After a few days away and a few busy days of reading at events. I’m back. 🙂 To ease myself back into things, here’s another letter for you. (It’s still the summer, I can’t be overdoing it…)
Róisín is a social media connection who has been enjoying the ‘Letter to my younger self’ series, and decided to give it a go herself. Róisín blogs at randomdescent.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Twitter @randomdescent
Over to her…
So you’re 15 now, and as awkward as baby foal (though considerably less leggy; you haven’t grown an inch since you were 12). I know what you’re thinking, back in 2004. When will life actually begin? The summer holidays are passing by again like they always do. You watch telly in the mornings and go shopping with Mam in the afternoon. You write letters to your best friend even though she lives three miles away. You write stories and draw pictures.
You have no idea how the future you, at the age of 25, would kill for so much free time.
Anyway, don’t worry. Life is just around the corner. You’ll go up to Belfast with your mam for a week, and see a bit of the island anew. In the HMV in Belfast city centre, you’ll take advantage of those low, low sterling prices and pick up a couple of CDs. One is The Strokes’ debut. You’d heard ‘Last Night’ on the radio and liked it; it’s a gamble to buy an album on the back of one song, but it’s only £6 or so.
In a B’n’B room on the Ormeau Road you put your Discman into your ears and from the failing digital bleeping that heralds the title track you’re hooked. The album is already three years old, made in that last New York summer before the towers came down, but to you it’s simultaneously the newest and oldest thing you’ve ever heard. You don’t really get what Julian Casablancas is singing about – that would all come later on- but you can feel the world-weariness, the disappointment. Raised on Britney and the Spice Girls, but always, always absorbing the Beatles and the Stones played at home, you never realised there were still rock bands out there.
Whatever The Strokes do or, rather, don’t do next, you’ll never forget that first moment, and this album will become an old friend to you. It’s all about the music, this time in your life. The musicals you sing in school, your classmate’s unearthly rendition of a hymn at a school mass, the violin you play, the Strokes and the Kings of Leon and the Killers and Franz Ferdinand and then, it’s Green Day and Nirvana and the Pixies.
Life is beginning and so is the music. The next year, the academic year when you leave fifteen behind and become sweet sixteen, this is the game changer. You’ll get up on the stage and sing in a wonderfully plummy English accent as Yum-Yum in The Mikado; you’ll think you’re in love; you’ll venture to Italy with your classmates and to Dublin and Mayo and everywhere in between.
You won’t realise it but it’s one of the best times of your life. You always snorted at that dreaded ‘school-days are the best days’ trotted out by those older; things would be so much cooler when you could do whatever you want, and you could get out of that horrendous green gabardine skirt.
Well, I won’t pretend, 15 year old me, that the skirt is missed. (It really was the worst garment ever made- you’ll be disgusted to know that after you left, the school changed to a rather nice blue uniform). You’d probably be a bit disappointed to know that you haven’t really gotten it together either. No boyfriend and no amazing career in journalism, but you won’t believe the experiences that in store. You won’t believe the good and the bad that’ll come, how much you will grow, how strong you will prove yourself.
Dear fifteen year old me, I will not let you down.
PS. I know Apple are totally lame now but trust me, I’d recommend saving your pocket money and buying a few shares. Don’t question it…
photo credit: photo supplied by Róisín and used with her permission