Letter to my 24 year old self

Have you ever wished you could go back in time to tell your younger self to stop worrying and just tell them it’s all going to be alright? I’ve had this picture of me on my dressing table for the last 20 years and I was thinking today what I’d tell my younger self – on the eve of her 24th birthday – if I could go back in time. So here it is.

To 24 year old me, 

Stop. Worrying.

If only you knew on your 24th birthday when this photo was taken just amazing how it all was going to be.

Guess what – you married James Lomax!! Yep, I know what you’re thinking that almost kiss earlier this year started things off. Well it did – but you’re going to have to wait another 14 years to get your next kiss. 

And that child called Krystal that you wished for with James when you were 14 years old (your Mum still has that bit of paper). Well you get that too – but not in the way you think – you’ll share her with her Mum too. 

Tonight though, well tonight you are going to meet the father of your kids for the first time. Yep, you have two amazing children with him and they are perfect. Well, one is a teenager now and scowls at you every time you enter her orbit but one day she’ll like you again one day I’m sure.

And don’t worry about things not working out with the guy dressed as a magician that you’re going to meet tonight. He’s a great Dad and you have a great time together over 14 years and you won’t regret this. You have a true fairytale wedding befitting the tiara you were wearing when you met him and it’s amazing.

And that job you’ve just started in advertising…. You are going to nail it!! It won’t always be the most important thing in your life like it is now though – you’ve actually just signed a contract to move to part time hours. Bet you never thought you’d do that you work-a-holic!! But it’s so you can focus on your own business. Yep, you invented a game and it’s frickin awesome and you’ve sold thousands of them.

The friends that you are with tonight – Sarah, Ros and Flis – they’re all still your friends but they’re scattered all around the world now. You saw Sarah just last week.

Your teenage sister that arrived on a plane this morning for your party is now a grown up too. She has kids of her own and believe me you won’t be able to figure out how you ever coped without her living just around the corner.

Your Mum won’t always live as far away as she does now. She’ll be at your side when you have your babies and you’ll ring her almost every day to ask her advice on everything. Your Dad will move away but he’ll visit lots and he will become the best Grandad there ever was. They will still, in all the best ways, give you utterly contradictory advice.

You’ll have another 18 years with your Grandma and I’m sorry to tell you that when she leaves you’ll find a big empty hole where she once was. Even though the thought of loosing her now is awful I’m afraid you’ll find the reality even worse so even though I know you will already, visit her every chance you get, take photos and store away every moment.

In the years after this photo you’ll live through terror attacks, earthquakes and pandemics. They’ll freak you out but you will be okay. 

You will not get skinnier. 

This photo will sit on your dressing table in your flats, then on to the first house in Wellington, and through endless DIY’s when you moved back to Auckland, it will watch over you as you feed your babies late in the night and then to a house in the bush with your 3 kids where one day, 20 years later, you’ll look at it and reflect on how far you’ve come. You’ll wonder why you ever worried so much, because you know – you’ve got this.

Love 44 year old me.