Here is a list of the things that I know now that, if I had the chance, I would pass on to my younger self. Apart from the obvious stuff about bad hair and clothes…
To my teenage self I would say
To anyone who tells you to aim a little lower, however well it was meant, tell them politely to go and work on their own dreams and plans. Oh, and stop worrying about getting a boyfriend. There is so much time for THAT. And while you’re at it drop the thought that you would be so lucky if ANYBODY ever wanted go out with you. Instead go with the idea that ANYBODY would be lucky to get to go out with you.
Listen to your mum.
To my self in my twenties
Sweetheart, aim a little higher! In everything. Just because you still don’t know what you ‘want to do’, it does not mean that you can’t go and dip your toe in here, there and everywhere. Now is the time to try! And when when a guy treats you badly, kick him to the curb. There may be some temporary satisfaction in righteous martyrdom, but it is not attractive AND you can do so much better.
Call your mum.
To my self in my thirties
Please stop worrying about the time that is flying by. Work hard, play hard and above all enjoy it without the anxiety and guilt – THAT is the waste of time. You are NOT over the hill at 35. And yes, you are going to have a child, so stop panicking.
Give your mum more hugs, she needs them just as much as you do.
To myself before I had a baby
Read, sleep, have sex, gorge yourself on all the lazy, leisurely things that you like to do. DVDs and ice cream on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Late nights and lie-ins. Nice underwear. Boozy lunches. Girls’ nights out.
When the baby arrives accept that for an unspecified, often seeemingly endless, time your whole body and self are now shared, and not evenly I might add, with your child. The baby can do NOTHING for itself, including being able to sleep and spend any amount of time not in contact with you in some way. Surrender yourself to this. Accept it. Do not fight it. Whatever else it is that you think you should be doing, forget it. You will look back and hardly remember most of it, mainly because you were in a trance. You cannot give your baby too much of yourself.
Keep hugging your mum, you will soon see her from a very different perspective (that of a mother) and realise how much you need her.
To my future self…
Go for it. Grab life by the balls. Enjoy it. Finally, have some confidence in yourself. Love, be loved and above all love yourself. Oh, and it almost goes without saying, you are not over the hill at 40+++
The bottom may be falling out of your arse, your boobs will never be the same again, your tummy is a source of great amusement to your daughter, your hair is going grey and you can’t find the time or inclination to get the dye kit out, but you know that you have never been better.
And of course, tell your mum that you love her.
What knowledge would you pass on to your past and future self? Would you say the same to your children?