To Arran in 1998:
Hey buddy. It’s me. I mean you. In the future. You’re not so young, but believe me, you have a whole lotta growing up still to do. So here are a few pointers that may speed you on your journey to becoming, umm, me.
I know you’re having a hard time. Work is all-consuming, you’re in a stagnant relationship, and frankly, despite your busy routine, you’re bored. You’re convinced of your shortcomings. You’re wound up like a spring, and something is about to snap. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. In fact, in the next decade you are going to have a phenomenal run of superb experiences, and you’re gonna make some seriously great friends along the way. Trust me.
It’s important that you begin to recognise just how much ballast you are carrying around from your childhood, and you have to let that crap fall away. You’re always beating yourself up. For not being perfect. It’s pure poison. Pretty soon you’ll do your time on the therapist’s couch and that will be one of the best things you ever did. It will save your life. Stick with it.
Your oldest friends will be among your closest, if you let them in. Don’t be afraid to be your whole self with them. You know, emotionally vulnerable. They won’t turn their backs – quite the opposite.
Don’t be such a worrywart. The more risks you take, the richer your life will be. In other words, do more weird, random stuff. Be rubbish. Have a blast. A few breaks and bruises won’t kill you, and you’ll gain so much when you do. It’s called learning. It’s called grabbing life by the balls.
One last thought. You never arrive. Life is pretty much always hard. But it’s incredible. And it’s within your power to lead an interesting, exciting life. I predict that you will.