Hi, my name’s Alice. I’m twenty-three-years-old. And I am guilty of wishing time away. Looks like my wish may have finally come scarily true, because… where the heck did 2017 go? Yep, it’s that time of year where I write future me a letter, informing her of her progress and crossing all my fingers and toes that she is in an always happier, somehow better place. (If you want to read any of the letters from the last three years I’ve been doing this, I’ve linked the others at the end.) So, 2018 Alice, here’s the dealio.
I’m kind of disappointed in myself for this post, simply because it doesn’t fit in. I have my annual end of year letter sat in my drafts. It ends so hopefully and yet this might shatter it all to pieces. That’s not to say what I wrote was a lie. I use my social media to share things about my life, perhaps even overshare with all those icky feelings thrown in there. But I don’t mould it to look like it’s something it’s not. Most of my instagram contains pictures of pretty places rather than my face looking unrealistically above average. But I still feel disappointed. Because my mentality keeps slipping.
I keep thinking how much worse I was this time last year, how this has to be some kind of wonderful improvement. Small steps towards better things. I’m starting to consider the fact I might have just settled, that being home has put a bullet through my wild heart. I’m sedated for the time being, but perhaps I’m starting to come round.
Turning 23 has been the first real time I’ve had to take a second and question where all the time has gone. Gone are the days of lying in bed, pressing my palms together and praying I’d never grow up and that, if I really had to, could I survive on beans on toast for the rest of my life because trying new foods was scary and I lived in fear of throwing anything I didn’t like up. A valid fear, one I have outgrown (mostly). And now I’m 23. Twenty-three. And I know that isn’t old per se and saying anything about ‘feeling old’ makes anyone genuinely older than me groan. I know it’s not actually old, but I guess what I mean is it feels adult and I’m far enough out the other side of university that I feel that intense pressure to gradually have more to show for my life as the years add up.
I’m learning to take things in my stride though, and not listen to the taunting voices in my head that never fail to remind me ‘this sister had done that at this point in her life, this sister had a ring on her finger, this sister had a baby, this sister was earning so and so a year’. It’s hard not to compare and let that fester into my insecurities, but I’m learning and I’m living. Perhaps down a different path, but living none the less. And with an added years experience comes another hoard of sometimes tough-to-take life lessons. So, for the first time on my little nook of the internet, I thought I’d rein in my 24th year with some of my sacred (and silly) life hacks, tips and lessons.
Unfortunately this is a falling out of love letter and not the opposite of its kind. Do people ever actually write those? I suppose, in a mad dash to leave, on a notepad meant for shopping lists, or smudged on a napkin with the skid-marks to show the at breaking neck speed at which they raced out of your life. More obviously through text messages, in as little words as: ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ ‘There’s somebody else.’ ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’