December 21 – Future self.
Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)
Dear 28 year old self
Give this freelancing your all; even if it doesn’t work out, trying and not succeeding is better than not trying at all.
Make sure you show your husband how much you love and appreciate him. Never take him for granted.
Don’t have any regrets if your plans don’t all work out; things happen for a reason. But equally, if they don’t come to pass this year, there is still definitely time.
And finally, for the love of God, do the forward roll on the trapeze.
Your 33 year old self
Dear 18 year old self
Although chronologically there’s not a massive gap between you then and me now, in terms of experience it feels we are a lifetime apart.
The first piece of advice I want to give you, and the most important, is not to worry about things. I know at the moment you worry a lot, even waking up in the middle of the night and panicking about how it’s all going to work out post university. It will. Don’t sweat the small stuff. By the time you finish your course, life will have aligned itself very nicely; you’ll have a new house with lovely housemates, and a brilliant job will have been offered to you completely out of the blue.
Most importantly (and I know this is the thing you worry about the most), in a little while you are going to meet someone. And he will, in the most clichéd expression available, sweep you off your feet. He is worth all the waiting you’ve been doing, so in the meantime stop feeling inadequate amongst all the happy couples around you, smile a secret smile and know that you have someone amazing waiting in the wings. He’s in it for the long run, too; we lucked out with this one.
You’re going to be offered a place at the University of Toronto to study for your Masters. Do your 28 year old self a favour – accept it with joy in your heart and a spring in your step. Don’t panic and hesitate and stress about it all – just say yes, shut your eyes, and jump into a new life. It will all work out; the boy will wait for you, and eventually you will be sitting here wearing a wedding ring having just married him in front of everyone you love. Some of those will be people you met in Canada, who have become important friends in your life.
Don’t compare yourself with others. I know you do it, from how clever you feel you are to what you look like to how popular you are. But please stop. Have confidence in yourself. (This will improve when you go to Canada, but start trying now anyway.)
Enjoy having your friends so close and being able to spontaneously head out to the pub for a pint. By the time you become me it will take three months’ advance planning and diary co-ordination to get more than two of you in the same room together.
And finally, keep experimenting with the colour of your hair, as at the moment you have no-one else to please but yourself. Soon it will be very difficult to keep your hair the shade of red you love due to a certain person’s, hmm, shall we say, issues surrounding this particular colour. So enjoy it while you can!
Your 28 year old self