I just saw Diablo Cody’s film starring Charlize Theron – ‘Tully’ and without giving the plot away, it’s made me think a lot about motherhood, ageing, identity- basically the whole caboodle. In the film we see an exhausted Mum of three who strikes up a relationship with a younger woman- ‘Tully’ and the film follows their relationship. What’s interesting is how much insight the older Mum gains from this young woman. I’ve read a few pieces where people have talked about the advice they’d give their younger self but what if we turned it around? We seem to think that we get wiser and know more about what makes us happy as we age but what if we forget some of the good things from our youth along the way?
What advice would your younger self give to you now?
Motherhood takes a toll and forces us to be more rational, responsible and forget the great things we prioritised in our twenties. So here’s a letter from YOUNG ME to MUCH OLDER ME.
Dear Forty-something me,
I know you’ll do whatever you want to do as that’s been your personality pretty much from the start but I thought I’d give you a few tips from a young person’s perspectitve…
1. It’s time to stop romanticising the past
Okay it’s true that maybe you go to bed now at ten rather than heading out for drinks at a cool bar, but remember how many times you got so twonked that you were mortified the next day ? Or that guy who stank of Obsession for Men and you thought you were in love with but he never called? What about the purdey cut that looked so stylish in the magazine but made you look like a clown? The truth is those early years weren’t rock and roll. Often times it was all about eating a plastic dish of microwaved M&S mashed potato.
Also you didn’t look that great. The photographs don’t really tell the truth. You had spots pretty much all the time back then. Okay wrinkles aren’t great either but hey ho.
2. Make time to listen to music you love
When you were younger you listened to music every day and you listened for hours. Now you can’t remember the last time you REALLY listened to something. Maybe you feel out of the loop. Maybe none of the music speaks to you anymore. If so, make a playlist of your favourite old songs. Crank them up loud. If the kids are asleep, put your headphones on. Believe me you’ve forgotten how much you love music, you really have.
3. Be selfish at least once a day
In your twenties you were quite selfish right? Or an odd combination of being insecure and selfish at the same time. You thought nothing of getting up late or eating ten pieces of toast and Marmite on a Sunday because you couldn’t be bothered to go to the shop. Okay the parameters have shifted and you can’t always do what you want but how about putting yourself first? Think like a twenty-year old. Think like me (don’t smoke though. It’s not cool. I’m starting to realise that already).
4. Fantasise about the future
In your twenties you spent a lot of time visualising what your future might be like. The family you might have. The job. The material things. Maybe you have some of these things and maybe you don’t but are you still excited about the future? Are you making plans? Or do you feel like life is heading steadily downhill? Make sure you keep fantasising. Life is all about dreaming. The dreaming only stops when you do.
5. Appreciate the life you have now
Yeah I know. You’re tired. You haven’t slept in weeks. You have chores and responsibilites and wasn’t life easier when you didn’t? No actually it wasn’t. Sometimes there was actually TOO MUCH TIME spent mulling stuff over. The weekends mooning over some useless guy. The days fretting about your behaviour at so and so’s party. Spending hours debating about whether to get a fringe cut or not. Who cares? You know what to focus on and what to kick to the kerb. You have a family. You have a home. You have love. You’ll never be as young as you are right now.
See you in twenty years.
Love Twenty-Something Me xx
If you haven’t seen ‘Tully’ then definitely check it out. It’s in cinemas from Friday 4th May and offers up plenty of food for thought