A letter to my younger self
Sorry for being MIA people. Things have been full on with both my personal and professional life. I had to put Vikkipedia on the back burner and row out from my safe haven of Blogging Island to the Mainland of Life in my shitty, unequipped raft to deal with some pretty big and scary grown-ass adult things.
Now that the dust has settled, I’ve got the chance to slow down and really think things through. I feel like I could offer something more than just showing you how to style socks or wear 1 outfit in 2 ways!
A little while ago, I was absolutely inspired after reading Victoria Beckham’s letter to her 18-year-old self. I haven’t been a Spice Girl but I have decided to write a far less glamorous version on myself, for you!
For those whom I don’t know in person, I hope you’ll get to know me better by the end of this. For those who know me, I hope you resonate with some of the stuff I’ve been through and find peace, happiness and gratitude in your hearts.
Dedicated to Begoña, Weronika and all the young girls out there trying to do life.
I bet you’re drinking with a bunch of friends in Keith Hay Park right now. There’ll be boys in the group but you would’ve lied to your parents and said you’re watching a movie with your BFF, and her alone! (I really hope my parents aren’t reading this post… Sorry Mum and Dad!)
You definitely aren’t the skinniest nor the prettiest girl in the group, but I’d say you’re pretty smart. You never had to try very hard to do well at school.
Ironically, you’re also pretty dumb because you’ll try very hard to play dumb.
It pains me to see you hide your intelligence in hopes of impressing people because you think they'll like you more.
Trust me – pretending to be stupid will get very tiring. You’ll completely bomb your last high school exam ‘cos you’re spending too much energy trying to please people, boys in particular. Tsk tsk tsk… 😒
Fear not – you’ve done well enough in the previous year that you could fuck almost everything else up and still manage to get into uni. Even though you have no idea what you want to do in life you’ll apply for art school, because that’s what your best friend is doing and you’ve always lived in her shadow.
This decision will cause a chain of events in the next few years. You’ll become the top student of art school. You’ll meet someone you love and he’ll love you back. But one day, he’ll leave you for your best friend.
You’ll be heartbroken. You’ll spend ages wondering what you’ve done wrong and how you could have done things differently. You’ll think you suck. But you’ll eventually understand that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
Because of all this, you’ll end up scoring a real cool job in advertising. You won’t have a clue what you’re doing because what you’ve learnt in uni won’t help a single thing at work.
You’ll spend your initial years in advertising like a moth to a flame, only to get burnt and disoriented. Your passion and potential won’t get recognised.
But don’t worry. You have a secret weapon – the ‘feisty little bitch’ in you that absolutely hates losing!
You’ll work your arse off and it will pay off – because some amazing people will notice your hard work and talent and they’ll point you in the right direction.
You’ll also have the BEST and wildest parties! Don’t party too hard! (Yeah right hahaha…) 😂😂😂
Although you’ll fall in love with advertising, you’ll be constantly realising others’ ideas, and not very often your own. You’ll feel like you need another creative outlet. You’ll pay for a domain name called vikkipedia.org for 5 years without having any ideas on what you’ll be doing with it.
In 2013, a really good friend of yours will challenge you do run a half marathon. You can’t even run around the block but you’ll do it because again, you fucking hate losing.
The geek in you will work out a training schedule and the ‘feisty little bitch’ in you will make you stick to it. You’ll complete your first half marathon in under 2 hours and feel on top of the world!
Now with this added confidence and a couple of dress sizes down from all the running, you’ll buy even more clothes. You’ll tell yourself, “Why don’t I make vikkipedia.org a fashion blog so I can ‘make use of’ my clothes?” Haha…
You’ll spend another year ‘planning’ what to do and you’ll tell EVERYONE about it - so you can’t back out. You’ll launch the blog. You’ll end up collaborating with some amazing designers, brands and people. You’ll get to a point where you’ll go, “What else can I do?” Then you’ll start wondering apart from wearing pretty outfits, what else can I offer to this world, which is why you’ll end up writing this letter to younger self…
Getting laid off from your first agency will make you doubt yourself. You’ll think you’re shit at your job. But don’t worry. It’s advertising and when an agency loses a client, you’re out. It’s nothing personal.
Don’t be afraid to beat your own drum – ‘cos no one else will do it for you. I know, I know… This piece of advice is not very ‘Asian’ ‘cos Mum and Dad would’ve told you to put your head down, work hard and never promise anything unless you’re absolutely sure you’re capable of doing it. But honestly, doing it the ‘Asian’ way will make your road much longer.
Don’t be afraid to take on challenges. You don’t always need everything figured out before doing a project. The only way you’ll know how to do something is when you’re actually doing it.
Don’t be afraid to work your arse off! Mum’s given you the best advice in the world. She says, "Sometimes you have to put yourself at a disadvantage to be able to gain from a situation." So help your workmates out whenever you can, even if it’s out of your way. You spend more time with them than your family, friends and partners. With love and respect, they’ll become your second family.
But like every home, there’s a time when you have to move out and do your own thing. You’ll be devastated because you love these people and you want to take them with you. But you need to keep moving forward and finding new challenges. Just remember – the world of advertising is so small in New Zealand and you could all wind up working under the same roof again someday!
You think you know who has your back. But you don’t. I know – ‘cos I’ve been you!
Being ‘down’ for a friend does not mean turning a blind eye to unreasonable behaviour.
Don’t be like one of Harvey Weinstein’s buddies that knew he was sexually harassing everyone but chooses not to speak up about it. Don’t blindly follow whatever others are doing. Please grow some balls and do your own thing!
I want to tell you who to trust and who not to, but I won’t. Although heartbreaking, this will help you gain better judgement of people in the future and you’ll learn to pay attention to those that really matter.
Friendship is like the Lost & Found Department. People will get dropped off at your doorstep.
Some of them aren’t good for you. Don’t hold onto these people in your life because you’re better off without them.
A few of them are precious. You’ll spend a lot of time and energy loving them, but they might end up being claimed by someone else. Understand that they were never meant to be yours forever. Be grateful you had a good time with these people and learn to let go.
The absolute gems are the ones you think you’ve lost because you don’t know how to be a good friend. You’ll be gutted and wish you were a little wiser. Somehow life gives you another chance and you’ll find them again. Hold onto them for dear life. No matter what.
On finding love
First and foremost, I hate to break it to you but David Beckham ends up choosing the wrong ‘Vicky’. 😂
You’ll like a lot of people who don’t feel the same way about you.
Sometimes you’ll fall for great people, but because of your own insecurities, you don’t believe you’re bubbly, funny, pretty or good enough for them. You’ll end up burying your feelings, only to find out later on that they’ve felt the same about you too.
I wish every love story ends like the movie She’s All That. Unfortunately, yours don’t always have a happy ending (and Freddy Prinze Jr). 😭
There are days when you’ll lose hope on love and not know who to trust. You’ll spend weeks and months crying, wondering how you could have done things differently. You’ll regret saying the wrong thing in haste, or not saying the right thing soon enough.
But let me tell you this. Things are the way they are because you don’t know better. You’re not meant to know better.
Stop beating yourself up. Dust the dirt off your shoulder. When it’s time to walk away, walk away with grace. Even though tears will stream down your face, don’t turn around and let him see that. Keep walking.
You’ll be fine again. You’ll love again. (Honestly!)
The most precious gift your parents have given you is your little sister.
I know you didn’t like her all that much. I mean, who can forget about that night when you woke her up from her sleep (because you were scared of ghosts) and she punched you in the face and went back to sleep? 😂
Now that you’re a teenager, she’ll be copying every single thing you’re doing right now. I can see your eyes rolling all the way to the back of your head right now. Be nice. She copies ‘cos she loves you and looks up to you.
You’ll end up telling her every single thing under the sun. From the ugliest details like the ingrown hair on your bum to the deepest, darkest secrets you are too afraid to confront even to yourself. She’ll back you even if you’re absolutely wrong. (She’ll just yell at you behind closed doors.)
You guys will have some shit fights. You’ll travel together and one person (or both) will always end up crying. Despite that, she’ll become your best friend without you even realising. She’ll never betray you. She’ll ALWAYS, ALWAYS have your back.
Growing up in an Asian household, your parents understand what it’s like to work hard. They’ll never stop you from prioritising your studies or work – they’ve been there. It’s the reason why you have a sweet life right now.
You’ll be busy “being busy”.
On the race track of life, you’ll drive past your folks at 120km/h. You’ll get blurry glimpses of them cheering you on from the sidewalk as they yell out and remind you to keep your eyes on the road.
You won’t pick up the subtlety of their changes but as you drive past them every time, around the same corner, there they are, with a few more lines added on their faces.
Mum and dad are still standing at the bend of the road cheering you on. They look cute with their reading glasses.
You caught a glimpse of them again. This time, mum has a full head of grey regrowth and dad… What happened? Dad looks different! He’s almost bald.
It pains me to say this but one day you’ll drive past the same corner. Your eyes will search through the crowd for Mum and Dad. But you won’t find them.
Help Mum dye her hair and read the fine prints on the packaging.
Talk to Dad about his Asian karaoke reality TV show.
Finally, on getting older…
In the not-too-distant future, you’ll find your first grey hair. You’ll be absolutely terrified!
You’ll pull it out. One becomes two, then three, then four and before you know it, 10000 strands of grey hair are already creeping out of your scalp.
The horrifying thing isn’t so much how it looks but what it signifies – getting old.
You’re gonna laugh at me, but getting older is probably the best thing that will happen to you even if you don’t believe a word I’m saying right now.
Why? Because as you get older, life will teach you to:
- Love yourself.
- Stop giving a shit (okay maybe not completely, but you’ll care waaaaay less about what other people say or think of you).
- Be grateful yet not get too comfortable.
Brace yourself for a lot of opinions.
A lot of people will tell you what you should be doing or what you shouldn’t do.
Some of them believe their opinions are more valid than yours, or anyone else’s.
Their triumphs are always more triumphant. Their experiences are always more experienced. Even their fuck-ups are always more fucked up.
Just smile and nod like you always do and let those opinions go in one ear and out the other.
Some people’s opinions genuinely come from a good place because they give a shit about you. But remember, everyone can only draw on their own experiences ‘cos that’s all they know!
You might think, “Look at all the amazing things so-and-so is doing.” “How I wish I could be like so-and-so more.” “If only I could achieve 10% of what so-and-so has done…” But you keep forgetting how far you’ve come… from the ‘you’ now!
Stop measuring yourself against others and wondering if you’re doing too much, or too little.
The fact is, no one has it all figured out.
My apologies Vikki… I know I’m much older than you but I still haven’t got it all sussed out.
My only advice is to just do what you want to do. Start blogging, run 21.1km, enter a beauty pageant, jump off the fucking plane…
While you keep doing life, don’t forget to fill your heart with gratitude.
Hang tight and enjoy the rest of your ride!
Yours, forever and always (‘cos we’re kinda stuck with each other),
Vikki a.k.a. Vikkipedia (You might think this is the lamest alias right now but I’ll prove you wrong, girlfriend!)