Sunday, 2 March 2014

Life Fragments: a letter from Paul A Murphy (aged 19) to Paul A Murphy (aged 40)

F.A.O. Mr Paul A. Murphy

Friday 20th September 1991

Dear Paul,

These are the words of someone 20 years your junior — don’t worry, they say life begins at 40! 
(Well, I wouldn’t know about it)

I sincerely hope that this letter finds you in good spirits and wearing well. From this young callow whippersnapper’s point of view, 40 is a long way off, and I suspect I will be a different person by then. As I look in the mirror at the moment, I can report that the face is wearing well. Life was, as you know, pretty rosy as I write this — you are a week in Orpington College, which concerns a fair wee bit of your life at the moment. I trust you have made your life relatively trouble-free. If you haven’t, don’t worry, I can sympathise really!

Contained within this box are certain fragments of your first 2 decades on this planet — most were garnered pretty recently but on the whole it will all seem pretty distant to you! Remember them in the spirit intended, not as pieces of a (perhaps) better, halcyon past, but as thanks for what is basically a good life up to 20. 

Can you sit there and say that you got the goals in life I want now? Perhaps you didn’t, but I trust that your priorities changed for the best in the situation.

I hope you are married! I cannot envisage being alone & 40. If you are married, do I know your wife yet? (God, I hope not!) There must be a lot of things that matter to me now that must seem gloriously irrelevant to you. I hope this box of trivia serves to remind you of these things. If they bring nothing but regretful misery, well, you’re only 40! There’s still time to change. THERE’S STILL TIME TO CHANGE!
I’m round the corner, if you try. 

I hope you can look back at the time I wrote this as the start of a classic life! 

Best Wishes for the Future, 

Paul Aloysius Cainnech Murphy

Age 19 years 360 days

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