Update – April 2021
I’m re-reading this post in 2021, just over a week away from my 29th birthday, so I thought now would be a great time to re-share. I initially wrote this post as we started to ease out of Lockdown 1 (FFS), following months of having Radio 1 – specifically, Greg James, Scott Mills and Chris Stark – for company as I worked from home.
Yes, it’s another one of those bloody letter-to-myself-in-the-past posts. Sorry. This was never actually on my content plan for the month, nor was it my intention to write another one of these letters, but if you’ve been listening to Scott Mills and Chris Stark on Radio 1 over the last couple of weeks, you’ll know why I’ve been inspired.
It all started a couple of weeks ago, when Scott and Chris filled in for Greg James on the breakfast show. They were encouraging listeners to write a letter to their ten year old selves, telling them about the current situation, as well as anything else that had been happening in their lives. It got emotional. Very emotional.
Anyway, I was a little drunk having my usual “Thirsty Thursday” session last week, and I thought “fuck it” and decided to give it a go. If you’ve been with my blog for a long time, you’ll remember I wrote a letter to my fourteen year old self last year, where I addressed issues such as my appearance and my fears over never getting a boyfriend, among others. While this letter also addresses that, I’ve tried to focus on a few other things too. I’d also like to point out that while the start of this letter was written while I was drunk, around 70% of it was actually written sober. I know right – WTF? I also took inspiration from the Flo & Joan song Little Flo and Little Joan, which I spoke about in my recent favourite comedy performances post.
Side note for those wondering what Thirsty Thursday is – Basically, Liam plays online games with his friends, I use the evening to myself to do my nails, drink gin and binge watch Normal People (I’ve currently watched the series seven times. I have a problem, but we’ll address that some other time). Thirsty comes from the copious amounts of gin, as well as my major thirsting over Paul Mescal. Thursday is self explanatory.
Anyway, here’s what I came up with, talking to that innocent, incredibly strange child that I was.
Dear 10 Year Old Amy,
At the time you’d be reading this, it’s the year 2002. On the exact date of writing, you’ll be preparing to start a new school in September. The main reason is that your Mum works there, but the school you’re at isn’t exactly making you happy right now, so it’s definitely for the best.
I know you’re worrying a lot at the moment – the main one being over whether you’ll lose the friends you’ve got now by changing schools. I can tell you, 18 years on, the friends that matter will still be there. Tammy is your best friend now, and while things will be a bit difficult over the next year not being in the same school – let alone class – as her, it will be okay. Let me reassure you, at the age of 28, you are still friends, and you haven’t really stopped being friends over the years either. While you don’t see her all that often right now, when you do, you’ll laugh like crazy remembering old times, and all of your inside jokes will still be funny – even now, you still quote Drake and Josh to each other.
In fact, two of your oldest friends from primary school will still be in your life – Tammy and Simon. Don’t worry so much about the friendship you do lose – it just happens. But also, don’t worry because right now, things are pretty good. You’ll have Beth, Cilla, Cheryl, Fern, Tammy, Simon, Josh, Colette, Heather, Ned, Aly, Darren, and others, but you’ll also have Lillie. She’s the best friend you could ever ask for. She makes you laugh, you’re both as weird as each other, and you talk to each other about literally everything – in fact, some of your conversations are horrifically disgusting. But that’s the best kind of friendship.
Boys won’t have crossed your mind yet, but I’ll be honest with you and tell you that you’ll have a few struggles over the next couple of years. A combination of bullies and a general lack of confidence over how you look will mean that you don’t really succeed in that area until you’re 17. Liam will be your first love – you’ll spend a great deal of your first year together torturing yourself that he’ll dump you for someone prettier and less strange (re. The previously mentioned lack of confidence), but I promise you, even when it feels like it won’t last, it will. If you don’t believe me, let me tell you that in the present day, we’re a few months away from celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. We have a cat called Tilly, who’s beautiful, insanely spoilt and hilariously funny, and we’re a few weeks away from buying our first house. Said house has an ensuite and a dishwasher, just so you know.
Job wise, I know at the moment you’d quite like to become a vet. It’s a bit complicated, and it’s a very long story, but in a few years you’ll decide that’s not for you. If I could give you a piece of advice though, it would be don’t give up too easily. Despite that, after a difficult few years, the job situation right now isn’t too bad. Keep reading all those books and keep paying attention in English – it’ll pay off. While currently, your job is frustrating at times, you’re very good at it, and you actually quite enjoy it.
Now for the bad stuff. You’ll be used to living with that phobia by now (or to give it the proper name “emetophobia,” which you’ll learn in a year or two), and I’m sorry to say that over the years, things will get a lot more difficult. Right now, you probably have no idea what OCD is. I don’t want to scare you too much, but what I will say is that despite what you hear over the years, it’s NOT a personality trait. It’s a horrible, horrible illness, and sadly it will be a part of your life for many years to come. You’ll learn that the mind can be a very cruel thing, but I promise you it will get better. You have some amazing friends, the best husband, and the most incredible Mum, all of whom will look after you and support you even in the darkest times. While we’re on that subject, be nice to your Mum. She’s amazing and she’ll do literally anything for you.
As I write to you now, the world is all in a bit of a state. Again, I don’t want to scare you, as I know you worry about literally everything (that never goes either, I’m afraid), so all I’ll say is that with your OCD, it’s very difficult. It’s not all bad though – Liam has looked after you throughout the whole thing, you’ve been reading a lot, and you’ve discovered Normal People – a show that (at the time of writing) you will have watched through seven times.
I’ll be honest, there’s a lot that happens between here and now. Some of it’s great, some of it’s awful. Spoiler alert though, you’ll get through it. It won’t be easy, and at times you’ll feel ridiculously low and helpless. But trust me, you’ll be okay. I promise. Be nice to your Mum, be kind to yourself, and ask for help when you need it. You may not feel like it, but you’re a lot stronger than what you give yourself credit for. And don’t worry, your teeth will get fixed, and you’ll learn how to do your makeup properly. It’s all going to be okay. Honestly.
One final thing – a can of Sprite works wonders when you’re hungover. It’s not relevant now, but you’ll thank me later.
Stay strong and look after yourself. You’ve got this.
Lots of love,
28 Year Old Amy