I recently wrote a guest post for the fab Ashley over at avodkakindofmom.com and thought I would share it over here too.
I’m turning 27 this year – how the hell did that happen? So I thought I’d have a look back over the past 10 years and write a letter to me when I was 17.
Dear 17 year old Victoria,
I know you think you know it all but University at 17 is not such a great idea for you – you’re just not ready yet. The last year of school is a complete skive for a reason. I know you have the brains to pull it off and you would have graduated no problem had other things not gotten in your way, but you’re just not as mature as you think you are. You’re not old enough to drink alcohol so there is very little point in going to Freshers week; I don’t think you realise quite how much of Uni life is made up by the socialising outside of lectures, usually in a pub/bar. You will tough it out for 2 years and then you have no other choice but to pack it in, let’s be honest, it was never what you wanted to do anyway. Psychology is far too full of research methods and statistics for you, you have always been more of a language lover. Writing is where you should be focusing your time.
It’ll take you a long time to realise that though, and even sitting here now I can’t say 100% that you are living your dream. You are gradually finding your way back to writing but confidence is an issue; you will get there though, I can feel it!
Mum is right, he is an absolute waste of space but it will take you another year and a half before you realise it for yourself and by then the damage will already have been done. Never mind, you will manage to pick yourself up and in the long run you will come out of it a stronger, better person. And believe it or not, you have already met the man you are going to marry, I’m not going to tell you who, you’ll just have to wait another 2 years to find out for yourself. But I will say that you will be married by the time you’re 22. Your husband is an amazing man; it’s not going to be an easy road but you will get there, all your struggles will just make you stronger in the end.
Please know that Mum and Dad aren’t trying to be the bad guys, although they do give a good impression of it at times I’ll admit. They really do just want what’s best for you. And your little sister; she may be an absolute nightmare right now but trust me she is a blessing in disguise. She is so incredibly protective of you and will back you to the hilt regardless of whether you are in the wrong or not. She will surprise you time and again – blossoming into a fantastic Auntie before your very eyes, I bet you didn’t see that coming! You come from a remarkably close knit and loving family, something which you have taken for granted over the years – that isn’t a bad thing, but please be aware that not every family is like yours. Family is not always everyone elses top priority but it will always be yours.
You will have your struggles with depression and are probably in the beginning stages of that now, you just don’t know the signs. Luckily for you, Mum does recognise them and together you will work to get you out of that darkness. It will be a long road to recovery with a few relapses along the way, you are very anti medication – this trait will never leave you but you will eventually realise that taking medication is not a sign of weakness. Taking medication does not mean that you can’t fight your own battles. Taking medication is not lying down to depression and accepting that this will be your life. What it means is that you are accepting that suffering from depression is not your fault, there is a chemical imbalance in your brain which is out with your control. This will be a very difficult thing for you to do, you hate to be out of control, but you will realise that sometimes you need a little extra help – and that’s okay!
Don’t worry though, once you get yourself back on an even keel you do eventually manage to come off the anti depressants. You do have the occasional blip but accepting that everyone has down days and they don’t always mean that you need to get to the doctors is a key coping mechanism for you.
Please know that the next 10 years of your life, although they are difficult and filled with times where you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, they are also filled with so much love, laughter and fun. You will welcome a beautiful baby boy and in true Victoria fashion that will not go to plan either but you quickly realise that what’s meant to be will be and there is nothing you can do about it. So please don’t worry, you will be absolutely fine and you should be proud of the woman you have turned into, I know I am.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Leave me a comment below or come find me on Instagram @lifeinthegingerlane