I know that things are pretty rough right now. 1999 has been a tough year for you. One of your closest friends passed away, your grandmother remarried against your mother’s wishes and then Grandma broke her hip and had a stroke all on the same day. (The day before your eighteenth birthday, no less.) You’ve had some trouble at school—and you’ve caused plenty of it in return—and now some of your friendships are beyond repair. On top of this, you’ve just completed year twelve, your biggest and most important year of schooling, and you are awaiting your final results.
I’m not surprised that you are feeling a little emotional right now.
I would also like to tell you something, and I think you need to hear it.
You are good enough.
You have always been good enough.
It does not matter that some people do not like you. It will not matter if you do not get perfect scores in all of you exams. Those things don’t matter. When you get older, you’re going to look back at that time in your life, and you’ll think differently about it. You’ll think about all the strange and wonderful people that you met, every Tuesday afternoon when you volunteered at the local soup kitchen. You’ll think about school, and you’ll think about little things like how Mr Carlson always kept a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on his desk and you’ll think about big things like the time that the Prime Minister visited your school. You’ll think about how you went to the Royal Adelaide Show with Flamy, and how you both walked along Hindley Street after dark without your parents knowing (and how you didn’t get killed.) You’ll think about the closing ceremony that your school had for the West Campus and how out of three hundred kids, you were chosen to lead years eleven and twelve in a special parade. You’ll think about all the good times you shared with Mel and that will help you cope with the fact that she’s gone.
Mum and Grandma will patch things up. The story will have an unexpected twist, and one day, when you get home from uni, Dad will be waiting at the bus stop just so he can tell you all about it.
Love, your 35 yo self
PS. You were right about the Y2K bug being a load of nonsense.
PPS. Stop listening to that bloody Savage Garden CD. It really isn’t that great. And take all those celebrity posters down and put something inspirational on the wall instead.
About the author:
Kathryn White was born in 1981 and grew up on the south coast of Adelaide. A passionate writer, she was first published at age 17 and later graduated from Flinders University with a BA (Hons.) Kathryn has independently published a variety of novels and is happiest when she is using her writing to explore new concepts, dysfunctional relationships and to view life from the perspective of people who do not quite fit in with their world in one way or another.
Thanks for playing, Kathryn. I love that letter. (And Savage Garden was okay!!)
Speaking of letters…
Wanting to honour the lost art of letter writing through this blog series, I also opened my fourth novel with a character writing a letter. And not just any letter. It’s a story — perhaps the most important he’ll ever tell.
The Other Side of the Season
Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill banana plantation on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour. One stays—trapped for the next thirty years on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and . . . there’s another side to every story.