Lately there has been a lot of talk within my mummy circles of ‘death’ of their previous selves. Similarly suicide has hit the headlines in a big way and life can, at first glance, seem so depressing.
But what if we are not looking at it right?
So I went digging to look for the ‘old dead me’ to see what I might want to say to her and, really, to see if I miss her or if I could even be glad that she is dead.
I had long white blonde hair.
I lived in a recording studio.
I was writing my Masters thesis.
I rode a gold scooter and wore short skirts.
I liked wearing bikinis.
I was a proper city dweller and didn’t even own a car.
I played music and made art.
I spent money on whatever I wanted and drank lots of café-bought coffees.
I went to wine bars and fancy restaurants.
I made jewellery as a hobby.
I liked expensive clothes and shoes.
I have two children.
I have short hair.
I live in the bush.
I write a blog as a writing outlet because I can’t do a PHd around my kids (although I still want to).
I drive a big ugly station wagon family-wagon thing.
I feel self-conscious in short skirts because my body shape has changed.
I am looking for a mummy kini so that I can swim again but lack the time or childcare to try.
My guitar is dusty and needs new strings.
I haven’t been to a live gig in several years.
I draw digitally but miss my charcoal large scale drawings that used to be my favourite style.
I feel guilty when I spend money on myself.
I have forgotten what good wine tastes like.
I make coffee at home because it is easier.
I have a plain diet because I am breastfeeding.
I don’t make anything with fiddly things because my kids might swallow the pieces.
I make clothes and run a small business
I can’t remember the last time I bought nice shoes.
So here’s the letter, because perspective is everything and not all death is bad.
Dear old dead me,
Hello. I am future you. I live in your future and I have two children with a man you haven’t met yet.
You wouldn’t believe half of the things that I can tell you about your future.
Your projections of your future are all wrong. So there.
You will end up somewhere so different to where you think you are going in life. But I won’t ruin it entirely for you…
Let’s just say that you will be humbled (you are not an Interior Designer, a famous Artist or a Professor) but you will also be honoured.
Right now I am jealous of you and here’s why.
You get to drink nice wine and you get to lie in in the mornings.
You get a whole bed to yourself most of the time.
You get to do just your own dishes.
You get to tackle big projects and leave them out to return to later.
You get to make mess with big charcoal drawings and you don’t have to worry about leaving them out to return to later.
You have an awful lot of free time.
You have a killer haircut that costs a lot to maintain.
You can wear whatever you like and not worry about whether or not it is breastfeeding appropriate.
You can go out and stay out late and do what you like.
You have freedom now that I can only dream of…
But it’s not all downhill old dead me. Don’t top yourself just because I am telling you that I am jealous of you from my future standpoint – I am not saying that the future is stink. It is just very different. Only the best parts of you will survive and you can take heart from that. That’s all.
When you get to this time, this place, this future version of you, you will realise that there is more life and vibrance in the now even though you can’t see it and are stupidly looking back at your past you (that’s you now in case you are confused).
In fact, you should be jealous of your future life too.
You should be jealous because:
You savour the small things and appreciate little things more. (Sorry to say it but you are a bit ungrateful now)
You share your bed with lovely little climbing bodies (it’s a joy you can’t imagine)
You know the true meaning of love (it explodes inside you some days and is amazing and is not what you think you feel for your current boyfriend)
You make mess with your children and have a lot of stupid and silly fun just because (everything doesn’t have to be so serious – you are so serious. Lighten up a bit would you?)
You have grown resilient and resourceful.
You spend most of your time with some very cool little creatures (some of the people you hang out with now…. Really?)
You are wanted and needed and loved beyond measure.
So thanks for reading this, old dead me. You see big parts of us will die off over time – but together we can work and strive to keep the best bits of us alive.
The best bits of our life are often the bits we can’t see from the present. From yours or from mine.That’s why they’re actually ‘presents’. We just have to try to unwrap it a little to understand it and see the gems that are hidden within.
P.S. Drop that guy you are currently with. He is a total dick.