Letter to my younger self – Dear Grace…


I met Grace Tierney at a workshop for writers in Carousel Creates. Her ‘wordfoolery’ blog about unusual words, is a favourite of mine ;) She is originally from Dublin but now lives and writes in Co. Meath. She has written for everything from the local paper to anthologies, online media, coffee cans, and print magazines. She is the Ireland North East organiser for National Novel Writing Month and actually enjoys the challenge of writing 50,000 words in just one month. You can find out more at www.gracetierney.com and follow her on Twitter @wordfoolery

If this is your read of the ‘Letter to my younger self’ series – you can find out more here, auntyamo x

p.s. Grace really does love postscripts.

Over to her…

Dear Grace,

You don’t ever get letters, so I thought you might like one from me as you finish first year in secondary school. I’m 41 on this birthday, so now you know you live that long. Good news, eh?

I wanted to tell you, you know the other day when you were waiting for Mum to get a move on in Dunnes and you thought to yourself that you already know everything about yourself, where you fit in the world, and what you want to do with your life? You were right. Seriously.

Grace at 12 yrs old

Grace at 12 yrs old

No, you can’t stop going to school. It turns out that the whole education thing works out pretty well for you. You don’t know everything, yet, but you do know yourself very well. The stuff that is important to you is still important to me 29 years later. And get this – you’re still best mates with Marie, Sheena, and Kerri. Even better news is that you’ll pick up more friends like them, all over the world.

In case you think this letter is a hoax, here’s something only you know – you want to be a writer. You haven’t even told your adored only sister, Bronwyn. It’s ok, you can keep it to yourself for a while longer. But keep filling those copybooks with your novels, because one day you’re going to finish one. Actually, more than one. Just remember to keep writing, even when you try out other careers for size. Because yeah, Sister Katherine is as wise as she likes to pretend. You do actually need to do a bit of living before you can write about life. So yeah, that big romantic storyline with Louis in Geneva? Bad news, you can’t write that novel until you’ve fancied a boy and learned French.

Don’t roll your eyes at me like that. Your French is going to improve – a lot. You’ll be fluent before you know it, seriously. And men – yeah – they actually aren’t the enemy. I know, no brothers, no male cousins, no male friends, all girl school, no mixed hobbies. You are so confused. Oh I wish I could see the look on your face when you realise there’s 90% men in your degree class. And that some of them are nice. You are going to love college.

There’s one thing that doesn’t work out quite how you imagined. Please don’t be angry with me, I know how much you want this one. You don’t live alone in a small cottage in the woods. The one you’ve been saving up for since you were six. But please keep saving, I did use it for a house in the end, mostly. Some got spent on travelling – you were right, you love travel and it is WAY more fun without your parents getting mega-stressed over every tiny detail.

The thing is, the house I mentioned? Well I share it, and not with my friends, I share it with my husband and two kids. They’re nearly your age and they love books too. I know you’d be friends with them if time travel was possible. I even wrote them a book once with you in it as a friend for them. A bit like Famous Five, do you remember them?

Bronwyn will offer you all her old kids books soon, say yes, my kids are reading them now and they love them. That’s the other thing. Bron is moving on to Trinity now. You miss her horribly, but lean on your friends. It will get easier.

Grace tells me that this is her now (14 next birthday by the looks of things...)

Grace tells me this is her now (16 next birthday by the looks of things…)

What else? Stop resisting dental checkups – demand a different dentist. You are, as you already suspect, more stubborn than Mum and Dad. Other dentists are nice and I really didn’t enjoy losing that tooth. The stubborn foot-down-thing works for your CAO form, walking the Wicklow Way at 15, and picking up Art for your Leaving Cert, too. You’ll have the parents whipped into shape by the time you hit 18.

Spend time with Granny Ferguson. Trust me on this.

Consider joining Scouts. I do it with my kids and I love it. I think you would too. Don’t bother with sea scouts – I still have motion sickness at the drop of a hat. Your love of the coast is going to have to remain land-bound. Your yacht, Indigo Dreamer, will have to remain fictional, sorry.

So, you were right, you already knew nearly everything about life. Whenever I’m not sure about a decision I think about you. And every time I lost sight of you, I’ve gone wrong. So keep reading to two in the morning, keep writing, keep dreaming.

All my love, Grace
p.s. I know you won’t believe me but one day, about 25, you’re going to discover that you’re not chronically shy anymore.
p.p.s. Write back, we’ve always wanted a pen friend.
p.p.p.s. Try the wine when you go grape-picking – it’s nicer than you think
p.p.p.p.s. Yes, I still love silly postscripts.

Letter to my younger self – Dear Eileen…


I got an email from Eileen Harkin after she read one of the Letter to my younger self series. She was inspired to write one of her own. This is her first time to EVER share something publicly. I hope it’s the beginning of a whole new writing life for Eileen. 

Eileen was born in Camberwell, London. Her parents were both from Tralee, Co Kerry, and emigrated to England to find work in the late 1950’s. She loves talking, musing, reading, reminiscing, listening, learning, laughing, baking, walking, and advising.
Oh, And Irish Showbands!

Over to her…

LUCKY (NOT-SO-OLD) ME

 

Eileen - Notre Dame Days

Eileen – Notre Dame Days

Well Eileen, I know for sure and for certain that at the grand age of 16 you did not envisage for one minute how life actually would pan out for you. I’m not going to kid you, because I know how much the truth matters to you now, and I promise it always will. You will receive great love, lose most of it through no fault of your own, but prove yourself to be far greater a survivor than you have ever been given credit for. You will always be a worrier though, and I wish more than anything that was not the case…

Remember 4 years ago when you were 12 years old? Your over-burdening worry then involved trying to work out fractions and the binary system during your first year at Notre Dame Southwark Secondary School. Your dotty (and borderline bonkers) maths teacher Miss W was no use; neither was your Muvver, Mrs Burke. One evening you desperately resorted to asking Muvver for help with your sickeningly hard maths homework, even though you knew seeking assistance was a truly forlorn hope. Muvver gave her typical response worthy of the situation as she saw it – “If the worst thing in life you ever have to worry about is understanding fractions, you’ll be fecking lucky”. Wise words in some ways, but the utterly withering look of huffy disapproval you received from prim Miss W the following morning (after nervously explaining why your homework was full of unanswered & unassisted questions) will stay with you forever. You are right to feel mortified at the memory!

No matter, you are now 16 years old; and the troubling consequences of the failure of the Weimar Republic & the rise of that evil git Hitler are much more up your street. You will always love learning more and more about history – it will devour so much of your time, energy and your heart way into the future, and guess what? You will graduate with a Degree in your beloved subject, and you will never have to deal with “fecking fractions” or binary ever again! Result :)

You rightly are working so hard at school and doing the best you can, but the distractions and discord caused by the rest of the family are going to badly resonate with you for the rest of your life. I’m giving it to you straight kiddo; when you reach 50 years old, your beloved Dad Mossie will have already left the family for the third time. As you know, the first time was when he “ran off” with Miss O’R “the other woman” when you were 5 and a half years old. You have dealt with that so brilliantly over the years. Be proud of that! But the second time of his leaving will prove be the direct cause of your first serious nervous collapse; he will leave said Wife Number 2 for yet another woman (code-name Cruella, don’t ask, you’ll learn).

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Eileen & Dad. Such a wonderful sight to see. But his eyes are closed….a telling portent.

There will be a steady period of apparent familial utopia now you are 16; but when you are 24, smelly Cruella will cold-heartedly decide to cut all ties with Dad’s existing family, & Dad will succumb to her demands because he stupidly gave her control over all his money. And he will literally be terrified & s**t-scared of what she is capable of. Yes, it’s hard to believe; but that vibrant, charming, savvy, classy, once-strong entrepreneurial Kerryman that you love so much now, will literally be crushed by Ireland’s answer to Lucretia Borgia :(

I can’t gloss over how broken-hearted you will be when he leaves you for the third and final time in your life; I have to say you will probably never get over his totally unexpected, sudden & mysterious death. You will be especially sad, because in the two years before he leaves for the last time, you were back in touch & had enjoyed so many heartwarming meetings and conversations that bode very well for the future…

50 years old is going to be a pivotal age for you mate; your oldest sister will not have spoken to you for over two years. Trust me, as unthinkable as that sounds to you now, you are very soon going to see the signs of things to come. You will look back and be proud of how you stuck by her in terribly unsavoury & vile circumstances over the many years; seeing things that nobody your age should have seen – you were a rock to her. Never, ever let that loyalty on your part be undermined by spin, bull or supposition. She might have forgotten, but you never will.

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Eileen and brother John. Who would have ever thought…”thick as thieves”!

Guess what? Your annoying little brother John will prove to be the person with the honest heart of the family. As usual though, he will be put down, cut down to size and made out to be the fool of our little clan – supposedly to make others look better. Nobody who really matters will believe it though, because John will be well-beloved by you & many extended friends & family. And imagine this; he will make you an Auntie!

And now to the real nitty-gritty that concerns you at present! I can happily enlighten you with these Facts, that I”ll categorise as ‘Will’ :-

1. Your best friend now (EMJL) WILL still be your best friend now & always
2. You will (believe me) look back and wonder why you ever fancied Hutch over Starsky
3. You will always have enough batteries to keep your portable radio going overnight
4. Clearasil & Anne French won’t clear your spots; growing older will do that
5. Splashing cold water on your boobs every night may well have worked, because you have got bazookas – yes I know, it’s unbelievable!
6.You WILL pass your exams & stay on at your beloved NDHS for 2 more years
7. Yes, you will indeed have sex – but saving yourself for that eejit McN was a total waste :(
8. Children? Of your own? Nope. But strangely, it won’t bother you.

But here’s the real clincher….. two very, VERY important things happened that you always thought to be utterly unthinkable:-

1. You never ended up incarcerated in The Maudsley Mental Home in Camberwell

2. You married the “unattainable” (your fellow Notre Dame Girls’ verdict) Peter Harkin.

Yes, honestly! And don’t say “errmm….what?!” – because some dreams do come true, after all.

......Blimey.....I really married Peter Harkin! LUCKY OLD ME!

……Blimey…..I really married Peter Harkin! LUCKY OLD ME!

Love to you, Eileen xOx

Five Minute Friday – Finish


Five Minute FridayIt’s been too long since I did Five Minute Friday… five minutes of unedited, non stop writing on a given theme. Since I’m in a bad mood and am ready to rant about something, today’s theme ‘FINISH’ is just the word I’m looking for! 

Before I start though, I should wish all the very best to Lisa-Jo Baker as she passes the baton of Five MInute Friday on next week. She’s been running it for 4 years now. God bless Lisa-Jo x

I’m just about ready to throw in the towel. This job hunting thing is so irritating. I’ve never had trouble getting a job before. So, I’m not sure if I’m more irritated, or maybe my pride is hurt. This particular search for work is making me feel old, and unqualified. So many jobs that I would enough experience for – even 5 years ago, I seemed to be ‘untrained’ for now.

I loved being 40, it felt like a milestone. A great achievement to reach that age and still be alive and happy – even though I’ve struggled with illness and sadness in my life. But the last couple of weeks I’ve felt like scrap-heap fodder. I resent this job hunt for making me feel old and useless.

So what do I do now?

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Is this the end of something, or can I dare to believe it’s the beginning of something…?

One option is… I could dare to dream.

I’m excited about developing my writing career, loving the fact that I’m getting great feedback on my stories. Never in a million years would I apply for a writing job though.

I wonder if it’s not that I’m finished, but that the admin secretary in me is finished, and the writer is getting started.

Wouldn’t it be great if that was true?  *heavy sighs

photo credit: Antonio Buccella via photopin cc

Letter to my younger self – Dear Karen…


Delighted to have Karen Huber bring the 3rd in the ‘Letter to my younger self’ series. Originally from Kansas USA, Karen currently lives in Dublin, Ireland with her husband and three children. She’s a stay at home mum and self-described lazy writer, blogging on faith, motherhood and culture at www.karenohuber.com. Find her on twitter at @karenohuber

Over to her…

Don’t be afraid, girl
I remember this age. Even now, I can see you.

You’re sitting on the slant of the roof. A dormer window allows you a bit of freedom, a smidge of rebellion. You have the attic mostly to yourself, a gift from the men of your church who spent sweaty August hours converting the space. You take pride in decorating it, setting up a desk, putting a calendar on the wall and creating soft light with a little white lamp. You sit and pick up the pen, one of those silvery blue ones with a fuzzy ball at the end, and you open the book.

Dear Diary, you write. You’re my only friend.

From this side, I know that’s not true. You have a veritable revolving door of girlhood friends. Amy and Jessica, Beth and Nicole. There are fights, to be sure, but you are not as alone as you think you are.

letterselfIn the pages of that journal, you write out the wrongs, the imagined slights and the heartache of hopes. You write plays in your head late at night, when the thunder rolls in. In primary school you graduate from sad stories with accompanying sad illustrations to book reviews and essays. Your teachers remark on this, reaffirming over and over what you refuse to hear.

You should listen. In fact, the sooner you listen, the easier this will all be.

I want to sit by your side on the roof of that pink house and tell you to stop sighing and winging, to relish the friendships. I want to tell you to perk the heck up and stop being so melodramatic about everything. I want to tell you to stop questioning the affection and worrying for the future, to remind you that not everyone leaves.

And I want to tell you: don’t be afraid.

Twelve is terrible. I know this. I am very literally wincing with humility at the memory. 23 years on and I look to your son; he will be twelve in six months. I’m tempted to be afraid for him, the emotions and the confusion, the hormones and the lack of confidence. I remember you then and worry for him now. But I will tell him the same and choose to believe it, too.

Don’t be afraid.

Oh, there are some caveats:

You will get sick on your communications teacher this year. Obviously, she will not be happy about.

Be kinder to your mother, your sisters. On this side, they will be your best friends, the ones who love you from start to finish.

Secondary school will start rough, but you will find your niche, your people and your voice. You’ll write again in the shade of your English class, and though you won’t be the smartest, you’ll get the highest mark. “You have something here,” your professors will tell you. And this time, you’ll listen, and it will carry you through university and beyond.

karen.square.headshotI’m not gonna lie. Things will get dicey from time to time. You are human, as is most everyone around you. But don’t be afraid. There is a holy beauty in the waiting, in the heartache, in torn pieces being mended.

And on this side, you will know:

Wild, crazy love will enter your atmosphere, sooner than you think (or want). A tribe of children will come to you, filling your heart and your bed in the middle of the night. Ireland will call you, a home you never imagined from the roof of that pink house. And God will wait for you, though you doubt and run, over and over.

Don’t be afraid, girl. Not everyone leaves.

Not even you.

*****

Photo Credits:
1. rolands.lakis via Compfight cc
2. Karen Huber – provided by herself

Letter to my younger self – Dear Rita…


Our 2nd in the ‘Letter to My Younger Self’ series is from Rita O’Brien. I met Rita through a writing course in Lucan Library, South Dublin. You’ll see some of Rita’s fun and poignant work on the Lucan Writers blog. She’s also on Twitter @ritaobri

Over to her…

Ah, Rita, look at you sitting there – surrounded, God love you, by mini-mountains of books and copies and jotters piled up on the dining room table.  I’d feel more pity for you, though, if you hadn’t got Radio Caroline blasting out of that little PYE transistor radio beside you.  You can’t seriously be studying, now, can you?  If you were, you’d never, ever have managed to learn every single word of every song in last week’s Top 10, which you obviously did, judging by your impression of Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black and The Hollies while your Mam is gone to the shops.

medium_9692711856Less than a week away from the Inter Cert and you’re surprisingly calm and relaxed in yourself.  For some unknown reason, you’ve always enjoyed doing exams, though the Mocks weren’t exactly what you’d call a walk in the park! Well, just wait till you face the real test in two years time.  It’ll be some help having only 11 other girls staying on in your class to do the Leaving Cert, but apart from the stress of trying to get as many Honours as you can, there’ll be the huge emotional upheaval you’re going to experience afterwards, when yourself and your schoolpals part company after 13 years together.  It’s not as if you can all keep in touch by phone because most of those girls’ families would go hungry if they were to try to save up the three hundred pounds installation fee, let alone afford the monthly rental.  And you can forget about meeting up regularly with them, too, unless you’re going to get two buses, at least, to take you over to the other side of the city where your Mam sent you to school.  When you’ve got a family of your own, that’s something you’ll look back on as part of her legacy to you.  Your children will be sent to the local mixed school where most of the neighbours’ kids – boys as well as girls!! – will be going, end of story.

At the moment, you’re imagining yourself, at 18, going off to do charity work in some Godforsaken part of the Third World, but I’d give that one a miss, if I was you, until you’ve at least survived a week-long mosquito attack, coupled with heatstroke and food-poisoning, in Majorca or Fuengirola.  You’d love to get into hairdressing, either, except that your Dad won’t hear a word of it – ‘That’s only for girls who haven’t the brains to do anything else’, so he says, with the result that you’ll end up doing the round of entrance exams to get a job in the Civil Service or in a bank or insurance company, and you’ll take the first place that you’re offered.  That ear-to-ear smile when you get the Civil Service Commission letter will soon be wiped off your face when you start work in the Tax Office.  Talk about a culture shock!  As the only Dubliner in an entire department full of people from outside the Pale whose sisters or brothers will come further down the panel than you, you’d better not expect to be welcomed with open arms.  You’ll hate it but you’ll stick it until something better comes along.

You’re under the impression now that, between school, home and your neighbourhood, you’ve already encountered all the personality types you’re ever going to meet.  Well, you’ve seen nothing yet, girl!  When you go to work, you’ll be lucky to find lifelong friends and the odd date, but you’ll also meet people at all levels who will be driven by their own agendas, needs, ambitions and priorities.  They’ll manipulate, inspire, exploit, influence, upset, mentor, frustrate, impress, torment, support, infuriate and bore you beyond belief.  Whether they will realise it or not, though, you’ll learn from every one of them.  It’ll take time, but you’ll eventually understand that learning what not to do will be every bit as valuable to you in life as learning the opposite.  You’ll have no problem standing up for yourself, and for others, if they need you to – a year or two in a trade union head office will instil that in you, amongst other things.

The years ahead will bring you lots of joy and surprises as well as sadness and disappointments, but I’ll guarantee you this much: decades from now, you’ll look back with an amazing sense of pride and fulfilment at how you handled the setbacks and even used them to your advantage at times.  Naturally, you’ll take the greatest pleasure from the happier events in your life, particularly the ones – and there will be a few, believe me – that will creep up on you unexpectedly.  You’ll come to your own realisation that the best things in life are, indeed, free.  If you’re in any doubt, just get yourself and your two daughters (now, there’s a surprise for you!) down to Glendalough for a walk around the lakes, or take a spin to Rosslare to sit for hours overlooking the harbour, have an hour-long chat with your sister on the phone or invite your pals around for a laugh and some group therapy washed down with a glass of wine or a cup of decaf.

Right now, you’re wishing that you could have a crystal ball to see what the future may hold for you, but what would be the point in that?  For starters, the surprises would be well and truly ruined.  And, because you’re always underestimating your abilities, you’d never for a single minute believe that you’ll possess the inner strength and determination to overcome the few knocks and shocks along the way.  It’d be like telling you that you’ll soon find yourself in Arnott’s front window, that you’ll get to meet a woman President of Ireland, face-to-face, in the Aras or see the Pope in Parkgate Street, that your Ma will be two-timing when she’s 73, or that you’ll still be going to Cliff Richard concerts when you’re 60 (which would make him, yes, 73!!).

Rita O'BThroughout the future, you’ll make choices and decisions where your heart won’t even let your head get a look-in and only time will tell whether you were right or not.  You’ll be contented with whatever you have, wherever you live, because the most important part of your future will have nothing to do with material things.  From the day that you give them life, your daughters will be the centre of your universe.  Every major step you’ll take forever after will be driven by their needs and hopes.  Nobody else on Earth will ever make you as loving, as happy, as loved or as proud as they will.  And you’ll be delighted to hear that, unlike yourself, they’ll be blessed with the company and friendship of loads of cousins, so you’ll have plenty of family hooleys to look forward to.  Having your Ma around until she’s 82 will be the icing on the cake.  You’ll miss her stories and laughs and advice so much after she passes on, but you’ll never, ever be able to remember her without smiling.  And in no time at all, what do you know but your first grandchild will bless your already charmed life?  ‘God’, I bet you’re saying to yourself, ‘I haven’t had as much as a kiss yet and she’s going on about me being a Granny’!

Even now, I can’t tell you everything you’re bound to want to know, but be sure of this one thing: you will, one day, find it in your heart to forgive Maxi, Dick and Twink for ruining your chances of celebrity stardom when they gate-crashed your Opportunity Knocks audition in front of Hughie Green in Parnell Square last year.  ‘Maxi, Dick and WHO?’, says you!!

If you want advice for the future, the voice of experience would tell you to have fun, to enjoy the twists and turns along the road ahead of you, to have no regrets, and to get back to studying your French grammar, because you are just going to love Paris more than anywhere else in the world!

Your older and, hopefully, wiser self. xxxxx

*****

photo credits:
1. dreams & pancakes via photopin cc
2. Rita O’Brien – provided by herself

Letter to my younger self – Dear Helen…


Welcome to the first guest in this series of, ‘Letters to My Younger Self’.
I’m so delighted to have Helen Bullock here :) She’s a great Twitter buddy.
Helen is a primary school teacher. She is the editor of ‘How I Learn’, a crowd sourced study of learning styles – you can find out all about her on her blog; just click here.
You can follow her on Twitter @AnseoAMuinteoir

 

Over to her…

 

Dear Helen
This is Helen now - even though she looks 18! :)

This is Helen now – even though she looks 18! :)

Happy 18th Birthday!! Hard to believe while you relish being 18 I’m here looking at 28 and thinking how much has changed.  You’ve grown a lot from that 17/18 year old you know now. You’re so confused right now about what to do in college, facing into your leaving cert and boys. Let’s face it boys are always going to be confusing at 18 but don’t worry, at 28 you’ve got it figured out :)

Anyway, I’m here to remind you of a few things and encourage you with a few others.
Firstly, study more. I can tell you now you did just brilliantly in your Leaving Cert but it was down to good planning and study. Yes the supervised study is a bore but you actually study there which is more than you do at home….Just get over it. Study. And don’t forget French, you will regret it if you don’t put the effort in. Speaking of French, be ready for your mock aural exam…you’ll have an embarrassing nose bleed and no tissues, maybe you should keep some in your school bag at all times! The teacher won’t appreciate the mess you’ll make!!
There’s a time ahead when your college plans change, you’re planning on going to Mary I in Limerick to become a teacher but that doesn’t happen. Our parents can’t afford the rent and other expenses that come with you moving out but don’t worry. You do get there, you take the long road and are now a fully qualified teacher, it is not an easy road but without it you will miss out on meeting that guy you want and need to meet so don’t worry. Detours don’t hurt.
“Detours don’t hurt.”
When you do finally make it to college you need to remember to study. But if I’m honest, college is about finding who you are and what you want to be when you grow up. Yes you’ve always wanted to a teacher but it’s this time in college that allows you to explore other areas and jobs. Make friends in college, one especially will be your closest friend and you’ll need her in the future. Have fun, there comes a time when you won’t be having much fun and you have some your worst fears to face. Enjoy your first two years in college, the final year is the hard one and your memories will get you through it. Eventually.
Your taste in boys takes a while to mature, let’s be honest some of the boys you’ve dated have been eh, less than stellar; but one ahead is worth his weight in gold. There’s one however who comes pretty close to ruining your life, don’t let him. Yes everything will seem like a disaster but that friend from college will help you through it. The bruises will fade, the aches lessen, the nightmares become less frequent and the friends who matter will stand by you. The rest don’t matter at all. They’re not real true friends if they can’t or won’t stand by you now, yes you made mistakes but who doesn’t? The biggest mistake was choosing to wrong guy to be with but trust me everyone does at some stage. The main thing to remember is every experience teaches you something and this one will give you a lot of lessons and not all of them will be easy. Don’t give up, yes he hurts you, a lot. But you become stronger because of him, braver. Yes your confidence will be damaged but that guy I’ve mentioned will help.
You will eventually meet him,  he’s amazing. Ok so you won’t meet in the most conventional way, or even the way you both tell your parents. But by 2008 meeting online isn’t something to be ashamed of, over the next few years it becomes almost normal and a lot of your friends meet that way. They even find it settling that they’re not alone! By the time you write this you’ll planning your wedding so any ideas or demands now is a good time to think of them!
medium_9692711856Try not to worry so much about what people think of you, yes it’s going to be hard, you can’t help it and you are so self conscience of your clothes, that hasn’t changed much if I’m honest. There are times you still think you’re not good enough but you are. Some people just don’t matter. Ignore them. You are smart, clever and intelligent. Not everyone sees you for you and trust me they are the people you don’t need to be friends with. Make people laugh, you have a quick sense of humour, use it. Sometimes laughter is the best cure to defuse a situation and timing is everything.
“There are times you still think you’re not good enough, but you are.”
Save money. There’s a time when yes your savings go AWOL  but the habit of saving is a great one and at 28 trust me you’ll be glad you did.
As I write this and I think about my life at 18 and all the things ahead of you I can’t help but smile. Things weren’t easy at times but I’ve had fun and I know you will too. Don’t be scared by the rough times ahead, everyone has challenges but they shape who you are and who you will be.
Celebrate being 18 with your friends, enjoy the night, the moment because let me tell you the people who are there celebrating with you won’t feature much in your future. There’s just one who sticks around and she’s invaluable, keep her close. I’ll be celebrating 28 with friends, I don’t know if they’ll be around when I celebrate 38 but I know that the friends you have now (and the ones I have now) are some of the most important people in our lives, cherish them.
Be good to yourself.
Be safe.
Have fun.
From your older, wiser and often less sensible self
Helen
* * * * *

photo credits:
1. Helen Bullock – provided by herself
2. dreams & pancakes via photopin cc

Starting tomorrow, a series of letters


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Greetings all.

I’m delighted to be starting a series of guest posts here on auntyamo.com ;)

After writing the ‘Letter to my 15 year old self’, I found there’s a whole website devoted to writing letters to our younger selves. So I thought maybe some others might be up for an opportunity to do the same.

Over the next 3 to 4 weeks some friends and family will be sharing their letters here. Starting tomorrow with a birthday girl.

I hope you enjoy the series – and there’s room for a couple more on the schedule if you’re interested. Drop me an email. amowriting at gmail dot com

I’m looking forward to reading them all. If you haven’t read mine and you’d like to, click here.

See you tomorrow.

As always, thanks for reading.
auntyamo x

photo credit: dreams & pancakes via photopin cc