Who do you want to be?

Dear 2008 (July) Tom,

You’re now pushing 26. You’re in a state of confusion about life and career. You feel like you’ve drifted apart from people you grew up with, and have struggled to make new friends. Those years from 20 and 24 you pushed, you tried to improve and expand your horizons at college and University. But still … what do you want to do?

Who do you want to be?

 Dear 2008 (July) Tom,

You’re now pushing 26. You’re in a state of confusion about life and career. You feel like you’ve drifted apart from people you grew up with, and have struggled to make new friends. Those years from 20 and 24 you pushed, you tried to improve and expand your horizons at college and University. But still … what do you want to do?

Who do you want to be?

University expanded your knowledge. College instigated a fresh love of writing. But by the time those two years of college go by, and three difficult years at Uni, you find yourself having made no friends there. You think you struggle to find a number in your phone from anyone you knew at Uni? Well I’ll tell you, in 2019 you can remember the names of only about 5 people, all of whom were teachers.

You might wonder if the depression is gone. It never goes, it just gets more manageable, and I’ve learned to shake it off and not dwell. I’ve learned to push myself socially more. To make the effort and meet those people you might have chatted to online and are not all that far away. You’ve even met your e-buddy, Jeremie from France. Finally.

But I know making friends or finding someone special isn’t in your thinking at the moment. Your pain is fresh, it’s raw and it hurts. Nan was your favourite person in the world, and she died. You couldn’t look forward to that new job, the one you told her you’d applied for not long before she died. She wasn’t all there. Maybe it registered, maybe it didn’t. Once again she relayed her hopes for you to find a nice woman, settle down, have baby. It’s never going to happen though. That’s what you think and you think, for some reason, you’ve let Nan down. You’ll go to the new job, do a day and then quit. You’ll go back to the old job. It’s safe, it’s not challenging, but it’s comfortable and you like people there.

So what of love? Well, one day you just think to hell with this. You’re looking down the barrel of 30 and you want more social life, more excitement. For some reason you think pen pals might be a good idea. Spoiler alert, you’ll meet the love of your life. Someone who gets you more than anyone else ever has. You understand each other. She’s younger. She’s struggled to make friends since college and has lost touch with those from school. This was all you 5 years ago. You’ll catch her at a point she wants to travel and teach abroad, but she settles down. You do too. It’ll be great. You even do a little travelling together. She makes you better at meeting other people. You do the same.

But here’s the thing…it’s going to end.

Four and a half years and then she will want to hit return and go back to that previous point just before you met, where she wants to go off and travel alone. Is it crushing? Maybe a little but not as much as you might have thought. Love is sometimes fleeting. Even ‘true love.’ Maybe a soul mate only has a limited shelf life, or your soul just changes.

You meet someone else shortly after. Then within a year somehow you find you’re getting married. Then she’s got a bump on her stomach. There’s something growing inside. Now you’re going to be a dad. Even as I write this, she watches Kody Kapow whilst doing some weird yoga pose. Your little two and a half year old daughter still surprises you some days and you’ll suddenly be hit with this feeling; ‘Umm…I have a kid!! How did that happen?’ You sometimes look at her and you want to cry (okay…you will cry…sorry), because you start thinking of your Nan and what she wanted for you, and the fact you’ve got it. You hope she knows, somehow, somewhere out in the ether, because you know she’d love Lulu. Not that you need telling of course, but Lulu’s middle name is Christine, after Nan.

Meanwhile those wonders about a film career? Well, keep at it. Work through every near miss. Get over every time someone said they wanted your script and then disappeared, or backed out, or suddenly came out with: ‘We don’t have the budget to film it… sorry.’ Just focus and then take matters into your own hands. Produce them yourself. Then in 2019 you’ll find yourself with a few awards, and a whole bunch of crazy sounding films coming on DVD. You’ll be looking forward to going into HMV and picking your own film off the shelf. You’ll even be getting burn out and doing so much you’ll start to hate it, but like every negative thought, work through it, don’t give up and keep looking ahead, because even when you don’t expect good things, sometimes they’ll happen.

So keep going. Stay positive. You will make your Nan proud – not that she ever wasn’t.

 

Sincerely,

Tom 2019.

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