In her next column for TheLatch— Sydney ‘mumfluencer’ and Instagram personality, Amy Gerard, shares a letter to her single self — to 20-year-old Amy — preparing her for all the greatness that’s yet to come her way.
Dear 20-year-old Amy,
I don’t want to build up your expectations too high now but you better buckle up girlfriend because the next 10 years of your life are going to be the absolute best.
You will live abroad and travel the world with some of your best friends, and you will fall in and out of love with people from all over the globe.
You will find independence and your backbone and slowly, over time, you will start to flourish into a proper grown-up.
But there are a few things that I wish to give you a heads-up about — things that won’t change the course of your life but may save you some time, money, stress and help you to appreciate the little things a little more. So here we go.
★ No one, and I truly mean NO ONE, thinks you look better when you abuse solariums. It’s not hot to put your skin through that kind of trauma and neither is the smell of burning skin (which you will literally smell like for five years).
★ When you are on the pill and you are still making your boyfriend use a condom, I can assure you, getting the morning after pill as a precaution is not necessary.
★ Do not backwards step into a past relationship when you already know how the book ends. SPOILER ALERT. It ends the same way every time.
★ ACCEPT YOUR FRECKLES. Love every single one of them, because one day you will and so will your husband, but right now you are trying to cover your body with foundation in the hope that no one can see them and when you bump into people you are leaving behind skid marks.
★ Do not date the South African rugby player whilst in London. He has a wife in South Africa. You won’t know this until she tries to kill you.
★ Enjoy the way your body looks. You are a regal thoroughbred in comparison to years to come. You are sleek, smooth, tight skinned with perky tits and a firm undercarriage. You can jump on a trampoline like a magical unicorn. Enjoy all the midriffs. Spanx and panty liners will soon be your best friends.
★ Here’s an important one: Really enjoy those child-free years. ENJOY THE SHIT OUT OF THEM. ‘Just because’ after-work drinks? Why the fuck not. 9.00am sleep-ins? For the love of all that is holy, SLEEP. Sleep until you can’t sleep anymore, you young beast. Two loads of washing per week? YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM. Long hot showers. Take two a day! In the future, you’ll be lucky to get one every three days. Weekends away with your boyfriend? Sex without lube? Who even are you. Poo on your own? These really are the best years of your life. Hot food? On your own plate, with your own utensils? Whilst no one fingers it? LAP IT UP. Eat with reckless abandon.
★ Travel! Take this one seriously. TRAVEL THE WORLD, GIRL. Pack your tooth flossing bikini and book the next flight to Croatia. You can find accommodation when you get there. Sleep on the floor in a motel. Don’t sleep at all. YOLO your entire trip.
★ Enjoy a little alone time? Read the books, get the pedicures, take yourself to the movies. Spoil yourself rotten. Self-care is vital right now for you to be OK with sitting at the bottom of the pecking order in years to come.
★ Hangovers? Enjoy laying in bed with pizza and movies. Soon you’ll learn that the more kids you have adds to the severity of the hangover. Hangovers will soon become less of a sign of a good night out and more a unique form of torture.
★ Just know, that after all these years, meeting your partner and having your own children will change your life (literally and figuratively) in a way you can’t even begin to imagine and you will experience a love that can’t be put into words.
You’ll also be forever grateful I got this letter to you so you can enter your 30s and motherhood with not a stone unturned or a single shred of regret (except for maybe that one short-term boyfriend who gave you chlamydia. You can leave that stone unturned).