I’m writing to you today from 2014. You’re 17 and I’m about to turn 36. Gosh aren’t you/I old?
I could have spoken to you at mid twenties or even early thirties, but I really need you to hear what I’ve got to say at the start of this adult journey you’re making. I know you’re currently in the 6th Form and things are going well. Let that success drive you and keep the momentum going, otherwise you’re really going to struggle next year. Can you do that for me? Year 13 sucked for me, don’t let it do the same for you. Enjoy it. You’re so young and I know you’ve felt for the longest time like the world was on your shoulders and that you could see no light at the end of the tunnel, but believe me, it’s coming. The light will soon be yours. You wont have to be the one carrying all the responsibility, unless you choose to be.
I know you’ll probably hate to hear it, but school wont matter once you’ve left. Yes you’ll put your qualifications down on your CV for years to come, but no one’s going to care what you got, only that you got them at all. I know how badly you want to go to University at the moment. You will get in and you will get to house share just like you always wanted to. You’re going to thrive in the first year, but I hate to tell you it’s all going to fall apart from there on in (kind of like your A’levels). If I could suggest a change I’d think about a gap year or studying a different subject. You don’t really know what you want right now. All you know is you can’t wait to leave home and you got good results in Drama. Not the best reasons to start an educational journey. It’s not going to be a great time in your life, but when you get there remember, like everything, you will get through it.
I want you know that you are beautiful. You have no idea how gorgeous you are right now. You’re the perfect size (you think you’re fat. You’re not. I mean you will be, partly because you already think you are, but a size 14 is not fat darling). Boys will tell you in years to come that they fancied you in school, despite you feeling no one did and no one could. Why they couldn’t have told you in school I’m not sure, but hey that’s guys for you and anyway in 2 years time you’re going to meet the most supportive, courageous, unconditional love in a man who will never let you fall. You’ll go out with a complete git in the meantime and that’ll be a lesson in what you don’t want, but seriously, by the age of 19, you’ll have stumbled upon your forever guy.
Like I said, you will gain weight. A lot of weight. Seriously. Far to much. You’ll hate it at first (and go through some self esteem issues) but will learn to accept it. If I could ask you one thing, please don’t just accept it. You let your weight define you for so long and it stopped bothering you. It shouldn’t have. You’re probably going to struggle with it y/our whole life but please don’t ever just accept it. You will start to get a handle on it in 2013, but that’s such a long time to wait to feel good about your body. A body that despite all it’s failings has the most amazing capabilities.
Which brings me on to The Boy (I wont tell you what you call your son, I’ll let that be a surprise). You will go through difficult times in your thirties, believing he may never arrive, but he will. And he will never stop amazing you, trying you, testing you and teaching you. I wont lie to you honey, things are going to get pretty rocky. I wont tell you too much, but your experience of motherhood wont be easy. No one’s is. But yours is going to be tough. And you are going to be tough. And rise to every challenge thrown at you. He’ll be all you ever wanted, and so much more beside.
I suppose the biggest thing I think I need to tell you is that (and you soooo don’t get this yet, but) everything, everything in life is transient. Nothing is certain, nothing is sure. Life moves and shifts and rises and falls. The more you can lean into that and go with it, the better. Railing against it and hating the fact, takes up so much energy. And for what? Be appreciative of every day and every thing. Be open. Be honest, with others as well as yourself. Things wont always be peachy keen jelly bean, but you’ll only learn along the way.
I know I’ve made it sound like it’s all bad, but it’s not I promise. Man, I’m so jealous that you still get to see your future husband for the first time, to go to the Maldives, to snorkel in the Red Sea, to spend Christmas at Whatley Manor, to hold the first of your niecephews, to read at a friends wedding, to work in a job where you can really become yourself, to meet people who’s soul immediately calls out to yours and to kiss your baby for the first time.
Yeah, I think you’re going to be OK sweetie. We’ve made it this far after all.