Dearest Teenage Me,
Oh, girlfriend. Having the time of your life over there, aren’t you? Of course you are. You’re young. You’re free. You’re mostly independent. A little lost sometimes, maybe, not always quite sure of your next step, but you have ideas and dreams and that’s enough for now, isn’t it?
People are gonna try to tell you that it’s not. They’ll get on your case for being a dreamer and a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser. They’re gonna tell you that you need plans and not maybes, because maybes won’t pay the bills and dreaming isn’t a career. They will beat you down with their good intentions then they’ll try to drag your aching bones on to the straight and narrow. They mean well. They honestly and truly do. They love you. Well. Most of them love you. Some of them are sadists. But most just want you to be successful and they see success as a set thing. Your dreaming worries them. Not because you dream but because, in their eyes, you do it too much.
But in the end, your dreaming will pay off.
I know that’s hard to believe right now, as a fresh faced girl who wants to make magic. I know you’ve heard, time and time again, that what you want to do just isn’t possible. And you know, right now, the days you’re living in, they’re probably not. Oh, but they will be. Doors will be kicked in, windows will be busted out, and you are gonna grin and climb through them. You’re gonna create worlds and people, you see. You’re gonna create a lot of them. At times it’ll feel as if you’re throwing crap at the wall hoping it will stick. You’ll think it never will. Until it does. Then it’s gonna catch fire and it’s gonna burn and you’ll have soot lining your face. It’ll be glorious.
Keep dreaming, darlin. From those dreams a speakeasy will be born. A wild waitress will serve drinks and meet a brooding boxer boy there. Their relationship will be loud and messy and it’ll spill over onto a bar-lined street you’ll make your home on. Let the others tell you to get your head out of the clouds. It’s okay. Because between me and you? The clouds are the best place for your head to be. Magic is waiting there. The others just don’t see it yet. But they will. Promise.
We’ll see you in a few years.
PS: You’re gonna marry that boy. You’ll have babies with his eyes and your dimples your story together will be a lovely chaos. And he will never quite learn to pick up his socks.
Wild Ones is now officially available in paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Ones-Lane-English/dp/037342776X/