Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self

Sunday, 19 January 2014

I'm not quite sure why, but I find writing letters to myself in third person is somewhat therapeutic. I find is much easier to give advice to other people than to give advice to myself, so by writing to 'me' like I am someone else, the advice seems to flow a lot better.

In February 2012, I wrote a letter to myself entitled, 'Letter To My 15-Year-Old Self', to explain how to cope with the last two years of my life, and I stumbled across it in October. As I was 17 when I wrote the letter to my 15-year-old self, and having just turned 19 when I found it, I thought it appropriate to write a second letter, two years down the line. Here is what I wrote in October 2013:

"Dear Kass, 

You’ve started to write Kass with two s’s instead of one, but I’ll get to that.

You got into uni! You were terrified throughout the entirety of year 13 that you wouldn’t even get ABB, which is the lowest grade allowed to do philosophy, but you only went and came out with AAA! You’ve moved to manchester and it’s absolutely amazing, couldn’t love it more.

Let’s back up and start where we ended off - February 2012. God that was an awful month, your first 'real' relationship had just ended and you thought that your life and world had ended along with it. It was the most pain you’ve ever felt, but you were strong and you pulled through. Don’t worry, you’re over him now. It was the attachment of a 'first love' and not knowing how to move on, but you managed to fall for someone else, and in doing so, you got over it completely (you now haven’t spoken to him since the summer - please don’t).

Here we go - you fell for somebody else. In august 2012 you got a job at Fat Face, and you were so so happy there. You met some great people and made best friends, and you were heartbroken to have to leave in order to go to Manchester uni. As soon as you started you met a guy that you thought was cute - you waited too long to tell him. Foolishly, you waited until July 2013… a year Kassi, seriously!? Don’t worry, he liked you back, and you were so happy dating him and then eventually being in a relationship with him, but because you waited too long to tell him, it didn’t work out. What you guys had was REAL, it was a friendship that extended to a relationship, he made you laugh more than anybody you’d ever met - it wasn’t some silly attachment you didn’t know how to get over like your first boyfriend, it was something beyond that. Accept that it doesn’t work, I'm begging you. Accept it and you’ll be okay. You’ll find someone else, don’t ever doubt that (by the way he’s the one that called you Kass, and not Kas… it’s funny how much of a person’s personality you pick up)

You passed your driving test! You may have perhaps failed in July 2013… but you passed in September! On Friday 13th as well, spookily - you make your own luck, dontcha?!

In the past year your friendships have slightly changed. In the last letter I wrote to you, Emma was one of your closest friends in the world - that crashed in August 2012. Some things just don’t last forever I guess. Currently your best friends are Lyndsey, Craig, Zoe, Sally, Amy - and you NEED to get closer to Ellie again, she was once the most important person in your life and I cannot believe you let that go. You’re still close, don’t get me wrong, but you’re not what you use to be… change that ASAP.

Otto is dying, just to warn you. He’s an old dog, you should expect it, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Do you even remember a time that he wasn’t around?

I’m not too sure what else there is to say, but you use to have the perception that as the years passed your life would change but nothing would have actually changed at all - that’s not true at all. A year ago you were still struggling with a break up and thought that you’d never not feel the emptiness that he made you feel, and you’ve managed to overcome that. Life is a bitch, it’ll hurt you in ways that you can’t even imagine, and I’m sure that I have so much more pain yet to be thrown my way, but you have to remember that you can’t just give up. Don’t be selfish. Yes, be selfish sometimes, if you can’t sleep because you’re thinking sad thoughts, watch tv, get up and clean, write an essay, do SOMETHING, be selfish and be sad but don’t ever think about doing something that you will regret. Don’t throw yourself under a bus, figuratively or physically. I love you, you idiot, you need to know that.

Note to self: if you want to be happy, be."

At the time of writing the letter I had just come out of a relationship, and I needed to reassure myself that I'd be okay, that I'd survive, and this was my way of doing it. If you're ever in a time of need, I'd thoroughly recommend doing the same. I cannot begin to explain how good it feels to tell yourself that everything will be okay, and to actually believe it.

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