Back To The Feature Part XX – Nay Mattis


Wow, never thought I would make 20 on this feature! and there is no sign of slowing up. I started using Roman Numerals to keep in line with the ‘Back To The Future’ theme, but now I found myself looking them up as I only knew up  to 10!

Thank you Nay for taking part as our 20th participant, Nay blogs at where she blogs about how to be a glamorous and a mum! here she talks to her 18 year old self…

Dear Nay,

Nay at 18

If my memory serves me correctly, you’re sat somewhere on public transport, wearing headphones listening to Destiny’s Child loudly. As I’m writing this, I am sat in a quiet coffee shop, which is ironic as I can no longer drink coffee. (You were right, you weren’t having panic attacks. Your irregular heart rate was caused by a heart condition. You’ll find out when you’re 31 and the diagnosis forces you to change your way of thinking.)

Right now, I’m sat here on my own on a Sunday afternoon, watching the world go by. I still like to listen to my music but now I cherish the quiet; the moments of silence. Today it’s especially true, after spending the morning with our three nephews and our two daughters. That’s right, you’re a mum now. I bet that surprised you.

I remember you at 18, being so full of bravado and adamant that you were not going to have children. You had such a cold demeanour and hid everything from everyone. Never daring to share your feelings. Never daring to let people in. You never imagined being able to love someone in the way that a child would need frankly because you didn’t think you were capable. I’m telling you now that you have no need to fear motherhood. It is all consuming and a challenge, I’m not going to sugar coat it. But, it is the most amazing and miraculous thing that you have ever done. It makes you the happiest you have ever been.

Those two tiny little girls are the light of your life. Your everything. Your world. I know that you feared not being able to teach them everything that they needed to learn and being unable to equip them for life, that simply isn’t true.  Strangely, they have managed to teach and mould you. You’re a much softer person now, maternal and warm. You are sharing your love. Motherhood – especially childbirth – has created a new-found respect for our mum. She was right, it does hurt! But I promise you it is worth it. Speaking of Mum, hold your tongue when you speak to her. I know you feel misunderstood by her and say some unkind things. As a mother, I’m telling you even though she may not react, your words will wound her like a dagger. A time will come when you will understand a mother’s love and regret every single word. Make sure that you tell her how much you love her.

One aspect of your character that hasn’t changed as you’ve aged, is your obsession with your career. However, it’s just not the career in languages that you are planning. You took a different path, wore your heart on your sleeve and followed a boy. Everything happens for a reason. Wrong boy, right university and right career path. Teaching is one of the biggest passions of your life. You work hard and spend a lot of time on it. Yet, I implore you not to neglect your relationships with others to complete unnecessary work tasks. Don’t wait until you have the children to assess your work life balance and adjust. You deserve your spare time too.

If I have timed this letter correctly, you are heartbroken. I can remember the aching in your chest and the tears. I know you feel like it is the end of the world, but it really isn’t. It hurts and it’ll take time but you’ll get over it. I want you to know that to help you. You are stronger than you realise and you have the strength to forgive and move on. I wish I could say you will forget about it and erase the memory from your mind, but you won’t. Fifteen years later, he will be back in your life, break your heart again and make you cry. This time although it hurts, I promise you that it doesn’t feel as devastating as it does for you now. He’s a lesson but the biggest lesson that I am taking from this is to not let the fear of being hurt stop you from loving someone. Love is a selfless thing and it’s possible to love someone without them loving you back. Be proud of your ability to love. Be prouder that you have the ability to set limits, protect yourself and walk away when it becomes detrimental to your wellbeing. Trust is the biggest factor it a relationship and it is hard to regain once it’s been compromised. It’s ok to walk away and do the right thing for you.

How’s your bedroom looking? I’m guessing a mess, much to our Mum’s dismay? Now, at the grand old age of 33, your flat is a mess too. Yes, you read correctly, you and your daughters live in a flat. Don’t be disappointed. I know that recently you have set your life goals and created a checklist for yourself. Married, own home and two kids by 30. I have news, you passed that test, well done. The thing is, you were not happy. You thought that you had everything that you wanted, but you did not. Don’t beat yourself up for not sticking with ‘the plan’. It’s not right to stay with someone who makes you miserable. Keep your head high because although you might not have the house and the rings forever, your happiness, peace of mind and sanity are worth far more. The divorce will be excruciating and there will be times that you will wonder if it’s even worth it, but it is. It really is. When you come out of the other side, you will be stronger, happier and healthier.

We’re cautious. We always worry about what could go wrong and that’s why I’m preparing you for the challenging periods of your life. I want you to enter those difficult times knowing that there Is light at the end of the tunnel. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. You have some tremendous highs as well, your daughters, your career and your friendships. I know that, now you are obsessed with the idea of finding a soulmate, a partner. But, you have a great group of friends and have established a great network of supporting friends. There is no reason why they can’t be your soulmates. I’ve learnt with age that the closest people to you do not need to be a romantic relationship with you. A connection is a connection. Cherish the important people in your life.

I’m breaking all the rules of time travel her but I need to reassure you, I know how much you worry about things. And yes, you will change a lot with age but…

  • You will pass your driving test, although it will take you five attempts.
  • You will still be a Harry Potter geek.
  • Your make up stash will explode exponentially.

Deep down, you will still be the same person. Just a busier and wiser one.

I know that right now you feel weak and worried, but you are a strong person, surrounded by love and if you can get through this, you’ll get through anything.

Love Nay aged 33

P.S – Enjoy your youth and figure now. You’ll miss it after carrying two enormous babies and wonder why you were so hard on yourself all those years ago,

P.P.S – Try to learn something about technology to save you the embarrassment of asking you class of 9 year olds to do simple things for you.

Nay at 33

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