Letters to Our Littler Selves – Joey

Dear joey,

You’ll always be hard on yourself. Fight the good fight and resist the urge for self-criticism. You are good enough. You’re also critical of others. Go easy on other people too.  It does nothing for you to scrutinize so severely.

Try to see the positive in things first – glass half full and all that. Relax those shoulders. Put some space between them and your neck whenever you notice.

Your parents are alright. And although you’re a bit alright too, it’s more than likely that you probably aren’t a misunderstood genius. Your mum agrees to pay for your tshirt that reads – ‘QUEEN OF THE FUCKING UNIVERSE’. You will be about 30 years old before you realise how cool that was for a mum to do. They seem like such aliens to you now but family will end up being a solid part of your life.

Those friendships that leave you feeling uncertain or insecure – you have permission to let them fade. Your friends will turn out to be one of your greatest sources of joy and you’ll be relieved to discover that the good ones dig you just the way you are. This is how it’s supposed to be and knowing this will make you feel very thankful.

Writing about boys is not a particularly enlightening experience now and it won’t sustain your attention later either.  Try to fill the page with words about something else.

Believe it or not, you will eventually get sick of listening to the Beatles, and Paul will sometimes actually be more appealing than John. You will even buy a Wings album and not feel ashamed.

Pretty much all the pain you might feel in your life will be temporary.

You feel like you have a lot of opinions that need an avenue for expression. This is a good thing and such things are not simply the realm of men. Some  people are uncomfortable with women being vocal on big life subjects. They’re wrong. Don’t be shy. Women with informed and articulate ideas are important and you will value them a lot.

You will eventually shack up with someone who doesn’t find farts funny. And this will be hilarious to you.

Dear jojo

Happy New Year. Don’t be spending time worrying about how much it will hurt to die. There’s a reason that statue of jesus in the church all bloody and nailed to a cross frightens the shit out of you. It’s designed to. You’ll work out why later – its all a bit heavy. Your instincts are right. Dogs ARE the best people. Always have one around you if you canthey have all the answers. Don’t worry about breaking your brother’s model plane. That look of pure fury in his eye will eventually fade and he’ll forget all about it. Don’t doubt yourself. There is no good in it. You can do anything at all if you want to. Standing up to bullies is better than stepping in behind them. Try to be brave. Laughing comes easy to you now and you’ll be pleased to know that you find yourself pretty funny for the rest of your life.

Jo Rochford.

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