Dear Me | Emma Malcolmson
I’m not too sure who I’m writing to. I’ve thought about it for almost a week now and I’m still not sure. As I sit and write this now, I imagine all my past selves. We’re sitting in a circle of chairs in a big white room - think Evan Almighty when he meets Morgan Freeman as God (past me will know what I’m talking about). It’s like an AA meeting. Present me is leading the club and each past self is taking a turn to weep about what they think is so terrible about life. It might come as a big shock to you all, but everything you were worrying about wasn’t half worth it. You see, older, wiser me is here to tell you what you all should’ve done. But I now realise that present-me hasn’t even fully finished this level and will be sitting where you all are next year.
There’s so much I want to tell you all but I imagine it would create a butterfly effect that would change life as it is now – and we don’t want that. I’m here to offer surface level advice to all of the me’s as a reassurance that life does and will get better.
I don’t really know where to start. As a general consensus in reading the room, you all seem a bit strange – we definitely aren’t playing the full deck. But that’s okay. You’ll all get used to it and you’ll grow into yourselves. Yes, 14 to 17 -year-old me, that is aimed at you. You will not be fat forever. Actually, turns out the fat wasn’t the issue at all.
First and foremost, I want to say that my greatest piece of advice is we should never ever listen to those who say we are ‘too much’. What we have in abundance, they all lack in entirely. Two’s up.
Who I really want to have a good word with is 19-year-old-me. What you tried was foolish and frankly selfish but get it up you because it never worked anyway. I want to tell you that because it’s important that it never happens again. I’ll be the first to admit that all of us have thought about it before and even I do too, but I think that is the missing card of the deck. Maybe one day we will find it but for the moment I still don’t have it. We know deep down that it’s not going to happen, but it doesn’t stop these thoughts crossing our mind once every so often. I don’t think that’s normal, but we aren’t ever going to be – and I’ve now grown to accept that that’s okay – I think.
We have become so sure of ourselves these past few years that I wouldn’t allow it. I think, in large part, that’s to do with who we have around us now. We have the best friends ever. We really truly do. They’re such a peculiarly picked bunch of people. A bit like the pre-loved animals in Pets at Home that nobody wants. But you all work together and that’s what makes the friendships you have so truly special. I’m so glad to tell you that we are at an age now where we will no longer allow friendships that cause nothing but trouble to happen.
You all march to the beat of your own drum and I am so proud of you all for it. I know that at times you all wish you were something that you’re not. A bit more normal, more like the girls the boys like. But don’t worry this will stop. I’m looking at you, 20-year-old me. I’m so sorry to tell you this but WOW, are you going to have a shit year. I really hate to be the bearer of bad news but things you thought would last forever, well, they just don’t. Boys aren’t the be-all end-all.
Ce la vie, BABE.
Don’t worry, your friends pull you through it and it winds up being the most formative things that ever happen to us and it truly changes us for the better. Because let’s be honest, it was a long time coming and it need to happen. You cannot possibly grow as an individual when you’ve grown up as a pair – it’s just not how it works. You’re a happier person now.
This is ridiculously rambly but that’s expected. How Emma of me! We’re not quite there yet but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come. We truly, finally could not give shit what other people think of us. We love ourselves but I’ll be the first to admit we still struggle. It is global pandemic, after all!
I think the best part is that we have learned to accept these struggles and we know ourselves well enough to pull ourselves back out of them. I know we are very self-dependent but sometimes it wouldn’t hurt us to just confide in others once in a while.
Compared to all other the other ‘Dear Me’ letters, this feels less purposeful and directed. I think that’s because each year we grow into ourselves just that little bit more, but the advice still stays the same. As Dolly says, “it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world”. But there’s certainly no harm in trying.
You’re always going to be Emma Malcolmson, so take the time to know her and she’ll grow on you eventually.
I’ll see you all at the meeting next year.
22 years and exactly 6 months old today,