Dear Sleep and Salami,
I know you better now than you know yourself – but even then there are questions I can’t answer for you. I’ll try but I think there might be things neither of us are meant to know. This letter is going to be a bit of a jumble but hopefully it makes sense 😉
Life’s a bit difficult for you right now, I know. You have amazing friends, amazing parents but something just doesn’t quite feel right. You wish you were more glamorous, you wish you were cooler than you think you are. You obsess over people’s throwaway criticisms, never entirely sure what you’re doing wrong or what you do that’s so different to everyone else.
Sadly, that feeling won’t change for quite some time. You will struggle to fit in, you’ll try to change yourself to fit in. You will be “cool” for a short period of time but that skin won’t fit – you’ll try so hard to make it fit, but it won’t. It’ll itch, irritate and you will be forced to shed it for your more natural demeanour. As you try to find yourself, your relationship with your parents and your family will erode until you slowly build it back up. You will always regret the pain you cause them – but it will be essential in shaping you.
Eventually it will become clear that the people who you are the most comfortable with are those that like you the way you are. The ones that appreciate your goofiness, your sense of humour, your almost Bridget Jones-like ability to screw things up. These people will think of you as sensible, intelligent. Your best friend will one day tell you that she looks up to you and constantly wonders what you would do in certain situations (WWS&SD). You’ll never quite understand it, and honestly for years and years you’ll suffer from “Imposter syndrome” where you keep expecting someone to pop out of the woodwork, pointing their fingers and accusing you of being absolutely useless.
The dreams you have at the moment won’t come true. The fact of the matter is that you will continue to be a champion procrastinator. Even now, I am procrastinating by writing you this letter. This habit will interfere with you actually doing as well as you’d hoped. Your family will be consistently disappointed in the fact that you won’t do what they wanted for you because you’re too busy drinking and partying and trying desperately to be “cool”. Instead, you will forge another path altogether. You will stop being a party animal and will settle. You will manage, somewhat miraculously, to pull some amazing feats out of your ass overnight and become successful in your chosen path. A different path, but one which will allow you freedom – of thought, time and space. You will work hard. Unbelievably so at times, but you’ll also spend a lot of time fluffing around and (there’s that word again!) procrastinating. It will become clear to you in your late twenties that you need to stop fighting your short attention span embrace projects that are not long-term binding contracts (you’re built for short bursts of energy and work, accept this and things will become easier for you) – and you’ll start searching for something that suits your personality.
You will initially find romance difficult – as with those fragile false friendships, you will try to change yourself and that will be too difficult. It’s just not sustainable. You will find your soul mate young, although it’s only in hindsight that you’ll realise how lucky you are. It will take some time to settle into a comfortable relationship, but you will come to accept how important it is and how happy that comfort makes you. Peace and contentment will be within your reach.
The only thing that will keep surprising you is others’ perception of you.
It turns out that no matter how shy, embarrassed, inadequate you feel, people will always think of you as “stuck up”. you will eventually start accepting this and running with it. Stick your nose in the air and fuck ’em! At one point someone will tell you, in a rather spiteful fit, that you think you’re better than everyone else.
They couldn’t be more wrong, and they’ll reduce you to tears, but years later you’ll look back and realise that actually – you are better than that person. You’ll realise you don’t need to impress people like that. You’ll realise you have all you need and you’ll know whose opinion matters.
It might not always seem like it, but you’ll be absolutely fine. Your most important relationship is always going to be with yourself – as long as you remember that, you’re good to go!
There’s always room for improvement, though 😉