Come in, kick off your shoes, sit awhile. Have a drink won't you? Let's talk...about you, me and the life we are fated to lead. Let's tempt fate. And see if we can change a few things.
So that you...don't become me.
You are just 16...there is time enough before you take off those rose-tinted glasses and don the dark Gucci shades instead. Before you need to hide those eyes and all they say from the world.
But while you still dream those dreams, let me tell you a few things I've learnt along the way.
Falling in love is not overrated. You will come to think it is. And cynicism will take over. Try not to be. Love, contrary to all your future experiences, is beautiful. And wistful. Being in love, on the other hand, is a bitch. Prince Charming almost always comes on a lame horse. And he starts off by calling you princess...and ends up keeping you locked in a tower of indifference.
The only ones who are never indifferent to you are your girlfriends. You might not have one today. But going on, you will find some gems. That makes you lucky. They won't judge you, they will pick up conversations 12 years old, hug, scold, worry - but stay with you through your insecurities and fears.
Never let anyone see you're afraid. You're pretty good at that now. Hone your skill. People smell your fear - and so does fate. It's ok to be scared. But it's never ok to tell anyone that you are. Not unless you trust that person with all you've got.
Never trust anyone with all you've got. They may mean well...but in a world where the fittest survive, sooner or later they will use your secrets to their advantage. Either to make you theirs...or to break you. Either way, it's damaging. Unless the love they have for you is unconditional.
There is no such thing as unconditional love. Barring your parents. But you won't get that now. You will only understand their worth when you're sick and alone and your mom isn't there to tell you it's ok. You may think you love someone unconditionally...and perhaps you do. But the other person won't get it. And that will break your heart. And harden you. Which will be unfair to the next person who DOES love you. And you will be left forever craving for that perfect, balanced relationship.
I'm sorry to mess with your head - but there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Or a perfect life. It's always a struggle, always. For some it's a struggle for existence. For you it will be a struggle to live, break barriers, defy rules, be passionate, dream.
Dreams will come true - only if you pursue them with a desperation and no heed for consequences. So chase them and grab and never let go. Learn from me. I didn't chase hard enough. And now I'm filled with 'what-ifs'. Start pursuing them - now! Else all you will have are suppressed desires and simmering regrets.
Regrets - at not having tried enough, at having lived half a life - are the worst things you can have. Worse than heartbreak. Worse than infidelity. Worse than a failed relationship or an unsatisfactory career.
Work isn't everything. You will make it your life in order to compensate for the failings and emptiness you feel otherwise. But try not to. Feel good about yourself...because you're not half bad. Travel, read, dance, write - find ways to express yourself. Because if you don't then it will all start building up inside. Fizzing, bubbling, struggling for release.
And then even those grown-up Gucci glasses won't be enough to hide your thoughts.