Claire tagged me about a week ago with the following :: write a letter to yourself at 13. After reading Claire's fantastic and very funny letter I was, to be honest, a bit daunted. But here goes :
You're now older than your mum, and you'll never believe how quickly the journey here has been. It won't seem like five minutes since you were sitting in your Laura Ashley bedroom, listening to Paul Young and gazing at the ugly bloke from Depeche Mode adorning your walls.
With 40 fast approaching you'll find yourself in the midst of the most contented time of your life. Casting off all the insecurities of your twenties you'll enter into motherhood in your thirtieth year (no party then!) and finally find the "career" that has eluded you so far. It won't be highly paid, fast paced or earth shattering but it will bring your more satisfaction, happiness and fulfilment than any bonus ever could. Enjoy your midday lie-ins, they'll become a thing of the past, as will going to the toilet alone and leaving the house in less than an hour.
Give up now on the "Princess Diana" haircut, it does nothing for you and the amount of hairspray you're using will be contributing to global warming (don't worry, you'll soon be learning about that). A healthy diet does not consist of chunky Milky Bars and chipsticks. Appreciate what you've got and know that you'll never be a size 10 again, but also that you won't particularly care.
Try not to get too upset if the Valentines postie at school never delivers that huge cardboard card from Sean in the second year, by your mid twenties you'll have had your fair share of boyfriends and you'll have forgotten all about him. In the summer of '96 a man sporting a rather suspect purple and jade green fleece will laugh his way into your heart at your first meeting. 12 volatile but happy years later he will still make you laugh and look after you like no-one else could.
Friendships will come and go. You'll learn that some women never actually leave the school playground. Let them go and instead concentrate on the steadfast ones, those with whom you share your highs and lows, your tears and laughter, those who make you a better person, the ones you couldn't imagine life without.
One of your greatest pleasures will be your home. Just as it is now, it will be a bolthole, stuffed with your ever expanding collection of other peoples' cast offs, a place full of laughter, noise, tantrums and eighties music.
Try to understand your parents and their concerns about your whereabouts, their hopes and fears and their expectations. The screaming fits won't change anything and it will all become very clear later in life and you'll repeat the whole experience with your own children, but they won't have the freedom you do.
You'll still recognise yourself at nearly 40, there'll be a few more lines, and your skin won't quite exude that healthy glow without a bit of help, but overall you'll do. All around you women (and some men) will be injecting themselves with toxins, waxing away all body hair and lifting, removing and tucking in various bits of their bodies but you'll embrace you late thirties, with its' receding gums, grey hairs and wobbly tum and laugh your way through it, looking forward to the next 25 years!
love from Julia
I'll end with a few shots of our French holiday which feels like a million years ago. I didn't have a chance to tell you much about it but one of the highlights was a trip to Honfleur, just looking at these houses made me want to move there..............
See you all later in the week............