INSP has been asking vendors from across the street paper network to write letters to their 25-year-old self to mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year. Six Nový Prostor vendors – Věra (68), Dagmar, (62), Kamila (67), Slavko (55), and two Petrs, one at 51 and one at 53 – tried to put themselves in the shoes of their 25-year-old selves, and were surprised at what it felt like to be young again.
Wow, if I woke up as a twenty-five-years-old that would be good, that would be totally great. I would jump out of bed, have a coffee, and go to find a wealthy partner [laughing]. I would look around in case there was one waving with a gold card. But I don’t know where I would be searching for him. There are not many of them and, usually, they are already taken. Well, I would ask anyway. I would get dressed nicely. I would wear a nice skirt and a hot blouse. If Kamila from the past met today’s Kamila, it’s hard to say what she would think. I would advise her to do some things differently. Almost everything would be different. But I would definitely keep my personality. I would tell her to stay the way she is. I would just look for a better life.
Jesus, I would rather not be twenty-five again [laughing]. Well, how would my day look like? I would meet with some girls and go have fun. I would take advantage of being young – nowadays the world offers so much culture which I really like. Today I can barely see in the theatre, so I would benefit from better health. My twenty-five-year-old self would think of me as a dork. I used to be pretty wild back then. But I think he might be pleasantly surprised how I cope under the circumstances. I would advise him to treat girls better. Overall, I would change many things. I think that we can predict where a person might end up if we have a look at the way they were in their youth. If you act like an asshole, you have to expect you’ll end up being an asshole.
Imagine waking up as a twenty-five-year-old – Jesus, I was pretty hot at that age. I used to wear crimplene miniskirts and dresses – it was an artificial crazy material. Well, I would go to the disco straightaway because I hadn’t gone to any until I was forty-five – I wasn’t allowed to go there. So I would go to a disco and have a great time. ‘Holky za padesát’… and here we go [laughing]! My younger self would see my present self as foolish because I’ve made so many blunders in my life… I could’ve done so many things differently and better… shame on me! I would advise my younger self to think about everything three times before doing it. It can be summarised as simply as that.
I got married when I was twenty-one, so I would wake up as a married woman. And I would go to a party and dancing lessons again. I would go back to playing sport and help others more. Twenty-five-year-old me would, I hope, have a positive opinion of me. I think we would understand each other. With the experience I have, I would advise her to change a few things about her personality. I would’ve done a couple of things differently.
If I woke up and were twenty-five again, I would be surprised to be so young [laughing]. By then, I was doing things that I enjoyed. I was working for a gas company and even jogged and rode a bike. It was a good job, so I wouldn’t change anything about that. The only wrong thing was that I was playing slot machines. I was also playing football at that time, so I would go to kick a ball around. I also started doing theatre too late, around my 30s, so I would have an opportunity to start much earlier. If I met my younger self, we would probably have many things to talk about. I don’t know whether he would know about things that I’m going through in my 50s. I would tell him to avoid some things that are ahead of him in his life. Like not playing slot machines, being more responsible… But I don’t know whether he would listen – perhaps. I would advise him to go to school and warn him about the accident when I hurt my leg, to avoid it happening. I would advise him to raise his children better. When I was 25, Nový Prostor didn’t exist yet. 25 was a crazy age for me. I was an adult and a child, I needed everything to be done quickly. Moreover, it was just after the revolution, so I thought everything would just go smoothly. it didn’t [laughing].
If you had said 22, I would’ve known. But twenty-five? I had already been married for three years. Alright then. If my health allowed me, I would play ice-hockey until I was 30. But otherwise, I wouldn’t change anything. Maybe I would remarry. I’ve always been a family-oriented person; unfortunately, I just didn’t find the right one. We’d been together for thirteen years but the last three years sucked. I’ve always loved cooking, so I would still become a cook. I would just try to find a different boss who would understand me and I would understand him. But after the revolution, restaurants were run by bosses who were mainly in it for the money. So I would probably find a job that I would enjoy and find satisfying. My 25-year-old self would probably punch me in the face [laughing]. Nový Prostor didn’t exist yet and I was older when it started. But after it was set up, I knew about it and donated a couple of crowns from time to time. At that time, I certainly had no idea that I would be one of the vendors at 53. I’m persistent enough so I wouldn’t advise myself on that. But I would definitely advise myself not to drink so much. Because I’m a sensitive person and everything always moves me and I dealt with it through alcohol. So I would tell myself not to do it that way and instead go talk with someone. I would also advise myself not to let anyone tell me what to do with my own life.
Translated via Translators Without Borders
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