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Two Weeks Open Letter Challenge – Day 1: To you 15 years old self

We are entering the last two weeks of the General Election campaign and, while I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about what outsiders don’t really know about the Tories, instead of writing more about politics I’m starting this challenge by CAPTAINEVERLAND to try and bring something nice to people’s day while everyone is being mean to each other on Twitter.

Dear Alessia,
The school year is almost over. It’s been tough, and you’ve got your heart broken and you really hate everything (especially Greek…) but guess, what, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.
You really should have gone to arts school, and screw your aunt. It will take you about 7 more years, but you will get to the point she has no more power over you. You will also have to move across the sea, but I hope you don’t mind. Remember when you used to watch Robin Hood all the time? I’m sure you’ll love England, although it looks a bit different from the cartoon. I hope your English is good enough to read this, I should probably write to you in French or Italian at this point, but then almost nobody on Twitter (yes, Twitter…you know Myspace? Not going to be a thing for long) would be able to read it, and that’s kinda the point because you’re my 15 years old self, so you’re inside me now somewhere. But if there was any ways to time travel, and for you to read this, I’d want you to know something very important. Two things. First of all, you are beautiful. No matter what they say. And yes, I was singing it into my head in Christina Aguilera’s voice, but I mean it. You live in a place that is completely screwed up, and are surrounded by people who are just intent on bringing you down, but there are many people out there who think that you are just beautiful the way you are. Including me. I’d pay good money to look the way you do, with all the post-illness fat and worsening skin (so much coffee and alcohol, don’t do it…)
You’re going to turn down a prince in about a year, because you really wanted to marry for love and not be stuck being someone’s perfect trophy wife in a castle in Tuscany, and things are not going to be easy for you to find your happy ending, but you’ll learn just how precious you are and how really you don’t need someone else to validate you. All in good time. It’s a tough journey, but I hope it’ll help you to know where you’re headed, maybe you can avoid giving your heart away to a few of the unworthy people you’ll meet if I give you the list. It’ll be attached to this letter for privacy.
The other important thing that I want to tell you is to try and be understanding of your crazy mother. She’s going to be very ill, and turn out to be actually not that bad when she does, so maybe it’s going to help everyone’s mental sanity if I just tell you that, and you try to remember it instead of freaking out at whatever irrational way she’s behaving. You’ll be surprised at just how much the thought that one day she may not be there, for real, will scare you, after how many times you wished that happened. Maybe just disappeared, not actually dead, but you know, cancer doesn’t make people just disappear. They die. So it’ll get real and get scary. Your grandmother will be very ill in a few years too, and she’ll never recover from it, and you really should have been less scared of everything and be there for her while she was still there. She died with a broken heart but don’t despair, there is always the hope of being reunited in heaven…because guess what, don’t laugh, you’re never going to believe this but it’s true. You will be a Catholic. A proper, full, on, Brideshead-type (don’t worry, you’ll read the book and get the reference one day) Catholic. You’ll be running women’s ministries and whatever not. You’ll be wearing a veil in church. I can picture you rolling on the floor, laughing too much, because this sounds just so unbelievable, but it’s true. I mean, I’m your 28 years old self, I know what happens next. Please don’t overdo the emo thing so much. I know you just want to find a tribe when the people around you are bullying you, but you’re going to look back and cringe a little. Seriously, skip that part and go for the indie bands directly, they’re much more fun and you’re going to meet even more of them than the emo ones. And by the way, you’re still not married to Tom Delonge.
There is just so much I want to tell you, but I don’t want to spoil you the rest of your life, as some of it is actually going to be really fun. It’s not all heartbreak, I promise (even if you’re not married to Tom Delonge). Just one more note of care, you’ll find this Scottish girl who likes to wear a lot of make-up. She’s called Helen and she’s going to be your best friend. She’s going to stay over at your house a lot, be very careful when you move in the bed because you’re never going to hear the end of it about when apparently you touched her bum, she’ll tweet it all the time.

You’re doing great,

Your older self

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