Looking back on these photos tonight has seriously made me smile! Why did you have to be so sad? When you get to 22 Emily, trust me, you'll look back on these days and miss how goddamn awesome you were. No, you don't end up believing that bullsh*t that school is the best time of your life, oh no, you know life only gets better and better. But you do miss the freedom of a completely disposable income. You miss going to loads of gigs. You miss hanging round with Anne. You miss the stupid "photo shoots" in the park and in the garden and at Urbis or wherever. You even miss that eyeliner and god, I tell you, I'm nearly in tears at how gorgeous our hair is in that last picture, seriously!
I can't lie to you Em, things are going to get a lot harder. You think you're sad now? You honestly don't know anything. You've got some really, really low moments coming up in the next few years and you're going to do some things you're going to beat yourself up about for years. But I'm here to tell you today, that's ok. You're so brave and you're learning so much along the way. I know you're scared about what the future holds for you but seriously, you've got it under control - even when it feels like you really, really haven't. Honestly, from the day you decided to go out and get a job and earn your own money, you were taking baby steps towards the young woman you become. Yeah, you look back at your time at Louie's and Domino's with absolute horror and literally have nightmares about going back but you know without these times you'd never be where you are now! Yeah Emzzzzz, 22 years old and you manage a shop and you've just started your own business on the side which you can feel is the big turning point moment in your life. Sorry you're not an author or a journalist or an actress or an official Wednesday 13 groupie, but trust me, you will like your job. Oh, and your love for Wednesday? It never, ever dies. In fact, I'm going to see him in just over two months and you nearly wet yourself every time you think about it. It'll be the fourth time you've met him and THIS TIME GIRL, you're not gonna turn into a tongue tied mess.
I set out with intention to tell you everything I know now, how everything changed for me, what I've learnt, why things happen but I know you too well. I know you're scoffing at the idea that you can cook and manage a store on a Saturday by yourself. I also know you think it can't get much worse and I also know how you feel about the way your life ends. It's not gonna be like that Emily. Nearly. But not quite. You won't believe me when I tell you how amazing you are so all I can tell you in cling to the moments in those photographs. Love Cornwall with all your heart. Savour every second of every gig. Take note of how good being able to see the sea makes you feel. Please don't lose sight of the good parts about your life now!
But, most importantly. Keep doing that eyeliner. It's just the beginning of what's going to be a lifelong obsession with makeup ;)