Dear 15 year-old Charlotte,
Firstly, I know you are going to ask what you look like now you’re 25. Ten years on. And it’s probably not what you want to hear, but you are bigger than you are now. I know, I know, you had visions of being one of those girls who really came into their own when they hit their twenties. But it turns out that you are quite fond of the good, old carbohydrate food group. And wine actually. Yes, really. You actually like it – and not just rosé. No, I don’t like the pink stuff that much anymore. You grow out of that when you hit 21.
There are bigger reasons as to why you aren’t exactly slim, but I think we will save that for a bit later on. Okay?
I suppose you want to know if you and whatshisface are still together? In short. No.
Oh come on girl, don’t cry. You are quite fine. And yes, he dumped you. When? Your 18th birthday. No, not when you were 18. On your actual birthday. But you have a few years to enjoy him yet. You won’t listen to me, or anyone else that’s for sure. So go on – fall in love and listen to Damien Rice together and plan how many children you will have and what-not.
Children? Now hang on a minute. Do you not know who you ended up falling in love with? For all you know you could be a spinster like Bridget Jones. Yes, I know you love the book and the film. You’ll like the sequel too. I’ve said too much. Just be patient. So do you find a Mr Darcy or do you end up with several Daniel Cleavers?
You are one of the lucky ones. You have a Mr Darcy. And he’s perfect. His name? Stephen. Stephen Darroch. Yes D-A-R-R-O-C-H. No, not Da-roche. Da-rock. You’ll get used to it. He’s part Scottish, but without the accent sadly.
How did you meet? At university. What do you study? You end up choosing journalism. It’s the right choice, trust me. You do well. And I know you miss the stage and wonder if it ever could have been, but you still sing all the time and you did a few shows until you…
Okay. Big news. Ready for it?
You’re a mum!
Okay. Breathe. No I don’t have any rosé. Calm down. You’re a mummy. And you are happy. And you aren’t a tramp. Stop worrying about money and what Mum and Dad will say and just listen.
First off, okay, you aren’t married. Yet. Stephen likes it, but he hasn’t put a ring on it. Oh crap, sorry, that makes no sense. It’s a lyric from a song that Beyoncé releases way into your future. You like it very much and practice the dance moves from the music video when no one is looking. I digress.
Your baby was a surprise. You weren’t expecting to become a mum so soon. And you were 24 when your son, William James Darroch was born. Yes, I know you have a cousin William, but it doesn’t matter. This name is special to you and Stephen. Your William is a year old now, just. He’s wonderful. He completes you and you understand that nothing else really matters. You loved being pregnant and a word from the wise – don’t get excited about the due date, he ends up being 13 days overdue.
So what else? You are the Lead Content Producer for a company works with charities. It’s not what you expected but you have never been happier. Oh you were a journalist for a while, a Group Editor in fact, but it’s a chapter in your life that has closed now.
You’re also a blogger. I’m not sure how much of this you will understand, but there is a life outside of MSN Messenger. And you have a big online diary of your life as a mum and people read it. You are also learning to use a camera properly and you recently gave a big speech in front of tons of other mums.
Yes, I don’t suppose it does sound much like you Charlotte. But it is. Life changes outside school. Life begins. You don’t remember those people who pushed you around and put you down. They don’t matter. You bump into some of them again when you grow up and you smile to yourself because they haven’t changed. Except you have because you just let them continue to brag and boast, but you have a secret smile and you just nod and let your mind drift to thoughts of your son. These bullies still exist in the adult world unfortunately, but they are just people who don’t know how to grow up.
You have a dog, called Max, who is undoubtedly your best friend. You love that furry old boy lots. You own a house now, with Stephen. It needs some work, but you are getting there. You never imagined you’d own your own home so soon huh? You have Mum and Dad to thank for that young lady. Forever indebted.
Mum and Dad are brilliant. The whole family is. There has been some changes. But for the best. And everyone is happy. Which makes you happy.
I feel like, I should tell you something profound. Warn you off your mistakes. Urge you to take a new path. Remind you to enjoy yourself and have more fun and not study so hard.
But I won’t.
Your choices. The person you are. You got us here today.
You are happy Charlotte. It won’t be an easy road to 25, but my God it’s worth it.
Follow your dreams. Dream big. And always paddle your own canoe.
Oh, and listen to Mum and Dad. They are more amazing than you appreciate right now.
And don’t eat too many carbs okay?
I love you. In a bizarre way. You’ve got so much to learn and so much life to live. But you get there.
Charlotte, aged 25 and almost-a-half.
I wrote this on a whim, and then thought it would be nice to see what you would say to your 15 year-old self, given the chance. So please link up!