Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Letter to my 16 year old self.


Randomly a couple of months ago, I was asked to write a letter to my 16 year old self. 
Here it is.


43 Meadow View
Glasgow G67

Sometime in 1981



Dear 16-year-old self,

Ok, this is going to be a shocker, but Elton John is gay. 
Yes he is. 
I don’t care if he marries a woman. He’s gay. 
Oh and BTW (that means ‘by the way’ BTW)  I know you’re worried because that Rangers supporting, douchebag at school keeps telling everybody you’re a lesbian.  Relax. You’re not.  Because…?
That’s right, because you’re not attracted to women.  
Sexuality isn’t decided by what people shout at you.
But whilst we're on the subject, “bullying” someone for being a lesbian, makes as much sense as “bullying” someone for having feet, or curly hair, or a dimple when they smile. 
There’s nothing weird, shameful or unnatural about homosexuality.
The douchebag is an idiot.  If you can’t enlighten him, ignore him.
There will always be douchebags in the world.  
Paying them too much attention helps neither them nor you.

Right now, it feels like you’ll be living in this little town and going to school forever. You won’t.  In 3 years time, you’ll be living and working in New York.

New York won’t be easy.  You’ll witness drug addiction way too close, and what you see will put you off drugs forever.
Stand your ground.
That sweet little funny guy you like, but don’t want to sleep with, don’t.
His feelings will be hurt and you will feel bad, but instinct is an ally.
That sweet little guy has something called “AIDS”,  a horrible new disease that, very soon, will seem unstoppable.  
In 5 years time your smart, funny friend will be dead.
Life is not fair.
Don’t expect it to be.
And whilst you’re still breathing, don’t complain that it’s not.

Your heart will break a couple of times and (though you won’t believe it) it really does work out for the best: These relationships are merely practice runs.
You will meet “the one” by chance.
You will know and so will he.  Like I said before, instinct is your ally. Stop trying to ignore it.

You will lose your Mum and Dad and it will be excruciating and, even though you won’t want to, you will keep breathing.
You will tell yourself, they’re not really gone, and they’re just cruising round the Bahamas and don’t have phone contact. Some days you will remember.

You will marry ‘the one’ and have two, quite perfect, sons who drive you crazy, but who keep you breathing when you remember about the Bahamas.

Oh, one more thing.
There’s this amazing invention – even more impressive than a video recorder – called a computer.  And something called “the internet”. They will change the world (and when I say that, I mean it).

Anyway, back to Elton (I know, I can’t believe I’m using him as a metaphor either).
Right now he’s not happy. One day he will be, but to do that he has to stop being afraid.

Be as honest with yourself as you can bear to be, 16-year-old self , and you’ll be your own best friend.
Lie, and you will always be your own worst enemy.
And remember to be kind to people you meet along the way because,  though it might not appear so, their struggles are very very much like your own.

Lastly:
The big event of the year (aside from your 16th birthday) is that  Prince Charles is going to marry Lady Diana Spencer. 
They’ll have a much bigger party, but you’re going to have a much better time.