Day 1 – A letter to yourself as a child
Dear little one,
You won’t appreciate your life until you are verging on twenty-five. Even then, you will still have no idea just how lucky you are. You won’t appreciate how easy it is to play, how unnecessary it is to worry and how much time you have to smile. And it is OK that you won’t. It is only when you are tipping towards twenty-five that you will be able to appreciate it.
Mum and Dad wind you up at the moment. You don’t want to tidy your room. You don’t think it’s fair that Emily has more whipped cream than you. You feel aggrieved that you’re going without pocket money this week. You broke the lampshade, and now can’t go to dancing. While they might seem like they’re doing it to send you crazy, you’ll come to realise, in the end, that they love you and that you probably deserve it. Believe it or not, in the end, they will be the best people to come home to at the end of the day, and the only people who can, and will, never fail to put a smile on your face.
Emily and Lydia are annoying too. That will probably never change. At least, I hope it never does. You have an incredible family. You’ll know that soon enough.
In the years to come, there will be so much that comes along to test you. You will be convinced that your best friends will be the ones you will grow old with. While that’s not always true (there will be that awkward moment when someone says hello in Brewery Tavern and you have no idea who they are…), there will be some who will never leave. But the important thing isn’t the length of time that you have known someone; no. The important thing is that there will be people in your life that overwhelm you with kindness, laughter and compassion. There will be people you meet at University, in-betweeny jobs, teaching, who will impact you more in 5 minutes than a lifetime of fake people ever will. If you lose a friend, you will get that gut-wrenching, scalding feeling in your chest and you will feel like your life is over. It’s not; sometimes the universe has a habit of making us more aware of the right path than we do.
You’re lucky at the moment – you’ll be even luckier in the future. Keep dreaming, keep smiling and keep fighting for what you believe. You’re still ballsy in the future, don’t worry – it’ll get you in trouble a few times, but there’s no need to panic.
Finally, love yourself. This is hypocritical of me, because this is hard to do. I feel like if I had known this when I was your age, it would make twenty-five year old me do it more consistently.
Now go play. Those dreams will come round fast.
All my love,