Me to Me

Dear 13-year-old me, it’s er, me… your REDACTED year-old self, waving hello from the 21st Century. Hey, don’t freak out! This isn’t like that time we were building a model Spitfire and accidentally sniffed too much glue, which made our face go numb and caused neon monsters to come out of the walls… then mum called us down for dinner and we vomited in the soup. Not like that at all.

Before you ask, I have no idea how this is possible. Let’s just pretend there’s a weird time-tunnel thingy, linking our two realities, OK?

Firstly, no, despite the fact we’re now living in the future, there are no jet-packs. Or hover cars. Bloody disappointing. But in a few years, when you realise what most people are like driving on roads, you’ll probably be grateful they aren’t actually buzzing about in the sky. It might also be a while longer before we have robots as butlers.

Anyway, wait until you see some of the stuff we do have. I could make a list but it’d be REALLY long. And it’ll spoil the fun. One thing I can’t keep quiet about though, we have this network of computers called the… oh hang on, you’ve read about this. Those science fiction authors we like, they got it right. Sort of. Trust me, it’ll be excellent. And mad and terrifying. But mostly excellent. Oh, and you know Pete Young’s Spectrum 48k that he never even uses, and if you owned one you’d be on it ALL DAY because you want to create graphics? Well, there’s stuff coming in a few years that’ll blow your tiny mind. You get good, too. Though, weirdly, you’ll still yearn for that Speccy.

These days quite a few people write to their teen selves. They say it’s OK, or even great, to be where they are now. They say it all seemed to work out, even if it definitely didn’t look that way at the time. I know you don’t have a plan. And I know this bothers you. It seems everyone else has it sorted. But trust me, they don’t. No one knows what they hell they’re doing. Not really. It doesn’t change much when you get to be an adult either. We’re all just reaching for something. Dreams, clouds, candy floss.

Some of the time you’ll want to be part of the world, the excitement, the rush. Like, really in it. And other times you’ll just want to be left alone… and you’ll wish the world was empty of people. Both of these feelings are fine. Totally fine. Be kinder to yourself.

I’d like to tell you that everything works out but that would be a lie. I mean, some stuff does. And some really doesn’t. You’re in for some pretty horrible times, mate. There’s no way to prepare for that. Sorry. There’s not much I can say or do that will make it any better for you while it’s happening. But know this… you will get through it. Sure, I could be specific; don’t ignore that situation with your anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek help. Don’t fall in love with the girl you meet in 12 years because eventually you’ll just have your heart broken so badly it’ll feel like you can’t breathe.

The truth is if I let you in on everything, what would we learn? The facts of life are that some people have it easier than others. We just have to roll with it. We’re one of the lucky ones, believe me.

Anyway, the idea that it all ‘works out’ is a bit silly because life is on-going. We don’t reach a specific point and then everything freezes. What’s good one moment can turn bad the next (and vice versa, thankfully!). It’s like this when you’re young. It’s like this when you’re older. And it carries on, until we are dead.

Hmmm… that doesn’t sound very encouraging, does it? I’m actually going through one of those bad time, so parts of this letter are more for the now me, than they are for you. But it proves a point. And the good stuff that happens? Some of it will be properly awesome. I mean, eye-poppingly completely amazing. Keep dreaming. Dreams are good. Do what you love, love what you do. Time moves so very, very quickly. Don’t waste a second.

I know you still miss granddad… and that never goes away. But you keep him alive by remembering the twinkle in his eye when he laughed. The Old Jamaica rum chocolate he used to eat and give you squares of. And the fact he used to hide behind the sofa with you, during Doctor Who. You keep him alive by holding on to the principles he taught you. Always try to be the best you can be. Be the good man in a storm.

Before I go, I have to tell you one last thing. It’s probably not allowed… I bet I’m breaking some law of time here but screw it. In 13 years, they launch the UK National Lottery. Write these numbers down: 11, 17, 21, 29, 30, 40, 31. Play them on the 3rd December 1994. DON’T lose them. DON’T forget. Seriously…

As I say, time moves fast. See you in a bit.

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