In my last blog post (part one of two, “The Change so Far”), I discussed the difference between my 19-year-old Self versus my current, 29 year old Self, and came to agree with the theory that a woman will go through the most significant change of her entire life, in this particular decade. Today, without knowing the change forecast for the decade ahead, I’m writing an open letter to my 39 year old self, in an attempt to reach out to the ‘future me’… so that I might carry some hopeful optimism along, as we embark on an unknown road ahead.
Right now, I watch my Facebook news-feed fill with a cycle of friends’ engagements, weddings, baby bumps, tiny new faces, exhausted eyes – and then gleeful children in fresh school-uniforms heading off for their very first day of prep … It’s like being given a keyhole peek into the some of the overwhelming change that might lie ahead for me, in the decade to come, If I’m lucky. I have no doubt that this sort of change has the ability to strip you bare and build you back up in a way that you never even expected… so here is a letter to a woman in the future, whom I don’t even know yet.
“Dear Jules (you old duck!),
If you’re reading this, it means the outlook calendar reminder set for a decade’s time worked and your blog is still up and running (…and that in fact the internet itself is still in operation). Congratulations. You’re probably reading this from a hybrid-hover car, on an invisi-screen iphone 13.0 – whilst eating some activated organic biodynamic super-lunch. I can’t believe you’re turning the big 4-0 in a few months… you must be in a mad denial swing. Anyway, you might remember ten years ago I wrote you a letter… so this is it. Here are some of My Hopes for You, that I have written for you today, in January 2013.
I’m sure you’ve probably experimented with botox by now, which is fine… but don’t go too far (stay away from fillers & lip injections). I hope that you are respecting & looking after your body – staying as young as possible by stretching a few times a week (if you can’t do a back-bend anymore you’re dead to me). Are you still eating as many things ‘from the ground’ as you can to balance the Camembert & Pinot? I truly wish that you’re completely free from any & all self-image issues that might have bothered you in your younger years… it’s so not about the outside (but I don’t need to tell you that do I bingo-wings?).
I hope that, if you are a mother, you’re remembering the beautiful things your own mother did for you; that were not always conventional – but that always encouraged you to dream-big and be ‘whatever you want to be’ (even if that’s a truck driver… which is what you said when you were eight). I hope, for your children’s sake, that you are a mother who knows & remembers the importance of little surprises, of freedom of expression, of guided discipline, of expressed love, of time and of attention… kids love that stuff (you did, after all).
Now, for your relationship with your siblings, I hope that you have retained the unique ‘same team’ approach that has always seen you get along, with respect and without conflict. It would be great if you still watch ‘Titanic’ once every three-months with your sister, like you did throughout your twenties; it’s how you connect… “Jack!”. I hope you are looking after your parents as they did for you, unconditionally. Make your mom some CC’s with melted coon-cheese on top, and then some brownies from a packet mixture. Oh, and be a ‘cool’ auntie, no matter how old you are.
Aside from your ‘required duties’ in running a house & a life, I hope you are finding time for your passions, your creativity and your dreams. I know you still photograph, but I hope you still write & tell stories. I hope you try to make people laugh – and I hope you laugh at yourself… you’re an absolute dufus after all.
Do you keep a list of places you have explored in the world, as well as a list of those adventures you still wish to take? You should.
Jules… I really wish that you have a strong sense of integrity and a feeling of contentment about life – even if it is chaotic. I want for you to look in the mirror and see yourself entirely, and like The Woman who looks back at you – regardless of her flaws. Last but certainly not least, I hope that you still hold the importance of love above all. The importance of love for yourself & the importance of being surrounded by love in your life.
So, “JLo” (do they still call you that… loser?), take care at your 40th Birthday and say hi to ‘the girls’ for me, they probably still know you better than anyone else ever will.
p.s. Have you done an open mic night yet like you promised you would?