Dear 21-year old Lachlan,
It’s me. I’m 26 now, there’s a lot to get through and some of it may be difficult but you have survived thus far so don’t get too concerned.
Now by this time things may seem like that they are all falling in to place for you. It’s 2009, you’re engaged, you’re happy and you’ve just turned 21 but don’t settle and I will tell you why, from this moment onwards things will start to disintegrate for you.
In less than a year your fiancée will leave you, for no other reason than she wanted something different. By that point you will be an absolutely broken man. I guarantee it, even five years later and I will explain, love is the most painful and joyous thing you can experience and I know this for a solid fact.
You will attempt to stay in her life as you always do but unfortunately it will not work out. She’s not looking to keep you around so don’t waste your time. You will admit you have depression for the first time and you will seek out help in the form of anti depressants and for you, there will come several days where you are closer to ending your life than you’ve ever been. You’ll stand on the rails of the Story Bridge and commit to the fact you’ll be dead before the hour is out. But you will be saved. A man will talk you out of it and that man will be a friend you will have until this day.
A period of readjustment and soul searching bring you through a terrible time in your life. You will drink and fuck until you can do it no more and settle yet again with a woman who once more was looking for a commitment you cannot give, but you also travel and start an obsession that cannot be stopped. She helps you heal but you can’t be with her anymore and spoiler alert, she gets engaged anyway. So she ends up happy.
Another period of drinking and meeting new people gets you in to the best years I’ve yet had but they aren’t without consequence.
You will meet this woman, you will work, sleep, eat and breathe her until she is yours and when she is you are certain that your life will go along a path of which you thought you would several years before. Your surety of how much you love this woman is counteracted by her constant battle with herself and her own journey of happiness. You spend the better part of a year being hers and hers only.
She withdraws herself, she questions herself until the point where she tells you that you are no longer required in her life and at this cross road you become nothing more than a man without a plan.
She has broken you. She goes back to her ex whom on numerous occasion has threatened you and her and hurt her and why she returned you will never understand. You can only pray that she will realise what she has missed out on and unfortunately that will not help you sleep at night.
You wonder whether you felt cheated or lied to but I guarantee you that whether the answer is yes or no you can do better.
You know you’ve loved someone when your heart aches when you recall how much effort and love you gave for little result but do not get discouraged.
There will be a single person who can change your life and I have been blessed enough to have that on more than one occasion. Take your own advice and the advice of the people who know you best. They saw what that whole situation during and after the relationship did to you and you will eventually become a better man.
You won’t treat yourself the same way and you’re actually weighing less than you did in high school so high five man!
But despite my current and constant battle with life I do not blink when I feel like it is all falling down because it isn’t.
There will always be a tomorrow and there is always an opportunity to start again if you let yourself. You’re a good man and you only get better. Someone will love you for the handsome, fun, intelligent man you are. It may not be now, or even in five years but she will come man. Even now I hold hope for that beautiful smell of the one you love on your pillow or on your shoulder where she rests her head. You will get coffee for her and make her laugh and hold her like everything will be okay.
In the meantime don’t forget to stop and look at life. Your 20’s will soon be a chapter in your life so make it the best chapter it can be.
You will survive. You’ll get there. Just have the one thing you always should have. Patience.
Good luck mate, it’s a hell of a journey.