it doesn't make it any less worthwhile.
You will remember this as you travel the world, see amazing things and befriend incredible people. Your love of beauty will see you working on a Greek Island, traipsing around the grand cities of Spain, strolling down Fifth Avenue, taking in the great galleries of the world. One day you will unexpectedly find that Picasso makes sense and that you will love the hotchpotch of Bangkok as much as your adore walking through the woods of England. You are incredibly blessed in this way. Not many have the freedom to do what you do.
You will find yourself telling people you knew from your past that you have never married and have no children from time to time. Don’t try and listen for the visage of sympathy, you’re fine just the way you are. There is plenty of love in your life when you look at it, more than many people have in apparently happy marriages or in large families.
There will be two people who cross your path, both who are as messed up as you in many ways. You will learn a lot from them, mostly about being kind to yourself and the necessity to walk away. There is somebody else who you know deep down, that you are tightly bound, yet destined to not be together. Think about the movie Ladyhawke – Georgio Moroder sound track and all. The eclipse may come, but get on with your life in the mean time. The pull to him is stronger than the tides. Breathe through it is the only advice I can give there. You'll meet him soon. He will be just as befuddled by the whole experience.
You’ll end up doing some incredible things. You won’t believe me when I tell you that you’re not a bad runner and that your love of physical exercise will become near obsessive at times. If I could tell you one things, get exercising early. It will become your time to think, relax and recharge. Foster your love of writing. It will see you very well. Remember to laugh a lot too. You forget about this sometimes.
Another thing, keep your alcohol to a minimum. It does you no favours in many ways – especially red wine. Stick to beer and gin in limited amounts. The less sugar you eat, the happier you will be too. Keep this in mind when you discover the multitude of ice cream places in Melbourne. Oh, and that advice your Uncle John gave you about saving 10% of your salary each week – do something about making it happen. Even if you are in your forties when you finally do something about this advice.
There's not much else that I want to tell you at this time. Just know that your decision to stay in England will form you. It will make you brave, crafty and a little suspicious, but other parts of the journey will feed your soul. The drama group will get you out of your shell. Learning massage and the healing arts will help you be compassionate. Friends will come and go, but some are still there in contact over means you will only know about in years to come.
Keep strong, Darling Girl. Check and double check things over the next few months.
Oh, and if you can, get some antibiotics before you hit Dublin. You nearly ended up with pneumonia there and the chest X-Ray at the Mater Hospital is not something you want to repeat.
Also, remember, you are loved. You have a handy way of rejecting people. Let it in. It makes life a hell of a lot more special when you do.
Your 45-year-old self xx