I’ve recently read some blogs where the authors had written to their younger selves. The two most poignant I read were by the lovely Cas at Mummyneversleeps and @ginlington who writes to her 15 year old self here
I didn’t want to write to my 15/16 year old self. I don’t think I did much up to that point which influenced my later life. I wanted to write to my older self.
There is a clear point in my life at which I could’ve taken the road less travelled, been brave and fought the nettles and brambles on the overgrown path where few dare to tread (or did then, it’s not such a big thing today)
At age 19 I registered with an au pair agency in London.
I went down to London for the day. I met with three mothers, all completely different. One a brand new mother in St Johns Wood, who seemingly was willing to leave her brand new baby in my very inexperienced hands; a mother of older children who wanted someone outside school hours, leaving the au pair free to study or whatever; and finally, the family I nearly went to work for, a divorced mother of 3 in a massive family house in Islington (still quite bohemian then as the Blairs were not yet incumbent in Downing Street at this point) with a Nanny flat in the basement.
Anyway. If I write to my 19 year old self she won’t read it.
So I’m going to call her and talk to her in person.
43: “Hello 19. How’re you?”
19: “What do YOU want?”
43: “Well, I’m here to offer you the benefit of my 20+ years of experience. I won’t say wisdom because I’m pretty sure I still don’t have that.”
43: “So, this job in London. It’s exciting.”
19: “I s’pose. I’ll have to sell my car though.”
43: “That’s ok. You won’t need it down there. They have the underground, and even better, buses. Buses in London are brilliant because you get to see everything.”
19: “Hm. I don’t know much about kids though”
43: “Well, you’ll learn. Think what a great eye opener it will be for when you have your own. She…”
19: “I have my own kids?”
43 “No spoilers. Anyway, Mrs Islington wouldn’t have offered you the job if she thought you wouldn’t be able to do it. The kids aren’t babies. It’ll be fun. And most importantly you will be in LONDON. LONDON!”
19: “Yeah but I won’t know anyone”
43: “You will meet people. You will make friends. You can go to gigs and shows and nightclubs. Live a little”
19: “Yeah, but it’s barely any money”
43: “It doesn’t matter. You’ll have no outgoings and I know mum and dad would probably sub you a bit here and there. And once you’re there you could look for another job!”
19: “Mum doesn’t want me to go though.”
43 “She’ll get over it. Your brother will be down there in a year’s time. She won’t stop Prodigal Boy from going”
19: “What about Peter?”
43: “Peter Schmeter. You’ve been going out with him for 2 months. In 2 more months he will move to London himself and forget about you. Do NOT turn this down for him!”
19: “But I’ve got a job offer from ACME Insurance company”