Inspired by the brave and awesome Barry Church-Woods - creamy smooth Fringe icon and self-declared cunt - who recently had his "Dear Me" letter published, I have decided to give it a go myself.
Incredibly cathartic and in some ways a little tricky to write. I considered an edited version but then what would be the point in that? If you're going to say it, say what you mean. Besides, I would TOTES know if I was bullshitting myself.
Anyway...here it is...
What the shiz is up?! Don’t worry; you don’t actually talk like that...well, not without the required amount of irony anyway.
So you’re 16, eh? I know, it really blows but my biggest piece of advice to you, direct from the land of being 26 (and turning 27 in a matter of days) is to enjoy what few benefits there are of being that tender and innocent age. You are in such a rush to grow up, cut it out. Growing up will happen all of sudden and you’ll wonder what the hell happened to the intervening years.
Don’t make yourself ill with worry over petty, insignificant school yard stuff. Worrying too much is a trait you will carry with you into adulthood and you will always struggle with it, you might as well realise early on that sweating the small stuff is exhausting and pointless.
I know you feel awkward and desperate to be liked, to the point where you will do and say some pretty stupid stuff; if you can’t be comfortable in your skin now and avoid doing the stupid stuff at least try not to freak out about it a few years later. The reality is everyone is an idiot when they are young. One of those aforementioned benefits is that the foolish stuff you do as a kid really doesn’t matter and no one cares.
In less than a year you will head to university and you will be overwhelmed by the connections you will make there. You will finally start to feel like you belong. But for the love of Pete, focus on your studies a little harder because you are capable of more.
Having said that, whatever you do, don’t completely neglect your acting and please go ahead with auditioning again for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama when you turn 18, as planned. It will be your biggest regret if you don’t, regardless of the outcome. And in case you hadn’t noticed, your University has a drama club, JOIN IT!
And this I cannot stress enough, do not drop out of that production of My Fair Lady you were involved in because you are distracted by a boy. That distraction does not end well.
That distraction is probably best avoided entirely, if at all possible. The hurt and humiliation that ensue is really not worth the few and fleeting moments of happiness. Options are always good so here’s one, the day of your first Theatre Studies tutorial don’t go to the pub afterwards. Just head home. You will circumvent a chance encounter with someone who will fundamentally change you.
Your ambition is your greatest asset; you will end up somewhere great no matter what. The arts will always surround you and despite some minor setbacks you will end up working somewhere fantastic that will open so many doors. If you don’t go to your audition after all, at 27, your path is still extremely bright and promising. Try and be content.
Apply that in general. Things will get really, really hard because of grown-up stuff (again, why it’s good to hold onto to being young). You realise that your parents are so much more and less than Mum and Dad, they are people. Your Dad will seriously let you down and this will really shake you up. You might as well know now, he doesn’t know everything and he’s not strong.
You will go through a period where you are angry all the time and this will affect your relationships. This is because people can never meet the expectations you have for them. People are flawed, they will let you down. That’s life. But it’s not the end of the world.
You will end up with some amazing people in your life who care about you a lot. It’s important that you remember that.
And signing off, here a few basic dos and don’ts...
Do get into Buffy the Vampire Slayer much earlier; it will be your favourite thing ever!
Don’t help out a rock band with a major project.
Do spend more time with your brother.
Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself that you are unhappy.
Do accept the offer to go to that strip club with Lemmy from Motorhead
Don’t blow the savings your Gran left you on renting a stupid flat
Do learn to be better with money in general
Don’t surround yourself with toxic people
Do try and like yourself a little bit more. You will never be the alabaster-skinned, blue-eyed, skinny blonde but you know what, you’re a foxy red head dammit and that’s pretty awesome too.
Five by five good buddy...