Dear Past Vicky,
It’s funny because there shouldn’t be a need to write all of what I am about to mention as you don’t know it and haven’t felt it yet. There shouldn’t be a need to regret the past as that’s what it is; the past. Ultimately I know the past will shape the person you will become and if there was such a thing as being able to see the future in a way I wish you could have.
Please think about what you want to do. Why oh why will you be so afraid of the future that staying at university seems like the only option? The experience you will carve out for yourself there will remain the best you have had, certainly when you are nearly 30, but unfortunately as no other experience, except maybe one, will come close to it as by then the demons will come knocking. It’s a shame you won’t be strong enough to fight it. I wish you won’t then proceed to lock in a little box and place it on an unreachable pedestal which you are later no longer able to reach. The shortfall will cause untold damage.
I berate you now for your constant need to please others. This over the years will cause much more harm than good and compromise your principles on more than one occasion. I wish you knew how strong you are. The opportunities you have and the people on your side are probably the most you will ever have.
You won’t believe me but dying your hair is never a good idea. I know this will come from your own insecurities rather than any particular vain-ness. I know, I know. It is what you want to do and no one can stop you once you get an idea in your head. I’ll tell you now; your insecurities will stop you and cause you to do so much you’re not proud of. Guess what? No one else cared or saw it and now you are just a distant memory to them.
The bad news is your heart will be broken on more than one occasion. Sadly, this will define you, test you and break you more than once. You will feel your life is over and you will cling to the past like there’s no tomorrow as you are so afraid of the future and being alone. Its difficult to swallow but why won’t you choose to face up to your independence. They say strength comes in numbers but it doesn’t. Strength comes in your ability to take a good hard look in the mirror and evaluate. But you won’t do this yet.
Most of all you will experience grief. This emotion and pain will creep up on you in the fastest and most unexpected way and stay with you. It will, however, open up new doors for you. You will channel it in to carving out more meaningful experiences and help others. Seems like something you’re not capable of right now doesn’t it?
Lastly I would say that as you near your 30th birthday you won’t have a stereotypically successful career or be married with a lovely house and children. You’ll be stuck in limbo but you know what? For the first time in your life you will do what you want to do. You will take control. In reality your only real regret then will be how long it took you to take that look in the mirror. You may be a lot of things but weak isn’t one of them. Powerless isn’t one of them. Complacent isn’t one of them.
You don’t know it yet but you have so many hurdles to overcome to the point you will be at at the age of 30 but I want to thank you for not giving up even when it does become too hard to bear. You will keep at it and every time you think it you still won’t give up.
You also don’t know it yet but you will have some amazing times, meet some fantastic people and do some incredible things. They will define you much more than any other experience ever will.
Just a few things to say to remind yourself at 30. Don’t lose sight of why you did it. Only reflect on the past as an example of what happens when you don’t listen to yourself.
Hopefully you’ll reflect again when you near 40 and there will no doubt be much more you have learned.