Change Your Past in One Easy Step!
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Do you ever look back at photos of you? Do you consider that vain? So maybe you look at photos of your family, your friends, and just happen to be there, and you think how much you’ve changed.

Maybe gravity is taking advantage of your body; maybe there’s a gut there when there was no gut before.

You try not to stare and think about what you would tell yourself if you could go back, how you would enjoy your looks, your body, your allure; now you have your first grey hair on your happy trail.

It's not only your body, but your brain; every new mobile phone baffles you in its abilities, and you worry you’ll never discover them all because suddenly, technology seems very complicated when is wasn’t to your brain not so long ago.

I looked at a photo, today.

I try not to look at it, but sometimes, on days like today, I look at the photo.

And I think

‘I looked happy’.

Who I’m with are friends I no longer have any contact with and I’m grinning as I hold candy floss in the middle of some funfair that I can’t quite remember, because your remembering goes somewhere else as you age.

I ran my finger slowly down the side of the photo, absently touching a brightly coloured stall that I could barely read the name of – something like ‘-ange your pa-‘.

There was a tingling in my hands, and it made me drop the photo, which landed face down. On the back, there was an inscription I hadn’t seen before.

Change your past in one easy step!

Got answers to questions you had ten years ago?

Want to tell past you something of serious importance that could cause a risk to national security?

Or just miss the Old You and want them to know they grow up into You Now?

Why wait!?

Write to:

Change Your Future Ltd.
248 Main Street
BN40 4YN

We’ll find the Old You and make sure they get your letter!

Once in a lifetime offer, never happening again, you’re not special, Change Your Future Ltd. is not responsible for any changes to the future that changes to the past may cause.

It seems so innocuous that it was almost laughable. But something about the carefully handwritten gold and silver font told me that this was Something. What Something, I couldn’t know. However, I also knew it couldn’t do any harm to write a letter to Old Me, and it would probably be cathartic to try the exercise.

I managed to find some loose-leaf paper from the printer, and a well-chewed, teal-inked pen from my desk. I let myself enjoy rolling around in the office chair for a moment. When I reached my desk, I put pen to paper.

I didn’t write. Not yet. Instead, I closed my eyes and tried to straighten my thoughts into something clear and concise. When my eyes opened, I was surprised to find that I had already begun writing.

‘Dear Old Me,

This is Future Me writing to you. Don’t worry about how. Concentrate on the why.

We both have a chance to change some things that I know we would want changed.

1. Don’t take advantage of the fact you have friends.

When you get older and they get married and have babies that look like little old men (free tip - you’re not meant to say that to the parents), you’ll find you don’t really have them anymore. And sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll really miss them.

2. Wear belly tops!

Okay, I know you hate the idea right now (believe me, I remember) but when we get older, it is very inadvisable to wear belly tops. You need to do it now, because you’re in the best shape we’ve ever been in.

3. Don’t argue with mum so much.

I know you think your opinions or morals are sometimes often right but there’s often not a wrong or right with stuff you argue about. Trust me, you change your opinion on some very controversial topics as you get older.


You’ll be a goth for all of six months and then regret many things, but you’ll regret your hair colour the most. Damn stuff is impossible to come out, and it will impact the condition of your hair forever.

5. Kiss more boys. And girls.

I know you – we – are shy people but you miss so many opportunities to be happy and to invite a new person into that radius of happiness, too. Prince(ss) Charming isn't just going to come and knock on your door.’

I paused. So far, most things I wrote of were pretty shallow and unimpactful, if useful, for my past self. But my gaze drifted to the scars on my arms, the imperfect slashes and lines and shapes.

'6. Never hurt yourself. (Physically or mentally or emotionally or psychically or any other way you can think of.)

You’re going to want to, but don’t. Ask for help as soon as you feel different or wrong or sad. There’re loads of people out there who want to help you, and mum doesn’t even have to know, if you’re still scared of that, because I remember fearing that.

Smaller things –

* Look for love in all the right places.

* Put yourself out there for things.

* Brush your damn teeth.

* Be proud of what you achieve.

* Never ask permission to be yourself.

* Stop acting like other people are more interesting or unique than you, because there is only one you – us – and we are definitely unique.

Love, because you should always love yourself,

Future You.’

I felt like a bit of an idiot when I finished the letter. I leaned back, chewed the pen again, and scanned the letter five or six times. Maybe I should take on some of this advice myself and put myself out there; I could do that this time by sending this letter, even though it was insane to think it would actually end up with anything resembling me in the past.

Either way, I couldn’t argue with the liberating feeling that came from writing down the advice. I stood, found an envelope after some rummaging and swearing (who sends letters in this day and age?!) and copied the bland address onto it before folding the letter neatly into it.

As I went to get my coat, the guinea pigs were squeaking in their cage. I smiled and went over to them, kneeling in front of them and fondly scratching Salt’s chin. “I’ve just got to go to the post box and then I’ll give you some vegetables,” I soothed, gently touching the more nervous Pepper’s nose.

Envelope clutched in scarred and unsure hands, I slipped out of my flat, wearing my coat like a cape; a superhero on a mission to save the past from itself.

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