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Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

– Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen) . Baz Luhrmann

Dear young, gorgeous chick on the train,

I salute you. One day you are going to be my age and you’ll look back and see a million lessons learnt.

You may be someone’s mother, or not. You will have no doubt fallen in love, more than once. You may have had many lovers, or only a few. You might be married. Or divorced. Or living with a partner or quite single. You may be gay, straight, bisexual or other.

You will have broken hearts, and known the pang of lost love yourself.

I doubt you will still be showing your midriff, but I could be wrong on that count. Good for you for celebrating it now.

I’d like to think that you will enjoy every minute of your youth. But you probably won’t, which is kind of sad. I’m not sure anyone cherishes their youth as much, in the moment, as they do when they are past it, looking back with romantic nostalgia.

I won’t ask why you are holding a pillow on the train. Though I kind of wish I could. Perhaps you’re heading to a sleep over, even though you are in your twenties? I’ve never done the BYO pillow thing as an adult but hey, we are all different. I judge not. You probably don’t care even it I do. That pillow though is a statement.

Certainly a few men on the train are eyeing your wild hair, your aloof composure and that pillow, with clichéd fantasies of girly pillow fights. I roll my eyes at them.

I’m fascinated by the men and women on the train who are all eyeing you.

It’s obvious you feel their gaze and it strokes your ego a little, but you don’t seem bothered to meet their stares, completely disinterested in their curiosity. Except for the moment when you lock eyes with my guy. Like everyone else, he’s admiring you in all your youthful glory. You smirk and turn away. He just looks out the window.

So many people will gaze upon you in your lifetime. Some will look at you with reverence, some with scorn. They are all looking for different reasons. I for one, am fascinated by that pillow and your perfect youthful “don’t really care” resting bitch face.

It is hard not to see you, young and beautiful one – moving your bored and restless feet like a fenced in pony. You have a great arse, but you probably focus instead on your perceived flaws.

As you disembark the train before me, I see tiny hints of insecurity. Checking your top is straight. Playing with your thick mane. It makes a chink in the armour you show the world. You are checking your mobile way too much.

I realise how true it is that youth is so wasted on the young. One day gorgeous chick on the train, you will be my age.

You will have fought battles and won some of them. You will have scars not visible to the human eye. You will be different to who you are now, but you will look back at the skin you are currently in and no doubt ask why you didn’t do more of what made your heart sing, why you didn’t trust your own intuition, why you cared at all if those jeans you loved made your arse look big or not, why you didn’t break up with people sooner, why you were too afraid to take risks that mattered.

You may not have the career you believed you would. You may have travelled to far flung corners of the works, or you may have never left your home town. You might have consumed copious amounts of alcohol, or drugs, or both. Or not.

You may have lived a charmed life or a life much tougher than you imagined.

One day you will perhaps look back, like the rest if us, and wonder why we didn’t know all of this when we were so young and gorgeous, yet thinking we were not.

But, I hope, you will be fine. I’ve no doubt you will at least enjoy the journey. I’m excited for you and all your untamed possibility.