The piece you’re about to read is the third 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.
Georgia Louise Luckhurst, creative writer, freelancer and frequent MEDUSA-contributor is the gorgeously talented author of this contemplative and comforting piece.
Ultimately, her heartfelt writing looks back on adolescent angst with the warm wisdom of experience. As she reflects on growing closer to her siblings even as their lives take different trajectories, Georgia concludes that we all contain multitudes.
Take a few moments of calm to enjoy and let us know your thoughts,
On the days when I am generous with myself, I reason that we are all less personalities than we are accumulations. I choose to believe that the blueprint I use to interact with one friend, which differs from the one I employ with another, doesn’t make me ingenuine but adaptable, utilitarian. I think, well we’re all patchwork aggregations of tastes and opinions and poses and sayings. That turn of phrase we absorbed from our most incisive friend and repackaged in our own timbre, to amuse at a foreign house party; the time our granny taught us the three-line method of painting our nails. I don’t know if I have all that many definite beliefs anymore because I am trying to see my existence as an ecosystem, dependent on the life cycle of ideas, conversations, my accumulations. At seventeen, you’d have been appalled to read that from your future self. That’s your right. Maybe you should be. But somewhere along the line, as happens to us all, the finite source that fuelled my adolescent fury ran out. I am still very angry about some things, several of which we still share (men, sex, my education, my body, the way I’m made to feel about my body, the way I blame the way I feel about my body on structures outside myself as if I don’t still have a duty to contend with those within.) But I’m angry in a way that feels renewable now, and manageable. Bearable might be a better word.
I was speaking to my younger sister about it on the phone the other day. You won’t believe how frequently we four talk now, now we’re no longer growing up at different rates. Adults spread across three countries, sharing with one another the photos and daily insights we cite implicitly as evidence of the unsplittable atom that is our siblinghood. My sister and I were talking about our changing relationship with earnestness. A friend of mine has started writing a gratitude list, I said. I used to hate that kind of thing, my sister replied. So did I. (You.) But I don’t have room in my life for scorn anymore; the world isn’t good enough to believe that everything’s bad.
So when I talk about the versions of us, the accumulations, it’s because I know that I’ve barely begun to bury you; that you poke out of me like a tell-tale hand from the soil. Everytime that I begin to rant about something that makes me righteous I remember how you’d orate in English class, as if anybody cared. (Or everytime I return home and wind up locking the door to my bedroom after endangering the sanctity of yet another family dinner.) You’re still there, with the cynicism rubbed off. What a relief it is not to carry it.