I don’t know exactly what inspired me to write a letter to my 25 year-old self mid-way through a Halloween makeup tutorial on YouTube (which serves absolutely no purpose to me as I won’t be doing anything for the holiday anyway) but I’m just gunna roll with it.
Today is the 29th of October, 2014 at 1.02pm. It’s probably important to note that I am 21, although I’m sure I could have figured that out by the date. Anyway. I am home sick from work (where I work as a Personal Assistant at a law firm and I trust you aren’t still there) with tonsillitis. I am feeling particularly sorry for myself today, more so than I have been this past week, for a multitude of reasons. Most paramount however, is probably the impending quarter-life/existential crisis I’m experiencing. Note: I say impending but it’s more like an ever-present, perpetual feeling. Like, it really is constant. Do you remember that? Do you remember how shitty and unhappy you were for so long in 2014? Please tell me it passed. The other reasons can be attributed to a weighty sensation of loneliness as a result of yet another one your famous epiphany’s. Loneliness is also fairly fucking constant these days. Please tell me you figured out how to make friends.
Do you remember… Harry (the ellipsis is to indicate me thinking of an alternative for his real name. I always liked the name Harry)? A guy who is even now, pretty insignificant, but somehow acted as a catalyst for all of these feelings. I ‘met’ him on Tinder (I wonder if it will still exist in four years) and we talked a bit through text, mostly Snap Chat though (same goes) and one Sunday he snapped me asking to pick him up from the Northern. I did. We went for a drive (which he hated but said to enjoy because I admitted to him that I love drives) and had some pretty good chats. Nothing too deep and meaningful, but some harmless flirtatious banter and general shit-yarning none-the-less. Anyway, post-drive we concluded that he should come up to the apartment to watch an episode of Suits and to snuggle. We did. But I was too self-conscious and insecure to actually undress myself, at least into something more snuggle-able, so the snuggling was a little sub-par. Long-story short, I dropped him off in the morning and that was kinda the end of it. And I was so confused for so long because I seriously thought we were such a match and quite honestly, would be good together (please tell me my judgement has improved and you haven’t allowed history to repeat itself. Or at least if you have, that you handle rejection better than you did at 21). However, much to my dismay, we weren’t.
Although I have just really been wanting an excuse to get that story off my chest, there is a point to it. To enlighten you as to why you were hit with such a weight of sadness, loneliness, self-doubt and insecurity. Or rather, the realisation that you had in fact been feeling this way for most of the year and had, up until that point, been suppressing those feelings. Rather than acknowledge and deal with them, you suppressed them only to make it worse when they inevitably surfaced.
And I can honestly say that it’s not the fact that a guy I liked didn’t like me back. I mean, shit happens right? Rather, it’s that he opened my eyes, if only for a few hours, to what my life could be, should be, and that my life is not that at all. My life isn’t what I want. It’s not late night texts with a cute guy. It’s not long drives listening to good music. It’s not snuggles and Netflix. It’s not spontaneous. It’s not road trips and camping. It’s not nights in with a few glasses of wine and good company. It’s not nights out with a few shots of vodka and good company. It’s not travelling the world. It’s not writing. It’s not laughing. It’s not smoking on rooftops talking about life. It’s not big city lights and an impressive skyline. It’s not going to gigs. It’s not inspiring. It’s not social. It’s not loving myself. It’s not a sunny disposition. It’s not connecting with people and sharing stories. It’s not cute coffee dates with friends talking about our fun-filled weekends. It’s not generally feeling really fucking happy all the time. It’s not living the life of my dreams. And it’s certainly not living the life I would be jealous of if I saw someone else living it.
It’s blinding myself with the light of my phone playing Bubble Witch while snuggling my cat at 11.00pm. It’s short drives to the supermarket and back to buy junk food, listening to whatever mainstream bullshit the radio blasts out. It’s my legs wrapped around my tri-pillow streaming American Horror Story in shitty quality from an illegitimate website. It’s boring. It’s camping out in my living room. It’s nights in drinking wine alone. It’s nights in drinking wine alone wishing I was out having a wild time with my friends. It’s staying in the confines and comfort of my depressing hometown. It’s feeling uninspired to write. It’s wishing there was someone here to laugh at that with. It’s smoking on my balcony alone, with nowhere to look but straight into my neighbour’s bathroom. It’s a small city where the lights are out at 9.00pm, where even if the buildings were tall enough, wouldn’t make a skyline worth looking at anyway. It’s going to a trashy bar adjacent to a trashy strip club to support my Mum’s partner with a turn out of approximately seven on a Sunday. It’s uninspiring. It’s anti-social, but not by some kind of introverted preference. It’s feeling insecure. It’s a constant uninviting expression of resting bitch face. It’s shutting people out and putting up walls. It’s coffee with my Mum on my lunch break complaining about how unfulfilling my job is. It’s generally feeling really fucking melancholy all the time. It’s living vicariously through other’s living their dreams. It’s being jealous of the lives of others.
I know you got it back. The spark and zest for life.
I just wish you could tell me how.
Because I am pretty fucking tired of trying to figure it out.
And if, by something depressing act of fate you haven’t got it back, you need to listen the fuck up. Quit your job, take out a loan, adopt the carefree, spontaneous, free spirited mentality you had when you were 20 and take the fuck off. If you haven’t been back to London yet, go there. Or New York. Wherever! I don’t really care where you go or what you do, but you always wanted to travel the world and meet exciting people with stories to share, you wanted to go to concerts and drink beer in the sun with a good people. So go do it. You wanted to go on adventures and not waste a second of your time here, because you know that in the vast scheme of things it is short. You wanted to feel good about yourself and radiate love and happiness. You wanted to write and inspire people. You wanted to live a life worth remembering. You wanted to document experiences. You wanted to help people. You wanted to make a mark. You wanted a love that consumed you with passion and excitement and to never settle for anything less. In fact, you didn’t want to settle for anything, period.
Actually you know what? This letter serves no purpose to my future self. I will have already done those things. I will already be living this life. If I read this in four years, I’m only going to be reminded and severely pissed off that I was foolish enough to let myself live in unhappiness and dissatisfaction for so long.
And there it is. The answer to the question I have been asking myself all year.
You can’t expect change if you don’t make one.
To me, from me -
Get off your ass, get out of those horrendously unflattering graphic fat-pants and unicorn printed crew neck sweater, have a shower, trim your split ends, get your nose pierced, clear your skin up, find your balls, quit your job, buy a ticket, say good-bye, pack your things and never fucking look back at the shit-hole town that squandered your dreams and dwindled your spirit.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined. And stop waiting for the right time, because there’s no such fucking thing.
And be sure to remind yourself often: the only difference between your life and the lives of those you wish you were living is that they stopped waiting, got off their asses, and started doing.