When I was 15 I wrote Future Sarah-Rose a letter. Two pages of A4 paper, single sided, coloured around the edges with red and purple pencil, in awkward cursive. It was folded ever so tiny, sellotaped in place and a seal (a SEAL) covered the join.
The outside read: Not to be opened until 2008.
I opened it last weekend.
Here’s the thing. I remember having crazy ambitions, I remember being earnest and dream-filled and well, terrified of growing up. And the 25 year old me took a look at her immediate post-London life and felt terrified. Absolutely incapable of reading a 15 year old girl’s hopes and dreams for her future. It took me a long time (and moving house) to bear looking at it.
And it was boring!
I was reasoned and rational at 15. I said that my chosen career was lawyer or actress or author or all three! and that I hoped I was at least working towards one or all of those goals (this was obviously before I realised that the entire reason I wanted to be a Lawyer was because of Matthew McConaughey in A Time to Kill, which is really just being an actress after all) and you know what? in my own little part-time, amateur kind of way, I feel that I am*. Of course at 15 I was not completely enamoured of photography, which just seems just completely foreign to me now.
And! I handily included my measurements. I haven’t managed to unpack a measuring tape as yet (YES I AM STILL UNPACKING) and so I have no idea at all how different I am 11 years later. Quite, I’d imagine.
EDIT: it turns out (I found a measuring tape!) that I have the exact same waist measurement, and I am only 1-4 inches bigger around my bust and hips. Very strange.
What I was most interested in was what I thought, at 15, my lovelife would be like at 25. This was just a year or so before I met Craig (yes! we were 16 when we started dating. Just babies!) and at that time? I didn’t even know he existed.
Strangely? because I always remember being wary of small children, I wrote that I wanted to be a mother at 24. TWENTY FOUR. Madness. I must have been a little drunk when I wrote the letter**. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had continued on with that STUPID STUPID goal. There would have been no London, that’s for sure.
I did write that I hoped I had travelled. I wrote that I wanted to set foot on every continent (being sensible I excluded Antarctica and the Arctic) and I think I’m well on my way to that! Asia, Australia, Europe, America … just missing Africa.
I ended the letter with horribly morbid thoughts about how I hope that I would still be alive to read the letter at 25 (26!), that my parents and sisters would still be alive (they are!), that I would still be in touch with my BFF, Petra (we are!), and that if I didn’t do it regularly, I should make sure they know that I love them (they do!).
So it was not as scary as I thought. I am glad that I have a job which I currently enjoy, artistic pursuits which inspire me, a partner who I could never have dreamed of at 15, and many many stamps in my passport. And I’m glad I didn’t read it last year.
Oh and I’m not going to bother transcribing the letter. It really was that boring. I am a little disappointed in myself.
* No I cannot elaborate. Part is work related WHICH I DO NOT DISCUSS and part is this darling little site.
** I wasn’t. Just an idiot apparently.