Dear Childhood Me,
Spoiler alert – life doesn’t go as you expect, but don’t worry, it turns out pretty good!
Firstly – 30 obviously sounded far enough away for you to think you should have all your “life stuff” figured out and that you’d be ready to start your family. You’re kind of right. You want the husband, house and career all sorted by 30 years old. Good news – this happened! You wanted to be pregnant and have your first baby before 30’s sun set for the last time. This hasn’t worked out so well. As it currently stands, we’re 4 months away from turning 31, and we’re just about keeping a house, two cats, a husband and me alive. Probably the less said about the plants that have been sacrificed throughout the process the better! Mother-in-law has requested a pink grandchild, but you’re not quite ready yet. Anyway, about that career…
You suck at science all through school, but actually do quite well on the science-y parts in your degree. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you didn’t get in to university to study forensic anything. Nope. Nor did you get in to read law. That ruled out a career in pathology or becoming a solicitor. Instead, psychology was your degree and you end up by some random happenstance to work in HR (I know you don’t know what that is yet), and do you know what? After a couple of rocky years, you love it. Also, you didn’t go to Dundee University like you had threatened to do – it was Sheffield Hallam University, but that was quite far enough!
The friends that you thought were your life during secondary school, that you were always going to be BFFs with? They’re still around, but y’know. Boys. Instead, you come to realise that actually, the person who you fought with regularly (your sister), is actually your in-built best friend, and she rocks. She will be forever your partner in crime. You’ll do all sort of things together – go to London to watch one of your favourite bands, organise a trip to Paris for Mum’s significant birthday, run together, bail each other out, cry on each other and laugh so hard together. You’ll need to get past that holiday in Cyprus first though.
On the thought of partners in crime, you know that blonde haired boy that recently knocked your pencil tin out of your hands while he was coming down the stairs, before declaring that he never wanted to see you again (I can’t remember what caused this vicious outburst, though I’m sure you can)? You married him. Sure, he went to a different school for secondary school, but eventually because of this thing called the internet which allows you to talk to people all over the world without actually using your voice, or hogging the telephone (I know – mind blown, you’ve only just got Encarta 95), and then this thing called Facebook (which is like a friend group on a big notice board on the internet), you get back in touch and eventually it’s “Stephanie and Matthew sitting in a tree…”. I won’t finish the rhyme for you. You like to remind him of this anecdote quite regularly.
There are some things I wish you had not done – you will suffer with spots quite badly, and the bad news is that they aren’t gone by the time you’re 30, but please don’t pick them. You’ll scar. I know you will. You’ll also develop some pretty naff coping mechanisms. One of them will be food, and you will be a fat person. But you won’t always be that way. Also, you know Top Cat? Yeah, you know, the horse that is too crazy to ride? She doesn’t grow old gracefully by the way, and you decide that it will be fun to ride her and help her owner out around the yard. Top Cat will break your fingers (not once, but twice – three fingers, two separate occasions) and also stand in your armpit and that will be the MOST painful bruise you’ll experience in living memory. Thankfully, aforementioned sister will catch Top Cat, help you turn her out, and then take you to hospital.
Lastly, know that Mum and Dad are right. Nothing ever turns out as badly as you think it will, even if it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. At 30, know that you’re okay. No. You’re doing well.
Love every moment, even the ones you eventually cringe at.
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