A Letter To My 20 Year Old Self
Today marks another revolution around the sun for me, and I cannot help but reflect on the last few years which led me to thinking about the last time I reflected on the decade that was.
But before I share my current thoughts I life I thought I would repost the letter I wrote on my thirtieth to my 20 year old self.
17 July 2016
This month I welcomed my thirties. A day I cannot say I was looking forward to all that much.
A decade ago I would have told you that by 30 I would be married, with a kid (or two), my first home and the successful career I had studied so intensely for. A life approved and expected by society all nicely presented and wrapped with shiny bow. And for years my life continued play out piece by piece towards fulfilling the milestones society so impresses upon us.
The year I turned 23, was the year my life path changed.
I walked away from my first love, from buying my first home, from the life I knew. There was one too many lies. It was not me. I needed to find ME. What I thought that path to self discovery would involve I truly do not think I knew, but I can without a shadow of doubt tell you it was not what eventuated in the following eight years. I remember the eagerness, the innocence and the excitement with which I turned twenty, so curious about the coming decade of life I wanted to know what it would bring now and know it all.
To the twenty-year-old me that knew everything and wanted to know what next and more – I am glad you didn’t, you were not in the slightest way prepared for what was to come. There are lives more shocking, timider, more out of the box I am sure – but this is our story.
To the 20 year old who wanted to know it all...
I am you, but a decade older.
You do graduate those degrees.
You do truly love, and what you have now is real.
You do travel as you dream of.
And you do get the job you want after you graduate.
Now I don’t want to scare you. But this is where the expectations of your impending twenties and what becomes our reality take very different paths.
Who you are right now can never comprehend who you will truly become all these years later.
Life doesn’t happen as you imagine, expect or even in the same direction you know and recognise.
You get your heart broken, it changes you forever.
You don’t put that deposit you have on a home.
You do have a fucking epic time for the rest of the year.
You don’t have that baby.
You do become a godmother, it is incomparable love and bonds you forever.
You do have debt.
You don’t wonder about drugs anymore. You try them, you like them, too much, you stop.
You move for that job, it is really great. You however are not. You are irresponsible and enjoy trouble too much.
You learn adult actions have adult consequences. You are broke and lost.
You seek friends in places where substance does not grow. You seek intimacy but are left feeling used and alone.
You lose friends. You hurt people. You party.
You lose more friends. You hurt more people.
You try new drugs. You try all drugs. You are an addict.
Your world is different.
You don’t bat eyelids at criminal records, police raids, and living with security cameras.
You feel like you are in the clouds, above the clouds, you are a bird.
You suffer anxiety, you are a shell of your former self.
You are scared. You are alone. You are nearly gone.
You are given an unexpected hand, you take it, and a bond forms that will never leave you.
You become a mum. To a tiny puppy, she reminds you how to love.
You seek help. It inspires you to learn more.
Your rehab takes shape in the form of degree number three.
Your friends are few but they matter.
You focus on health. You rebuild yourself piece by piece.
You start working and socialising again, you are in control.
You fall for someone.
You study hard, work harder and bender. You feel like you have control.
You enjoy acid. You see colours. You love.
You fall down the rabbit hole.
You are broke. You leave to make it stop.
You are naive but naive by choice for you know better.
Your heart gets hurt but only the piece you have allowed to be.
You move. You find family. You find simplicity. You find a role model.
You are the most yourself you have ever been.
You end up in hospital. You don’t know why. They don’t know why.
You are sick.
You are determined, you work through your fear.
You work. You work harder than you have in a decade.
You have surgery. You recover.
Your love for whiskey sends you back. You recover. You go back.
You say enough.
You end your long relationship with nicotine, and even put down the whiskey.
You turn to nutrition. You focus.
Your manic obsessive compulsive personality is finally given a positive outlet.
You transform your physical self.
You transform your mental self.
You won’t believe a word of this, you cannot see it possible and that is how it should be.
You will have to live it all, for it is our story to narrate. all you must know is to regret no piece of our path for it is its combination that is what has made me who we are proud to be today.
Do not beat yourself up for the choices you make, for you make the best ones you know how to at the time.
Each decision we have made has shaped our life and created this person you see before you.
I am proud of who we have become, it wasn’t what you anticipate it to be, but it’s our story, our path and our reality.
Not knowing is what made it such a terrifying, daunting but rewarding adventure and I wouldn’t change that for all the insight in the world.
Enjoy the now, 20 year old me, it is the one thing that you truly own and will always be in possession of. You are stronger than you will know for a long time.
Love the me which you will one day be.