You will bite into a lollipop before you’ve given it ample time to soften. You will know this isn’t good for your teeth, but you will do it anyway.
You will experience an irrational amount of fear when walking through security barriers as you are leaving shops because you believe the alarms will go off. Even though you know you haven’t stolen anything, you will conjure up conspiracies in your mind where people you don’t know are out to frame you for theft by putting items in your bag without your knowledge. The fact that you could alleviate the stress of this experience by simply checking your bag before you leave the store will never occur to you.
You will know that the fancy coat you just bought and have worn several times will probably require dry-cleaning but when the time comes you know that you will turn it inside out, throw it in with everything else and just hope for the best.
You will want your tweets and Facebook statuses to seem off the cuff and nonchalant but will not be able to escape the fact that these same tweets and statuses require an inordinate amount of drafting, re-drafting and editing.
You will tell yourself that you will never meet anyone or ever be happy in a relationship. You will believe this so intrinsically that you begin to research ways to have children on your own and stop seeing men as viable sexual objects. Later when you are writing this and look over to watch your boyfriend sleeping, you will struggle to believe you’re not dreaming.
You will go to your mother with any and all of your problems with your female friends and your mother will respond in exactly the same way: “She’s just jealous.” Even though you know it is her stock phrase, and that the chances that all of your successful, beautiful, skinny friends are envious of your lifestyle are slim, it will still put your mind at ease.
You will spend a lifetime hating your body. You will spend years wishing you were thinner, trying fad diets, taking diet pills, flirting with various eating disorders and telling anybody who will listen that you would do anything to lose weight. Anything that is, but exercise consistently and eat healthily.
You will tell your friends that you’re not really into Facebook and rarely use Twitter so that you appear busy and “above it all.” But in conversations, you will let slip details that you couldn’t possibly know without having spent a significant amount of time browsing social network sites. If you’re lucky enough to have gracious friends, they may not call you on it.
You will bump into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while unexpectedly. You will spend the day with them and you will remember all the wonderful qualities they possess that made you want to become friends with them in the first place. You will scold yourself for not making more effort to stay in touch with them and when you say good bye you will tell them that you will call them and start seeing them regularly. You will make this promise to them roughly every six to eight months, for exactly the same reason and very little will change.
You will set aside one whole day to run all of the errands you have been putting off for so long. You will get into town, walk around for a bit, do some window shopping, and buy an overpriced panini at Starbucks before becoming tired and going home to watch American sitcoms.
You will periodically type in the name of someone you hate into the Facebook search engine and spend time looking at their photos. You will rationalise this behaviour to yourself by claiming that it is only to confirm to yourself that you still hate them, but really, you do it because stoking the fires of the furnace of hatred that you hold for them is the only way to keep the friendship you had alive in some way.
You will be annoyed with family members and friends over the years but will never tell them. Instead you will go quiet and wait for them to figure it out. You will tell yourself that you are doing this because you don’t care and they’re not important enough for you to approach them, but really, the thought of admitting to another human being that at one time or another they meant enough to you to be able to hurt you makes you feel vulnerable in a way that you are not comfortable with.
You will hate either Anne Hathaway, Gywneth Paltrow or Kristen Stewart with the fire and zeal of a thousand suns. They haven’t done anything to you personally and when people ask you why you hate them you won’t really be able to put it into words, but everyone hates them and it just seems like the right thing to do.
You will go through life avoiding arguments and ignoring issues that bother you. You will behave in this way for years. You will dread the day you are met with a situation in which you cannot run from confrontation, because you know that the years you have spent avoiding it have left you ill-equipped to deal with it now.
You will bemoan the lack of sisterhood between females in the media and the general public. But when an unflattering picture of Kim Kardashian surfaces you will call her fat and not see the hypocrisy in this.
You will roll your eyes and tut loudly when a mother wheels her pram into the back of your foot on the tube. You will feel no empathy or emotion besides annoyance as you observe her struggling to control her two young children. You will conveniently forget this and moments like this when you go on to have your own children.
You will be 19 and sitting on a bus when a good looking guy next to you stands up to get off at his stop. It has been three years since a man last touched you at this point, and even though this isn’t your stop you will get up too and intentionally stumble when the bus swerves, just so you can feel his bare arm briefly touch yours. You will think of this moment many times in the many lonely years that are to follow. Today, in a loving and affectionate relationship, you will look back at that day on the bus and the memory of how sad and lonely you were will make you want to cry.
You will quietly nurture a belief in God but won’t admit to it because in your mind, openly voicing this is basically the same thing as admitting to a belief in the tooth fairy.
You will never be able to get a good night’s sleep unless you say your prayers first.
You will be five years old and at a train station with your parents when you will pull away from your mother’s hand so that you can run up to a beggar sitting outside. You will put your arms around him and kiss him. Your parents will tell this story to people for years to come and you will claim it embarrasses you. Secretly, the thought that your five year old self was so full of compassion and so lacking in pretension makes you happy and proud.
You will go on a shopping spree and spend hours buying clothes you don’t really need. When you get home and lay the day’s plunder in front of you, what you have bought will not seem like that much and what you have spent will seem like far more than you had initially realised.
You will be on a bus and notice a bus with the same number coming towards you. You will check to see if the two drivers will acknowledge each other. When they do, this small moment of camaraderie between two strangers will make you absurdly happy in a way that you don’t quite understand.
You will see how much time you’re wasting picking yourself apart and only cleaving to the negative things that people have to say about you. You will realise that you have masses of potential and that the only thing stopping you from seeing your dreams come to fruition is you. You will tell yourself that tomorrow you are going to get up and make a positive change and that for all your faults; you’re not a terrible person and have a lot to offer. You will tell yourself that you won’t allow yourself to forget this last part.
But you will.