By Guest Blogger: @Robulous, 25, a bureaucrat and part-time college teacher from Ontario, Canada. He loves his boyfriend, coffee and Stevie Nicks. He’d like to one day write a book, and make a career out of teaching and learning.
A Letter to my 17-Year-Old Self,
Congratulations! You’re moving out. You’ll quickly grow to hate your new apartment, but rest assured, it’s a short-term living arrangement. I also know that Mom is annoying the shit out of you right now, but please know that over the next 8 years, you won’t see her all that often. You’ll begin to miss her more than you know. Sometimes you’ll find yourself calling her, crouched down in Chapters having a breakdown, but just hearing her go on and on about horses, farm life and failed diets will bring you the kind of emotional relief one can only really obtain through the familiarity of family.
You are going to have an amazing time in college, but it’s going to be hard work. One day, you’re going to be sitting in the Financial Aid office, hiding back tears, like always. You’ll explain to the very patient service rep that you have one of two choices: to pay the tuition you owe her, or to pay your landlord rent. You give her the choice and she gives you $1,500.00. It restores your faith in people after a really rough first year.
When you’re 19 you’ll become the president of a student union and it’s going to change your world. You’ll feel respected, you’ll feel like something you’re doing actually matters in the world and you will love the experience more than you could ever imagine. You’ll also gain about 20 pounds because of Nanaimo bars and raisin bread, but you’ll lose it shortly after. You’ll be on TV and the most popular person on campus, but you’ll soon grow to appreciate and desire anonymity.
At 21, you’ll be in University and you’ll meet someone named Anna. While this person thinks they have your best interest in mind, please believe Richard – one of your university friends – because he’s right about her. You don’t need her and you never did. Be happy. Tell yourself you love yourself. Take note of your amazing legs. Some people would kill for that kind of length.
When you turn 25, you’ll have a bit of an epiphany. You want to so badly grow up, have kids and settle down in a career, yet you’ll start to realize that life is happening too quickly. And because you’re too tired from all of this “growing up,” you’ll start to miss the things that matter. In fact, you just said no to visiting with a friend, just so you could write this.
As you approach 26, you get braces and your driver’s license. A little late, but I’ll forgive you. You’re also truly in love, talking about marriage and kids (and you’ll never guess what names you actually pick! You won’t even believe, well, you).
You’re a happy person in your 20’s. It did get better. You’ve never looked better and you finally found a style that works for your lanky frame.
…Oh and remember, when Lihn suggests you put blond highlights in your hair. Just do it. You won’t believe what it ends up doing to your confidence.