LETTER TO MY 21-YEAR OLD SELF
I’m writing to you from the future. 7 years in the future to be exact. I’m the older, and I’d like to think wiser, you. I’m about to tell you a few things that will happen that will either completely blow your mind or make you doubt your sanity. I’m reading this and seeing how it could be crazy; I mean, who gets a letter from the future?
I know you’re not into Sci-Fi – and even at 28 you won’t be – but this must be really strange. And no, you’re not in some drunken stupor and this is not a dream. It’s just a glimpse into your future.
You’re married to a fantastic guy and have some great friends. You’ve weaned off the chaff (if you don’t mind calling it that) that clouds your early 20s, so you’re not worrying about stupid boys, how to afford another night out or whether to do your hair or do some useless shopping. You won’t find any pleasure in drinking stupid every weekend, because alcohol will cease to be a big deal when you can actually afford it.
In fact at this very moment, 9.20pm on Monday 4th May 2015, you’re cooking dinner for your husband – you like to call him Mr. Nice Guy, he thinks he should graduate to a different name – and The Pied Piper (your cousin, friend and neighbour). The meat is taking forever to get ready, kind of like a cruel joke on you since just three hours ago you said how soft meat from Nakumatt is, and you don’t mind paying more for soft meat. But this meat is really tough, and you hate tough meat!
Mr. Nice Guy and The Pied Piper are playing PS. You might think this is juvenile, being a work night and all, but it’s kind of interesting watching them experience all sorts of emotions over a video game. Plus it gives you time to enjoy your dry white – served in a big fat glass – as you cook and pray for the meat to soften before midnight, and the moment really brings to clarity what it means to move out, get married, run your own household and call some of the shots.
You’ll marvel at the reality of being married at 28. You know how cynical you are about love and such things now? You know how you oppose the whole “white wedding” thing? God and the universe will have a big ol’ laugh at you by making sure you have one of those, and you’re one of the first among your increasingly narrow circle of friends to get married. Even your friends will frequently express surprise at you being married because you show no want for this domestic life right now.
You’ll wonder what possessed you into thinking that after the wedding you’ll have some more loose cash, only to realize that married life comes with more responsibilities than you’ve ever had, a reality made even harsher by the realization that you might possibly need a pay rise just to sustain your relatively simple lifestyle.
But you know what? You’ll enjoy this domestic life thoroughly. You’ll enjoy going online to look for new recipes, the look of satisfaction on Mr. Nice Guy’s face when he enjoys a meal you’ve prepared; you’ll enjoy spending countless hours – ok minutes – poring over home décor ideas, ironing your husband’s collar to prevent that Kikuyu cowboy look and even obsessing of the look of your first (rented) home.
You’ll be surprised at how thoughtful and mindful of another’s welfare you can be, especially when one of the first things you ask your husband in the morning is: “Babe, what do you want for breakfast?” Then you’ll smile inwardly when he says he just wants cereal, or eggs and sausages – and not Kenyan tea – because you know your morning struggles and know he knows them too.
You’ll look back and wonder what you saw in the boys you eyed. You’ll laugh about dodging certain bullets, and wish others the best of luck in their lives without you, telling yourself you’re the premium shit they never could handle anyway. You’ll stop believing that you can be friends with every ex, and learn that not everyone deserves to be your friend. You’ll have some cocky-ass moments of intense self-belief – known by some unfortunate human beings as vanity – and have the pleasure of walking some boys back to the friend zone, and you’ll successfully turn some of these boys into ride or die friends.
But you’ll also regret some of the things you’ve done/will do in your early and mid twenties, some regrets so bad you’ll spend days in denial and nights crying, but you’ll eventually learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and push on.
And the best part is: you will achieve some amazing things career-wise after clawing out of some damn quarter-life crisis rut (that should hit you at around 23-25 years), have an amazing personal and social life AND be able to treat yourself to brand new pairs of shoes often enough.
So trust me Shiro, everything will work out.
Oh, I forgot to mention that you’ll still obsess over having your perfect body but still be too lazy to get off your ass (which will fatten, then shrink slightly) and do something about it. Ok you will attempt to do something about it, but this will be limited to buying brown rice and eating more salads, in addition to the junk you openly and secretly eat.