I quite often see blog posts and articles with headings about what you wish you had told your younger self.
They invariably talk about how you shouldn’t worry, and how it will all be all right in the end.
But what if it isn’t all right in the end? What if the thing you want the most in the world never comes? What would you go back and tell your younger self then? That you’re a great big fat failure? That you never get the happy ever after? That the happy ever after doesn’t exist? That the happy ever after apparently exists for some people (at least according to their articles and blog posts about how they met The One and they had The Children and it was all perfect and great and just what they wanted to happen when they were seven) but not for you. You are the unwanted, the left on the shelf, the undesirable, past your sell by date one.
So what would I go back and tell my younger self, and what would I selectively leave out, for fear of sending the Younger Me tipping straight off the nearest precipice?
Well, Younger Me, the most important thing is, you do get to have children. Well, one child at least, although hopes are fading fast for the other two you hoped to have. No you don’t get that blissful birth you remember the twenty-four year old you telling everyone you wanted, that one where everything is like an episode of Call The Midwife, but one of the happy ones where no one dies, like a Christmas episode where everything’s all right in the end and the baby pops out just on the stroke of midnight when it starts snowing and Vanessa Redgrave starts saying something uplifting about peace and love to all, jumpers for goalposts and everyone leaving their doors unlocked in the Good Old Days, but yes, you do get to have a child.
And that wedding you wanted? Well, let’s not get too carried away shall we? You win some, you lose some, and you lost out on the wedding part of the Game of Life. There’s probably no point in looking up that pink castle in Aberdeen where you had your heart set on getting married, even though you don’t know anyone from Aberdeen, because it Ain’t Gonna Happen.
Sorry about that.
Yes, I know you have been planning that wedding since you popped out of the womb. Yes, I know you wanted the ceremony in Vegas, but with an old London bus to transport everyone to the reception, and yes I know you also wanted to catch the tube to the reception, even though it’s in Vegas, and yes it would save money on hiring a car. I know you wanted to have a vintage themed wedding from the 1950s, and 40s, and 30s, and 20s, and I know you wanted a Pride and Prejudice theme with all the men dressed as soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars too. But no, it’s not happening. It hasn’t happened. I’m sorry. Please don’t hate me.
Yes, I know you thought that you would find The One, you know The One. The One who comes when you least expect it, who comes when you’re not even looking. And I know you looked every day for eighteen years, but sorry, he still didn’t come. Not even in the short bursts of time when you weren’t looking, because you were in the bath, or doing an exam, or simply popping to the shops in an old pair of leggings. He still didn’t come. And yes, I know you looked in those shops. You tried to chat someone up in Sainsbury’s once, I saw you. It didn’t work.
Sorry about that.
But you have so many things. You have your health (touch wood) and your family-they’re pretty great. They were there for you when you chose to go it alone. They were the ones who held your hand when that blissful birth didn’t quite go as planned, and they held your baby when you couldn’t. In the middle of the night when you were thinking you weren’t very good at this and maybe you had made a terrible mistake, even though you knew you hadn’t and that you would be fine. They were the ones who took you in and helped with childcare and made you remember that it takes a village to raise a child. I hope. You’d better hope that’s true Younger Me because that’s the mantra you’re living by now.
You have a roof over your head, even though it isn’t the Dream House that you picked out in 1992, and actually at the moment it’s the house you were living in when you picked out that Dream House as a better alternative, but you’re still here, and you’re OK, and you have a child. And that child is amazing. And I know you can’t believe it but you don’t even care about The One anymore, because you’re pretty happy just being you.
24 Comments Add yours
Still time Min 😉 The shows not over till the fat lady sings!
Haha! I’m pretty sure the fat lady started singing years ago!
Great post…I definitely didn’t see my life turning out this way but I know ive definitely become wiser and stronger doing the single mum thing. And, don’t give up!! maybe you’ll still find The One in Sainsburys, although I seem to frequent Lidl more often at the mo which may not help my search for the a higher calibre One!!
Yes, I’ll have to start shopping in Waitrose I think…I hear that’s where all the most eligible bachelors hang out. Actually at one point my local Asda ran a Valentine’s singles night, and I NEARLY ACTUALLY WENT. Never let it be said that I didn’t put myself out there.
I shop in Waitrose, or at least I get a free coffee in Waitrose almost everyday and I can guarantee there are no eligible bachelors hanging around in Waitrose. Trust me. I deliberately ‘bump’ into most men not wearing a wedding ring – most don’t even smile and that definitely rules them out for being ‘not eligible’.
I would tell my younger self not to try to follow the fairy tale of a house and 2 kids and a husband, because in my pursuit of the fairy tale I was blind to the fact that it was the wrong man, the wrong life, the wrong goals and I was careering uncontrollably towards an empty future where I couldn’t be me so wouldn’t even be able to tell whether I was happy or not. Better to be on the shelf than in the wrong closet! You know, us single mums should live on a commune, we’d get along famously.
Apologies for the rambling comment. I’m slightly drunk. I have had a whole two glasses of wine and have no stamina any more. Ah dear – such is life. x
Oh, and I found you on #TheTruthAbout this week. One of my favourite linkies.
Haha! Not rambling at all. You are right about better to be on the shelf than in the wrong closet. I remind myself of that all the time when I hear other people’s stories of heartbreak and rubbish relationships.
Haha, true that but you sound a little defeatist. I am fully expecting to read a post about the dating app that actually bore fruit or falling for the postie or something in the future :-D.
I’m actually happier now that I’ve pretty much given up the dating life. I wouldn’t rule anything out, so you may well be right about the dating app/postie situation at some point in the future, but for now, with a still breastfeeding toddler, a full time job, attempting to sell a flat and writing this blog, I’m not sure how I’d ever find time to even look!
I’m still not convinced there is any such thing as “the one”. If you’re content with your lot in life, you’re doing much better than most people
I’m not convinced either. I was always pretty sceptical to be honest, but I remained hopeful for a long time. It’s definitely better to be content with your lot in life than to chase after something you don’t have and which might not exist.
I keep talking about a commune with my local single mummy friends. It sounds a lot more fun if it’s on a Greek island somewhere and then I get a bit daydreamy and lose focus on how an actual one would work! And I also chased the dream and ended up with the wrong One so agree that’s it’s so much better (and easier) being on your own than with one of those! Xx
I think we pretty much have sufficient numbers to set up this commune now! I’m definitely up for the Greek island location! Thanks for commenting.
Hi Min – always nice to see a new linker 🙂 I have to say this is my kind of post because you know, I think I’m in a very similar place. Well, teetering on the edge of it anyway. But whatever happens I’ll always have my gorgeous boys and I’ll always try and follow the path to happiness even if it isn’t what I thought it would look like when I was 25. Also I just saw Pen’s comment above and I have to admit I actually wrote a post once suggesting that life might be nicer in a modern day women’s commune 😀 So anyway, thanks for joining in with #thetruthabout X
Thanks for commenting! I think as I have got older I have started to realise that as cheesy as it sounds, happiness does come from within. And yes, a commune does sound like fun!
Me again, your blog stalker ha ha! Popping back from #coolmumclub Cheers for linking Hun x
Thanks for hosting and commenting. I love having a blog stalker. At least I know there’s one person reading!
LOL. I’ll say one thing: Weddings are rubbish. Nothing but a waste of money!
Haha! Makes me feel better to hear that. Although it has slightly shattered my childhood dreams.
Aww… I love this post. Thank you Min. I did burst out laughing … “You tried to chat someone up in Sainsbury’s once, I saw you. It didn’t work.” You know what – I tried it too but in the park. We exchanged numbers and decided it was a good idea to hock up – to meet up for drink, but he stood me up! Yep – he stood me up! Son of a B”***! lol! Excuse me. But yes, all the things that you didn’t have or have are the things that make who you are today – happy just as you are. Pat – pat on our backs. xx Thank you for linking up with us Min. #FabFridayPost
Thank you. I’m glad it made you laugh. I think some people read it and were a bit worried about me, but it is supposed to be funny, and hopefully uplifting not depressing! We all have those awful stories-I’ve totally been stood up too. Your story reminds me of someone I met in Topshop (yes, Topshop) who stood me up.
I wish I had the birth where baby just pops out and the snow starts falling… sounds like something only someone who hasn’t given birth would think possible 😉 I love the idea of this post. It has gotten me thinking too…
Ultimately heathily and happy are the key points after all. 🙂
They definitely are! Thanks for commenting.
Pink castles are most definitely overrated. I like this idea, there is so much that happened in my life that I wish I hadnt done and though it’s turned out (more than) alright in the end, and things happen for a reason, my letter would be very, very short. Dear Me, Don’t be a dick. Love Me x
That’s great advice. I should definitely write that in my letter too! I think as we get older we get a bit more sensible and a lot nicer-I certainly have.