Dear 24 year old me,
Just when you think think you have things together
With your job, with moving out, with your girlfriend, and with your therapy progress.
You’re about to have some realisations about your life.
Dear 23 year old me,
You’re going to leave University,
And go through that confusing transition period,
Where you question your entire fucking purpose,
And reflect on the education system,
With questions of,
You will meet a girl who will make you feel special,
But eventually abandon you.
You will be obsessed with this need to be special.
It’s not the first time this has happened.
Dear 22 year old me,
You’re going to have your heart broken,
By the first person that you truly loved,
And you will hate yourself,
And blame yourself,
And cry for days on end,
But everyone is right- You will get over this.
You will meet some new amazing people that you will feel honoured to have as friends.
You will develop your individuality
And you will be happy.
Dear 21 year old me,
You’re going to start resenting your girlfriend,
Because you’ve made her your entire life,
And that isn’t enough,
Your life lesson here is to retain your independence in love.
Dear 20 year old me,
You’re going to leave your tiny village,
And move to the big city,
To live with your Dad who you barely speak to,
And fall in love too quickly with a drunk girl who stole your vodka,
But she will become what you consider to be your biggest achievement,
And these relationships will shape who you become.
Dear 19 year old me,
You’re going to tell your family about your sexuality,
And you’re going to drink 4 litres of strongbow at 11am on a weekday in order to cope,
Prepare for the ‘What the fuck is wrong with this family’ and the ‘Are you sure it’s not in a phase’
And all the other generally ignorant reactions.
Don’t worry though, they will grow with the rest of the world in tolerance.
You will abandon religion and decide to think for yourself.
Your neighbour will tell you she doesn’t agree with your sexuality ‘choice’.
A random guy in a bar will tell you your sexuality is disgusting.
Also just a heads up- You’re going to fall for your straight best friend and it will be utterly shit, but you will laugh and wonder what you were thinking eventually. This really isn’t your finest moment, but the alcohol will make you forget most of it.
Dear 18 Year old me,
I know that cliff feels like the answer,
But I promise these dark days won’t last forever.
Put the alcohol down.
Put the knife down.
Put the self deprecation down.
It’s ok to not be ok.
Dear 17 year old me,
You’re going to run away,
And during this time you’ll realise how socially anxious and misunderstood you are,
You are completely under-appreciated,
But you will learn to love yourself for exactly who you are one day.
Dear 16 year old me,
You have ideas about what you want to be,
But there will be blocks in your way,
But these blocks will eventually lead the way.
Dear 15 year old me,
You’re going to choose subjects in school that you don’t excel in,
You’re doing it because you’re afraid to fail at what you’re good at.
Dear 14 year old me,
Your brother is going to go through things that you will be considered too young to understand,
No one will talk you through these things,
All you will know is that your brother will always be your brother,
And you will never look at him as just someone who messed around with drugs and ended up with a mental illness.
Dear 13 year old me,
You’re going to start feeling like you don’t know who you are,
You won’t understand this identity problem until you are much older,
But it’s ok.
Dear 12 year old me,
It sounds weird but you’re going to pull your hair out,
It will build tension and result in relief,
(And a bad hair style),
No one will realise it’s a psychological disorder,
You will only find out when you catch a documentary on channel 4 in several years time.
Dear 11 year old me,
You are going to overhear your sister talk about your Dad being gay,
No one will notice you in the room,
And no one will realise you know,
You will feel compelled to tell a friend,
And it will turn out that their Dad is gay too,
You won’t ever really care who your Dad loves,
But you will fear that everyone might think you are gay too,
Which you don’t know for sure yet,
But you are,
And one day you will be entirely comfortable and proud of that fact.
Dear 10 year old me,
You feel too stupid for the 11+,
You’re actually smarter than you realise you know.
Dear 9 year old me,
Your Dad is going to leave,
And you will struggle to access your own emotions regarding this.
Dear 8 year old me,
You are setting fires,
And engaging in harmful sexual behaviour.
No one knows.
But for the most part you are a very compliant child.
Dear 7, 6, 5 year old me.
You are the special one.
You won’t tell anyone.
You won’t know how to articulate what’s happening.
Fear, confusion, love, and hate will be a constant state.
You will lock these memories in a hidden space in your brain because it’s too much to bare.
You will be touched in ways your shouldn’t be touched.
It will be embedded in your bones,
And you will think it’s your fault.
This will impact every aspect of your being,
Relationships will be difficult,
Sex will be difficult,
Accepting love will be difficult,
Processing anger will be difficult,
Loving yourself will be difficult,
Engaging with people will be difficult,
You will daydream horrific things and psychoanalyse your every move,
And uncovering the memories will feel shattering and result in shame and feelings of being intensely alone.
But it will not destroy you and it will not define you,
For within yourself you are at least partially solid,
And you will come through this.
Dear 25 year old me,
You’re actually alright you know.