Dear 14-year-old me…
Today I felt it necessary to write you this letter. It’s a combination of a message from my BFF about her dying mom as well as regular updates of another friend’s cancer that I felt it necessary to “talk” to you.
At the age of 41, you will have realized that you have potentially missed your calling of being a wonderful teacher. Yes, Librarian was close but after spending weekends helping your niece study for her exams, you will feel that the goals you aim for at work pale in comparison to the joy and happiness you experience when helping her out. It’s your happy place and you’re actually quite good at it. You unfortunately will allow your Matric grades to hold you back. Don’t let them!
Ironically, people will assume you
dislike hate children because you choose to not have any of your own. We’re living in times of self-driving cars, robots and women who run for president, but you will still feel judged and be told you’ve made the biggest mistake of your life. The biggest blessing is that mom has never ever questioned your choices and is your biggest fan.
Bron, by this time, you’ve landed up building a career in the corporate world. If I could alert you of one thing it’s this: the corporate world is a tough and cruel place. It will break you if you allow it to. It is only by becoming strong that you will survive. And you do become strong. You’re afraid of pretty much everything right now, but wait, you will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of achieving! Be patient and believe in yourself.
You will meet some of the most amazing people at work, possibly the best thing to come from being a working adult. You will meet people like Conrad. These angels will teach you to love people who are different to you, to accept that people have different opinions and the courage to stand up for yourself.
Nobody ever notices your knocked knees. In fact, this imaginary issue will not stop you from running and you will go on to run many half marathons. It’s true! Screw being reserve goal keeper for the B team! What PE teachers neglect to tell you now at the age of 14 is that running is one of the best metaphors of life: What you put in, you get out.
Oh and you know that beautiful blonde hair? You eventually tint it dark chocolate brown! You even go as far as tinting your eyebrows. It’s called growing old but I’ll leave that for another letter.
For now, please give Karen a hug each and every day!