#VendorLetters: “My 25-year-old self would probably punch me in the face”

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

Check back in every day over the festive period for more #VendorLetters.

INSP members can download the #VendorLetters feature on the INSP News Service.