Self isolation has given me a little extra time to ponder those thoughts, so I went one step further and actually composed a letter to my teenage self (which I would've recorded onto a cassette, if this were a real exercise) to be found in a reverse kind of time capsule event. It outlines all of the things that I wish that I had known ahead of time without giving away all of the details, and really...it's just a bit of fun thinking about stuff like this because it really puts into perspective all the things that you wish you had done differently. Anyway, without further delay, here is 'A Letter to Me on a Cassette':
Dear Teenage Barb,
I am writing to you from the future, around 30 years in the future actually, and before I even get started I really want you to know that you are more beautiful and full of endless potential than you have any awareness of right now. Trust me when I say that in 30 years you will look back on photos of yourself at 16 and will only see youthful innocence, beauty and potential and none of the flaws that you think that you have right now. So my first piece of advice is to learn early to love yourself unconditionally because it will make it a lot easier when others don't love you the way that you deserve to be loved.
I really don't want to give away too many of the details around what your life actually looks like in 30 years time, but I can tell you without any uncertainty that you are well, loved and extremely comfortable. You will weather the sands of time; there will be very high highs and very low lows but trust me, you will get through it all so never give up and dig deep when you have to.
Some of the advise that I will offer to you may seem vague, but trust me when I say that it is extremely sound advice that I would advise you to try and stick to no matter what. These things will not only serve you well, but will set you up for better things along the track, so please keep them in mind.
Firstly, make sure that you choose your vocation in life wisely, and do not quit school. Do not leave university early, no matter what is happening in your life and make sure that you see things through to the end. Also, read the fine print, always ask yourself 'is this what I still want to do in 5 years?' and remember that it is always better to be at the bottom of a ladder that you want to climb than half way up one that you don't. You will do good jobs, dreadful jobs, easy jobs, hard jobs and enjoyable jobs and they will all make you a better person. You are not too good for anything and nothing is beneath you, so be humble and do the best that you have in you no matter what you may find yourself doing and you will always be rewarded.
Boys, men and male aquatinences will come and go, and most of your relationships will not be as important as you think that they are at the time. You do need to rush down the aisle or commit too early, so enjoy your freedom and youth. However, that being said, when you find 'the one' you will know and that will be that. Enjoy the trials, triumphs and tribulations that love will bring to your life and remember that being right is not ever as important as being kind, fair or reasonable. Long term love requires loads of negotiation and compromise, it is a tricky balance of give and take. Some days will feel like heaven, some days will not, and oddly they will all make you love your partner even more as the years pass, so don't give up too easily.
Be honest, but also be kind, considerate and subdued as well. Say less and listen more to others, don't be superficial or judgemental and always try to leave people feeling better when you leave them than they did when you first saw them. Anything that you lie about will haunt you for the rest of your life, so don't talk shit to anyone or about anyone - be honest and reliable. All of your best future relationships are built on honesty and reliability, so anyone that you feel like you can't be honest with or that you feel isn't being honest with you, should be avoided. You will lose people that you loved dearly along the way, some will pass away, some will leave and some you will just let go of and although it will sting like a bitch at the time, you will survive all of it, so be strong and stay the course.
Take care of your skin, teeth, fitness and wellbeing early on, even when you feel like you really don't need to. It's true that beauty fades, but wellbeing doesn't have to and if you are taking care of your health and wellbeing early on you will reap the benefits in the years to come. Start doing yoga and meditation immediately, never smoke (it is really not sexy at all) and eat a balanced diet. And don't just say yeah...yeah...I will, actually do it because you will thank yourself a million times over later on for doing it when you are in your 40's.
Invest in anything to do with the internet, IT companies and any business that has a fruit logo (in particular an apple) on it. Keep all of your old technology, computer devices and gaming consoles because people pay a lot of money for that kind of stuff in the future and try to hang onto all of your old clothes because you wouldn't believe how many things have come back into fashion over the years. All of your old dolls and toys will also be worth more money than you ever paid for them one day, so store your Barbie Dolls, board games and toys in plastic boxes and try to keep them clean and as unused as possible, weird I know but trust me.
And lastly, enjoy the ride. Life is short and full of twists and turns so try to have fun a little everyday. Do something nice for yourself everyday, do something nice for others as often as you can and don't be afraid to swim upstream, go against the grain or march to the beat of your own drum every now and again. Never lose your childlike whimsy, your sense of adventure or your lust for life, because you'll still be very much wanting those in the future. Laugh, keep a journal, dance, play and breathe it all in, none of it is wrong or right, it's all just experience. Some days you'll kick and some days you'll get kicked, some days you'll smile and sing and some days you'll cry and flip the world the bird and it will still all be okay.
You're gonna be just fine young one.
Love and hugs,
Forty Six Year Old Barb xx
Release Date: 2019
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 97 mins
A science fiction thriller directed by Lorcan Finnegan that was Internationally co-produced between Ireland, Denmark and Belgium; Vivarium has uniqueness and intrigue in buckets. Loosely based on the idea of the cuckoo bird laying it's eggs in another bird's nest in order to force another breed of bird to play host to it's young and raise it, Vivarium takes the concept one step further again, with disturbing and complicated outcomes.
Young couple Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots) wish to purchase a new home. They visit a strange estate called Yonder with the even stranger real estate agent Martin. When Martin goes missing during the couple's walkthrough of apartment #9, they begin to become concerned. Before long, the couple realise that Yonder is not like any other estate and that they have been chosen to perform a particular task.
I think that this movie will bother a lot of people with its unclear outcomes and intensely weird interludes, I however really liked it for all of those reasons. The script is fresh, disturbing and intelligent, and the outcomes are not at all predictable which is what I think that all good science fiction thrillers should be delivering. Vivarium is certainly not the perfect sci-fi thriller recipe, but it sure is a strange and at times deeply dark ride that you won't forget in a hurry.
FINAL SAY: Yonder, you're home right now - forever!
3 Chilli Peppers