Luckily for you, dear reader, this is a very short meme (for me).
1. Depending on your age, go back 10, 15, 20, or even more years.
2. Tell us how many years back you have traveled and why.
3. Pretend you have met yourself during that era, and tell us where you are.
4. You only have one "date" with this former self.
5. Answer the following questions.......
Okay, as we start, what year is it and how old are you?
I have travelled back in time to twenty years to October 1990. I hate my job as a Assistant Bank Manager at the ANZ. I have just completed a night course in Nannying and Childcare; dated a couple of fairly disappointing blokes and am about to sign up to some UK job search agencies. I'm a month shy of turning twenty two and share a house with two uni friends in Hackney, Adelaide.
1. Would your younger self (YYS, from here) recognise you when you first meet?
Yes - my hair is a shorter but the face is still pretty much the same, as is the body shape. YYS might notice that my chest is considerably larger (it seemed to expand in my mid-twenties) and wonder why dark denim straight-leg jeans that were deeply unfashionable by 1990 were being worn by me now.
2. Would YYS be surprised to discover what you are doing job-wise?
Absolutely. YYS was still reeling from the mind-numbing dullness of bank work and the ugly grey uniforms we were required to wear and wondering, 'Is this it?' YYS was seeking out second-hand paperbacks of the novels that she'd hoped to read at uni but never did and on the very tip of starting to believe that humour and asking questions might be a better approach than trying to look cool and remain ignorant.
YYS knows that nannying and childcare isn't what she wants to do either but it's her ticket to a two year adventure overseas on her own. No-one's going with her, so she's chosen a country that speaks her language, is close to Europe and hopefully lands her with a nice family, great accommodation and some adventures. She has no long term career ideas beyond getting away from the bank and seeing the world from a different hemisphere.
3. What piece of fashion advice would you give YYS?
Don't grow your hair long again - you're going to do just that over the next two years and it honestly won't suit you. Don't buy the cheap leather biker jacket either; get the dearer, softer one - it'll look better and still ensure that no-one hassles you on the tube on your way home and not fall apart after six months.
Avoid the English chips, bacon sandwiches, cheap chocolate bars and pint-sized cider-and-blacks. Actually, on second thought, eat it all - weight will come and go but friends, fun and hazy nights out won't.
4. What do you think YYS is most going to want to know?
Does someone love me? Really truly love me? The real me? The daggy insecure unsophisticated unworldly uncool shy worried anxious nervous lonely ungainly self-conscious unenlightened frightened me?
And I'll tell her yes. Someone loves you. And you love him. Deeply. Honestly. Fervently. He's a great guy (YYS called every one 'guys' then) and will be with you during some very revealing, painful and heart breaking times. He loved you when you weren't trying to get him to; when you had a whopping credit card debt, a tight Austudy budget and Euro-flab.
He'll travel overseas for work every now and then and, about an hour after the taxi has taken him to the airport, your invisible doggy tail will droop, as it is right now as you're telling her all this and he's on his way to Geneva.
5. How would you answer YYS's question?
I'd also tell her that we have a child; a daughter, and that even though she's already boldly told friends that she doesn't want to have kids, she'll love this one with a ferocity and a gentleness that surprises her every single day she wakes up.
6. What would probably be the best thing to tell YYS?
To be herself. To laugh freely and not worry about being considered weird or undignified. To extend her hand of friendship first, to chat to someone who looks like they're struggling and to keep a diary of her two years overseas.
7. What is something that you probably wouldn't tell YYS?
She doesn't need to know of my darkest days. She needs to live her life right up to those events and survive them like I did and keep on surviving them; doing her best to stay healthy and be an active participant in the life that's flowing around her and through her.
8. What do you think will most surprise YYS about you?
That fashion interests me not one iota when, for her, it's still a vital game that she feels compelled to participate in. I'll tell her that when my parents were over last weekend, my mother and I trawled the shops to find things for her, not me. Mum wanted a new outfit for church and some casual gear for summer and we spent a companionable day getting it all sorted.
All I wanted some new running shoes which we forgot to look for. YYS will be told that I honestly just want to be clean and comfortable wearing something that isn't going to cause any jeers or cheers but just blend in as a relatively normal member of society. YYS might be interested to know that when you find love you don't need to blow your salary on tight, short, scratchy scraps of overpriced materials when he's glad you're in his house, his arms, his bed..... I'd also like to tell her that the average guy wouldn't notice if the cut of her jeans was this year or last year's design or what logo was sewn into the back of her t-shirt. He wants her to laugh at his jokes, walk over to talk to him and have a hearty appetite.
9. What do you think will least surprise YYS?
That the nannying job didn't work out. I found something better, that led onto something even more suitable that then led me to ..... well, a lot of things; all of which have helped me write and feel a fair bit more comfortable in my own skin. YYS probably won't be surprised that I still don't feel as though I'm 'there' yet. I'm a work in progress.
10. At this point in your life, would YYS like to run into "you" from the future?
I think so - maybe as a kooky sidekick to get advice from occasionally or a new buzzword she can try out on her friends.
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