Oh Cazza B,
What are you so worried about?!
This is everything you have ever wanted.
Cara, mate... You're officially a bloody Content Writer! You should be absolutely buzzing your fried eggs off right about now!
Instead, you are currently pondering the possibility that you're being secretly filmed for an episode of Impractical Jokers.
You are half expecting your new boss to call you up and yell, "HA HA! ONLY JOKING - YOU HAVEN'T REALLY GOT THE JOB. AS IF!!!!"
It's really not like you to be plagued with Imposter Syndrome.
Listen - they picked you for a reason. They didn't invite you in for three stages of interviews for banter, you know. They obviously believe - and have even SAID - that you are more than
capable of the role you have been offered. It's time you started believing in yourself.
You actually managed to present as fairly normal during the interview process, which is a bonus...
It was certainly a marked improvement on the last [unsuccessful] interview you attended a few months ago, whereby you spent the first five minutes reciting the names of all of your past hamsters to the Marketing Manager. Middle names and all, might I add.
NOBODY, and I mean nobody, needs to know that your old hamster's 'full name' was Marzipan Vladimir Rasputin Bradley-Hughes.
Oh God, it's all coming back to me now. Not only did 'hamster-gate' occur, but you also went off on a tangent about Haribo, of all things.
You parting statement was something incredibly bizarre along the lines of, "I really like the
Haribo jelly beans. Not the jelly MEN - the BEANS. But I think you can only get them in Paris."
... WTF? You know full well that you can literally get them at the comer shop five minutes away. Where the bloody hell did Paris come from?! And why were you even talking about Haribo during a job interview in the first place?!
You did good during this round of interviews, Cazza. I think you just about managed to remain on
the right side of 'quirky.'
When Pokémon was brought up, you successfully refrained from feverishly debating Togepi's 'Top 50 cutest moments.'
I mean, it obviously went well, because you got the job. Must I keep reminding you of this fact?
YOU GOT THE JOB.
Stop talking yourself out of it.
Yeah, I saw you looking at that waitressing job at the local cafe on Indeed before! I'm sure it would be a nice job and a safe bet, but come on now - do you really see yourself feeling fulfilled in any role that doesn't involve writing? You know that this is what you were born to do.
You have two choices here: you can either choose the easy life - the life you know - or you can chase your dreams and take a risk. You can play it safe, settle, and spend the next five years feeling discontent, or you can do yourself justice. You can make yourself - and every single past version of you - proud.
I can't believe that after everything you have been through, you still fail to realise how resilient you are.
It's strange - you wake up every single day with a mind shadowed by anorexia, and it doesn't scare you... Yet the prospect of your dream job in a gorgeous office with lovely people does!
Of course it's going to be weird at first - it's a new role, a new commute, new colleagues, and
a new routine - but you will soon settle. A few months from now, everything you are currently fearing will be your norm. And I can guarantee that you'll wonder what you were ever woried about.
I know you're scared, but you can do this.
You've done it before.
You often talk about your high school self quite unkindly. You sneer and poke fun at her, labelling her a geek and a reject. I think you often fail to recall how courageous she actually was.
Yes, she was geeky, and literally THE furthest from the popular crowd that anyone could ever get.
With a passion for Jacqueline Wilson and Sylvanian Families, absolutely no-one would have considered her 'cool.'
But she was always true to herself, and that in itself is brave.
At 14, you entered your school's version of Britain's Got Talent and read out an extract from a novel you'd written. I genuinely don't know how you had the balls to stand up in-front of your whole school and do that! Naturally, people mocked, but you stood tall.
At 16 years old you left high school and opted to go to a different college to all of your friends. You could have followed the crowd and indeed the path you knew and retured to sixth form, but instead you chose to break away from the stifling high school environment that had ground you down over the preceding five years.
College was one of the most rewarding decisions of your life.
At 21, while battling the darkest days of anorexia, you quit your job to travel solo around Europe and eventually moved abroad to work as a holiday rep. You, a teetotal, introverted home bird, living your actual best life in Ibiza!
It really is true what they say: life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
You wrote your first 'book' at six years old.
You sat in the little canteen at your tiny, countryside village primary school, muddling your way through your year two SATs maths examination. You abruptly decided that maths wasn't for you, and proceeded to write a story
- Peewee Pixie - on the back of the paper instead.
And for those 30 minutes, you experienced
something extraordinary. You were catapulted out of that canteen and away from those tedious sums. You were taken to another world; a world so beautifully created from the curve of your hand, gripped around the pen.
You got bollocked, of course. Miss Cox was fumin.'
But that didn't matter, because you had discovered something magical.
You'd been to another place.
And you never looked back.
You're 29 now, which means you have been writing for 23 years.
Night after night.
Word after word.
Endless notebooks filled.
Thousands of Word documents saved down.
Furious typing on your phone's 'notes' section.
Countless post-it notes littering the house, bearing random bursts of inspiration.
Five published books.
A steadily devised portfolio.
You have earned this.
And you can do this.
Do it for that six year old who gifted herself the most incredible childhood via the stories she created inside of her own head.
Do it for that 14 year old who was daring enough to defy teenage pressures and stay true to herself, even when her peers snubbed her writing passion.
Do it for that 16 year old who made the executive decision to improve her quality of life by enrolling at a college away from everyone and everything she knew.
Do it for that 21 year old who moved to Ibiza and henceforth saved her own life by breaking
the cycle of anorexia and injecting some much needed hope and happiness into her colourless
Do it for you now - at 29 years old - staring life as you know it in the eye.
Go get it, girl!
But what if I'm not any good?
Not to blow your trumpet here, Caz (oo-er), but you KNOW you can write. It's as natural to you as breathing. I don't know why that's the case, but it just is, and that's the way it always has been. So I really don't think you need to start questioning your abilities five published books down the line.
If you really don't believe in yourself then you might as well give up now, and we both know that's not an option.
What if I end up regretting my decision?
What if you don't?
You painstakingly mulled over your choice to attend a different college, and you ended up having the best three years of your life.
You questioned your move to Ibiza, and you had an absolute ball.
You convinced yourself that you'd made a huge mistake when you bought your house, and now there's nowhere else in the world you'd rather be.
If you never try, you'll never know.
What if my new colleagues judge me for eating cereal in the same way that most people eat crisps?
... Not gonna' lie - they probably will. It is a bit odd that you take a freezer bag full of dry Cheerios to work with you every single day, and sit there snacking away like it's the most normal thing in the world.
(Note to self: up yo' snack game before the 22nd May...)
Be the best version of you. Be bold and bright, and don't you dare allow that sparkle to be dulled by anybody again.
It's time those walls came down. Open yourself up to new people. I'm actually surprised by and really pleased about how excited you are to get to know your new colleagues. This is a pretty groundbreaking revelation for somebody whose introverted ways earned them the nickname 'Wednesday!'
Wear your heart on your sleeve, but be vigilant. Remember that some people come with an agenda but, equally, please remember that most don't.
Oh, and maybe hang fire on wearing leather during your first week. There's a time and a place to wear a leather mini-skirt, and day two of a new job is definitely not appropriate.
You got this.
Cara Jasmine Bradley ©