Happy New Year!
I was uncharacteristically suffering from a mild bout of insomnia last night. Well after midnight I found myself organising the sewing room. I am lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to craft!
I need a lot of organising as my friends would not be able to defend me from a charge of a disordered life. Occasionally it has its benefits, such as last night. I found a notebook from 2011, which I’d only written a few pages on. But one of the things I had written was, ahem, fantastic. It was around when that book came out where famous writers or artists wrote a letter to their sixteen year old self. Here is my letter to the young SRR.
‘I won’t lie to you my love. You’ve got some hard years ahead of you. I’m in one of them now. I can promise you a few things though.
The first is that nature is healing, calming and supportive. Gardens are sanity clothed in leaf and flower. You are not far off discovering this one. Rejoice in the flowers my love, rejoice in them.
I can also promise you that most of the stuff you feel about being lower than everyone else, about being a social retard and a reject and so on is not true. Your history does not define you. The actions of your four parents says everything about them and NOTHING about you. You just happened to get caught in the crossfire. It was not, could not, and never was your fault. You’ve got gorgeous legs, a great body, perfect skin. You’ll never be more beautiful and radiant than you are now. Stop hiding.
All the men you’re going to meet…all the ones who’ll use you to fill up some hole inside of themselves. ..they don’t consciously mean to hurt you, and if it wasn’t you it would be some other poor wounded girl. The best revenge is in living well.
Be good to your body. It’s the vehicle for your heart and soul. Whatever it is that we came here to do (I’ve still not figured it out I’m afraid) we’ll do it better and have more fun if we are healthy. Trust your instincts and your dreams. They are more reliable than anything your mind can tell you, or other people for that matter. Most of what society will tell you is bullshit. Especially about work. Don’t fall for it.
Cats are awesome. Love as many as you can. (I think you’ve worked this out for yourself).
Finally, when work is shit, your families seem like a double curse from hell with barbs on, your relationship fails, you’re sick, afraid, or any other calamity has struck, it is your female friends who will step in and row you to shore when you can’t. Treasure them beyond all price.
And remember that I love you, unconditionally, absolutely.’
I wrote this four years ago and it’s all still true and relevant to my life now. Unfortunately I didn’t listen to myself about my health, although I thought I was eating well at the time. It just turns out that most official dietary advice is wrong, especially for those with a history of diabetes. Although, being adopted, this was not something I knew back then. Notwithstanding, the advice I gave to my younger self still stands. Being healthy is a gift, and even though I’m not as healthy as I’d like, I have to treasure what I have.
2011 really was an awful year. My Mum had just died, my best friend was dying. Work was intense, and I was struggling (to say the least) to complete my PhD. Thank God time passes. Although time brought me an additional death, and the diagnosis of a chronic disease, that terrible time gave me these rediscovered words. I am reminded, in the loveliest possible way, that we do have the answers inside.