A letter to my 20 year old self
To the girl with big hopes and bigger dreams armed with a degree that nobody gives a fuck about, keep that piece of paper aside and listen to me. You know that dream you always had about your boss recognizing you as the employee of the month and making you CEO of the quarter because you deserve it? That’s not happening. Not right now anyway.
The real world is hard work. You will make tonnes of photocopies, copy paste thousands of excel formulas and attend hundreds of meeting where you are as significant as that little fly circling the donuts on the table. Persist.
Sometimes, your boss will be unreasonable. Other times, your boss will be really unreasonable. There will be mentors, learning will come in the form of sharp criticism and growth will happen in a form that is so painful that you won’t even recognize it but don’t give up.
Don’t throw your hands up in the air and say “I can’t do this s*** anymore” and walk out of the door with your pointed heels. Not yet anyway.
Life will be very ordinary. Remember that a great life is not defined by random spontaneous acts of backpacking across the Europe alone or trekking to the Himalayas. Don’t make Eat, Pray, Love your poison. There is much work left to be done here that you can do without dulling your shine and feeling insignificant.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you are not destined for great things. I am only asking you to stop acting like an entitled little snowflake and start working towards what matters to you. Learn to define greatness and good sex in your own bloody terms.
Also, one more vodka shot will hurt you. Take it from someone who has been there that one more vodka shot, will hurt you. Grown men seldom invite you to their apartments to “talk about feelings!” If your boss tells you how great your legs look in that short skit, remind him that his wedding ring looks fabulous and then stalk him on Instagram and like every picture of his wife.
If a married man is telling you that his wife is not keeping him happy and that you should get a drink with him. Go ahead. And then remember to pour the drink on his face. The first time your guy best friend slips his hands between your thighs and it makes you uncomfortable, don’t stay silent because you need company. Slap him.
The one time your boyfriend hits you on the face, hard and promises that it won’t ever happen again. Don’t believe him.
There will be terrible heartbreaks. When the boy you are madly in love with tells you that he wants to move halfway across the world, don’t shatter yet.
When the boy you are madly in love with tells you that he is in love with someone else, don’t shatter yet. When the boy you are madly in love with tells you that he needs a break from you, don’t shatter yet.
Or shatter. But remember that there is no escaping this. There will be terrible heartbreaks. And you will cause some of them.
Practise being a quitter. Quit. Quit jobs where you are not learning. Quit toxic friendships that are all about pulling you down. Quit on that jerk if he refuses to use condoms or buy you a pregnancy test. Quit all those bad habits while you can still afford to or even better don’t pick them up yet. And most importantly, learn to get comfortable with quitting because life will make you quit.
Jobs. Relationships. Friendships. Life will make you quit. Even when you really don’t want to.
Practise being a quitter. But remember that there are some things you should never ever quit on.
Don’t Quit. Don’t quit on true love if you believe you have found it no matter how young you are. Don’t Quit on you mother even if she is a little old fashioned and annoying and always seems to be worried about the length of your skirt.Don’t quit on your best girlfriend even if she is running back to that boy after a few drinks. Again. Don’t Quit. Don’t quit on kindness, empathy and good people because just flashy sequins and good taste in music seldom take you very far.
Practise being a quitter but then again, don’t quit. To the girl with big hopes and bigger dreams armed with a degree that nobody really gives a fuck about, throw that piece of paper away and listen to me.
Congratulations. Life has just begun.
With lots of love,
A 23 Year Old Who Still Doesn’t Know What The Hell Is Happening