Bad Advice Club: How to live my main character fantasy when returning home for the holidays

Welcome to woo’s advice column with Chanté Joseph, tackling your questions on life, work, love, and every dilemma in between

Hero image in post
Hero image in post

Welcome to woo’s advice column with Chanté Joseph, tackling your questions on life, work, love, and every dilemma in between

By Chanté Joseph21 Dec 2022
4 mins read time
4 mins read time

I’m Chanté – writer, presenter, internet addict. I write a lot about relationships, internet trends and being the best, most delusional version of yourself. So welcome to the Bad Advice Club: I’m here to give you some loving advice on your life problems. Listen, I am by no means perfect, but I think that makes me ideal to assist you in navigating tricky issues because nine times out of 10, I’ve been there! Bad advice, bad decisions – these are the twists and turns that make life sweet. So let’s ride it out together: I have some gems to drop, so don’t be shy and send in your stories, woes, dilemmas.

With Christmas coming up, I'm getting ready to head back to my mum's house for the holidays. I wasn't very cool as a kid or teenager, and I really want to live my best main character life while I'm back in the town I grew up - especially in the likely event that I bump into anyone from school or college (lots of them still live there and are getting married or have kids by now - even though we're still in our twenties). So my question is twofold: 1) How do I blow everyone from my home-town away with my style and glam life in London? 2) Am I being petty even caring about any of this - and is there a better way to spend my time than fixating on some glow-up fantasy?

Don’t we all have dreams about our come-up? Who doesn’t think about showing the people who we feel didn’t think much of us that we’re unrecognisably glamorous now and no longer crave their approval (even if we do just a little bit?). It feels good letting everyone know that you’ve excelled far beyond their initial thoughts of you; this is the stuff of endorphins. How dare you ever underestimate me!? That dream is also the plot of all great Hallmark Christmas movies: a high-flying city girl returns to her home town, far removed from the traditions and small community quirks she longed to escape from. The desire to reject these only softened her concrete heart and made her fall back in love with the town and some undeserving village buff who chops wood and hugs animals.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), life isn’t a Christmas movie, and the hangups we have from childhood needn’t hang over us for this long. Mainly because people grow up, and with that comes a considerable shift in personal desires and goals. We grow less concerned with the lives of others and preoccupied with juggling the endless tasks of adulthood. I’m sure the people in your town have satisfying lives shacked up in their twenties (personally, it sounds like my idea of hell), but your objective of going home shouldn’t be to stunt on them. Instead, focus on getting back, winding down for the holidays and cherishing time with your family, the people who have always seen your brilliance. When we spend too much time competing with people who aren't competing with us, we lose grip of reality and miss the moments that really do count.

How do you blow away everyone back home? The answer isn’t a blowout and your nicest Net-A-Porter dress, but simply being you. Boring, I know. In my opinion, there is something remarkable about people who are seemingly above the need to impress and just know that they are the It Girl. You know that type of coolness? The one so understated and curious it draws you in immediately. This supposedly cool person has stories for days and knows how to make everyone around them feel like being in their proximity makes them cool by association. Show everyone you’re new and improved by oozing this new life and letting that brilliance shine. You’ve worked hard for yourself, moved away from home and started a new life in a new city. That’s amazing, and it is enough.

I know the insecurities from childhood can follow us around endlessly, but the short term high from people’s positive impression of you can only sustain you so long. So focus on owning your successes and validating yourself. Whatever people in your town think about you won’t enhance or dull your shine, and knowing that makes you the most glam and exciting main character in the room always.