The letter you’re about to read is the first in a collection of introspective, raw and impactful pieces to be published here on MEDUSA. Motivated by the cathartic power of writing and reflecting, many of our contributors are sharing the words they would offer to their younger selves if they were able to travel back, reach out and subdue the uncertainties they encountered earlier on in their lives. With such an open-ended prompt, the letters divulge a myriad of memories, affording insights into challenges faced, extending words of wisdom and ultimately honouring and acknowledging how much the author has grown and learned.
Amie Kirby, writer, MA museum studies student & regular MEDUSA-contributor, is the incredibly talented author of this letter we’re playfully calling “Put Down the Coffee Cup”. Amie’s writing is heartfelt, empowering and unapologetic; we hope you’ll find her words as resonant and reassuring as we did.
Happy reading and as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts,
First of all – put down the coffee cup. You drink way too much, and it’s not good.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, how are you doing? I imagine you’re in sixth form now. I like to imagine this, because I like to imagine that as the time when you would have needed sage words of wisdom.
I want you to know that there’s more to life than what you’re feeling. All of that anxiety, all of the uncertainty – all of the insecurity. It does go away, as cheesy as that sounds. University will hit you hard, and you’ll doubt yourself a lot. But that’s you, isn’t it? You’ve never taken kindly to self-confidence. You’ll learn to, though.
In fact, you’ll learn to become so self confident that you’ll go on to:
- Tell your toxic female friends to do one
- Tell your toxic male friends to do one
- Win academic awards
- Pursue journalism (I know right?? What?!!)
- Front an entire Arts committee
Now, this is not to say that your self worth will be defined by your productivity or what you do.
I’m trying to tell you that your self worth will become more centred upon your artistic and creative inspiration, using your voice, and knowing where you stand.
As it stands, Ames, you have an amazing grasp on who you are and what you want to do. And you’re doing amazing things. So please, ease up on fretting over Biology exams – they won’t matter further down the line, and it’s not worth the panic attacks.
On that note, you’re going to do something absolutely amazing for yourself. You’re going to seek help for your anxiety. Not the naff pseudo-CBT-college-therapy help; chemical help, in the form of this pill called Sertraline. It took a lot of nerve for you to decide you were ready for this step, but honestly, gal, you should’ve done it way sooner.
I commend you for your Ultra Cool Feminist Stance of Never Wanting a Boyfriend or Marriage or Anything Like That Ever, but I need to break it to you – you have a boyfriend now. He’s pretty amazing. You’ll meet in an unconventional way and hit it off immediately. He will treat you with the love, respect, and adoration you deserve – with none of the gaslighting and love-bombing you’ve learned to accept from aloof indie boys you thought were cute.
You’ll also realise that, despite a het-presenting relationship, you’re very much bisexual. You always had the inkling, I know – you kissed girls, and you liked it. But with the wonders of ‘finding yourself’, speaking to wonderful people in the LGBTQA+ community, and fully comprehending how to express your sexuality, you’ll come to the conclusion that you always knew this about yourself. And you’ll take pride in it.
Now, I don’t want to give too much away. The future is yours to discover after all, and what sort of lessons would you learn if I told you everything right now?
I just wanted you to know – you can do this. Breathe in, breathe out, done. The world is not as wide or as scary as your head is making it out to be. It’s yours to discover.
All my love,