A short letter to myself for me to read when I am older.


Dear Ellie,
I do hope you find this letter when you are older. Maybe you'll discover it when you are ancient and wrinkled, your joints clicking as you rise from your seat, your sight almost nonexistent without thick-rimmed spectacles. Or maybe you'll uncover it when you're just graduating from university, majoring in English and Languages, staring down the path of your future and preparing yourself for any lumps which may flatten your tire. Make sure you have a spare in the car trunk, just for those incidents.

I wonder what you're doing right now. Laughing? Crying? Realizing something? 

Be careful during the rest of high school. Promise me you won't get knocked up at sixteen - that will put a rather large kink in the chain. Get amazing grades - not good, amazing - and do whatever you can to add to your CV. Leave falling in love until later.

When (or if) you do fall in love, I can almost guarantee he won't be the complete Mr. Right. Then again, maybe he will be. If he dares to do anything you don't want him to do, get out of there. Don't hesitate. Get out of there. I know what I'm saying sounds a lot easier than it will be, but try hard. Keep yourself safe, and don't let any boy, or girl, screw up your head.

Graduate with an astounding CV - make it as easy as you can to get into university.

When you do reach university age, aim for Cambridge University or Oxford University - the best places for literature students. Cambridge is better for literature, actually. The first week will be full on partying and getting drunk - steer clear of boys. Get as drunk as you want, but know the concequences.

When graduation gets near, make sure your grades are fantastic. When you do graduate, you know you'll then be alone, and you'll need a home and a salary.

You know you want to be a writer, or a musician. So aim to be one of those. Get a job with a good salary to support yourself, but write as much as you can if you ever want to see one of your novels on the bookshelves.

Do not even think about marriage or pregnancy until a) you are around thirty years old, and b) you are positive you have found the right person. It's far too easy to fall for some guy you met in a nightclub, then wake up with a wedding ring around your finger and a positive pregnancy test next to you. 

I'm only thirteen, so I know I don't feel what you feel now, but I know how my mum feels. She's going through some issues now - and you know you don't want to end up like her.

Next, get a book published! You've been trying for years and you've never got round to it. Finish off one of the thousand stories you leave, unfinished, lying about the house. Sit down on a weekend, get a pen, put the radio on and get writing! When (not if, when!) you're done, send it round to every publisher you can find - even send it to America if things get like that. You will do this. You will.

I'm not sure what to put now... I have no idea what will happen after this. Will you settle down, rich and famous, with a loving husband and three children you adore? Or will things not go as planned, and you end up getting stuck behind a till at the supermarket, alone, bored and unhappy? 

The future is a map, each continent carefully planned out, and you're the ship which sails across the tossing tides.  The route will change, so beware, you may find yourself heading towards sharp rocks, who wish to sink and drown you. Just grab the wheel and dodge the cliffs.

You've always possessed the ability to make things sound much simpler than they really are, but this is a useless skill in the outside world. Life will knock you down, and you can choose wether or not to get back up.

So, like I said at the start, I wonder what you're doing and how old you are when you read this. Twenty-three? Forty-three? A hundred-and-three? Are you sitting on a front porch somewhere, gray-haired, surrounded by your grandchildren? Or are you writing another story, refusing to take a break, knowing you'll get there if you never stop?

I guess I won't know until that moment arrives.

Someday, we'll unearth and look back at this letter together.

I can't wait.

All my love,

Ellie XXX