This is me. Or rather you. Some twenty years down the line. Yup. You’re going to reach there too. Dont snigger. Yup. Take a good hard look. And pay good attention to what I’m about to say.
Dont dither and dather. You do have the rest of your life in front of you, but it really isnt infinite. You will just wake up one fine morning and realise you’re going to have forty candles on your cake and decide to do away with the damn celebrations, and use the money saved from not celebrating on botox shots. Seriously though, you have very little time. So do what you want to do. And that means exactly what I say. Do it now. Want to climb mountains? Move heaven and earth to explore it, dont wait till you’re older and wiser and have some money in the kitty and a secure job in hand, because the ideal time to do anything you want never comes by. It just gets further and further along on the horizon until you get grey haired and soft in the belly, and get palpitations of the heart just thinking about climbing three flights of stairs, and the mountains will keep smiling benevolently as you resign yourself to leaving them unexplored in this lifetime at least.
Of course, the mountains were a metaphor. Climb every damn mountain. Do what you want to do. Listen to what you want to do and do it.
Do not snigger at old folks. You are going to get there faster than you think. Yup yup. You are going to become a lifetime customer of L’Oreal Ammonia free hair colour, and you are going to be the one squinting at the packaging on anti wrinkle creams where, through some infernal conspiracy designed to trick us old ladies who go into stores to pick up stuff without our reading glasses, prices are written in amoeba height letters so that we can just clutch our chests as the price shows on the cashier till’s computer as the damn coin size jar is swiped. Yup and you are going to be the one asking the saleswoman for double support wide elastic triple hook bras, and check whether the underbust is wide and forgiving enough to keep recalcitrant mammaries in place. So prance around in your lacy nothings with no support if you wish, but dont gloat. Someday you will wish you wore harnesses to sleep.
Dont you sneer at women who spend their time raising kids and running their houses, having the arrogance to assume you are going to be revolutionising the world of print journalism and winning every award worth winning in the profession. Yup, twenty years down the line, you are going to have nothing to show for the years you spent as a journalist except a facility with the computer keyboard, and an incurable urge to proof read the newspapers with pencil and tongue stuck between teeth, with the occasional cluck cluck at the puerile reporting and the incredibly stupid grammatical mistakes which seem to be scattered randomly over each and every page of most newspapers these days. And you will see colleagues swarm up the career ladder, reaching positions of eminence, and only look on in envy and many twinges of retch inducing regret, because you chose to take a long long break and do nothing substantial but produce a brat and become his doting slave.
And yes, you are about to meet the man you will marry. Believe you me, your knees will shake, your stomach will churn, your heart will sing and you will run in unseemingly manner around the holy fire. This will probably be the only sensible decision you make in your entire life. Stay true to him. He may seem rough hewn, share nothing in common with you, have no penchant for academics, nor any love for theatre or the arts, but trust me, he will pull out all the stops to give you all the comforts you might want, and be as firm as a rock behind you. Yup. He might never ever say I love you. Not even if prodded with a heated pitchfork. Marry Him.