Dear 18yr Old Me,
It’s been 28 years since you left school, so there’s a lot of murky water under the bridge. Now, I’ve heaps I need to cram into these few paragraphs, so the first thing I want you to do is go get yourself a drink because I know what you’re like – you never pay any mind to anyone who isn’t getting plastered with you. And make it a beer! You can’t afford that fancy stuff you like to throw back so you may as well start getting use to the taste of cheap ale now.
Because I know you tend not to I’ve been giving this a lot of thought trying to come up with some sort of snappy catchphrase for you to work with over the coming decades, rather than something as long-winded and impossible to remember as the lyrics of Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen). I wanted to find something which would work in most of the dumb situations you’ll be finding yourself in, but that wasn’t an easy ask.
My first thought was to go with stop caring what the wrong people think. You do: admit it. Otherwise you wouldn’t have that tat on your back, for one. I mean, a cupid? Seriously??
Then I started to think, maybe that’s sort of a right of passage? And who am I to try deny you the joys of living large on dumb advice and thinking you know everything, blissfully unaware of all the adults in your life laughing behind your back. Experiencing that has certainly been a helpful parenting tool in raising our own children because reflecting on all the dumb stuff you’re about to do has made me a tolerant parent.
Okay, maybe not tolerant, but the loud music you will always insist on playing will damage your hearing to the point where I don’t hear a lot of the dumb stuff our kids say, so same thing.
Which brings us to the subject of kids.
You know how you used to wax lyrical about wanting more than two kids? Well, I don’t want to give too much away because you might run out and get yourself neutered, but suffice to say you should be careful what you wish for. On a related matter, if you buy a really, really sturdy cot and forego sedans and buy a small bus, none of it will be for naught.
The temptation, of course, is to tell you how to avoid a whole mountain of emotional misery, but the fact is, incredibly, two of the best things in your life grow from within the unhappiness, so you wouldn’t really want to avoid going there. No need to say they are worth the journey, because I know you’ll already know that at the time.
On a more practical note, pay attention in wood work! You are going to want to know how to swing a hammer. I realize part of your ‘clever’ philosophy is to pay other people to do the stuff which you don’t want to do, but nothing is less manly than hiring a workman to hang a picture. No, wait. You’re eighteen! You’re leaving school so it’s too late. Damn! Seriously, damn!! Okay, so I can’t help you with that but you really should practice with a hammer. The best places to find it are in the laundry behind the washing powder and under the sink. They’re the two spots the love of your life prefers to hide it from you. And don’t tell her I told you or I’ll be in all sorts of trouble!
How about I just tell you to not take up smoking? Take my word for it, it’s going to take you forever to give up and anyway, that one girl you’re going to try impress by choking on a menthol ends up snogging your mate. But there we go again with the point about not caring what other people think and you’re listening to the wrong folks.
Which, let’s be honest, my dim-witted and pecker- led young friend, means you’ll never remember any of this or even care to remember it. I keep forgetting how very clever and independent you are.
Okay, so top up your beer, I’ve got a new plan and it’s only one word so it won’t take up too many of those brain cells you seem hell bent on destroying.
Invest every cent you have in Apple. That’s Apple the computer company, not Granny Smiths, apple cider, apple juice or apple pies. Apple computers. Apple. And never sell, even when the price plummets. Then you’ll be able to drink the good stuff. Everything else is too precious to change, but a little brass in the pocket would be nice.
Good luck. See you when you get here.
Yours in anticipation,
The 46yr Old You.
This is a guest post over on My Mummy Daze 🙂