The new year always gets me thinking about the past, new beginnings and all the exciting things I’m going to do in the coming 12 months. So much potential!
This year, after a fab time at home for Christmas (I’m definitely more than a bit homesick still! It was just SO good!) it got me thinking about when I lived at home, and more specifically when I was a teenager. God I thought life was so hard back then – battles with popularity, caring so much about my part time job, getting good grades, fall outs, relationships, the list goes on.
But really, it’s not that hard. Ok, I was bullied at school which isn’t nice for anyone. It’s pretty common so I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it does make life harder. But that’s it. I’ve wanted to write a letter to my 16 year old self for a while, but felt a little silly at first. Then I though, so what. It might make me feel even more at ease and happier (on area and upwards) – So here it is. This is what I’d tell myself at 16 years old if I had the chance.
Left: Me at 16, Right: Me now.
You beautiful human being. Stop worrying about what people think at school. Everyone has opinions, some more than others, but they’re not going to hold you back in the future, so why let them affect you now. You’re going to soar and leave all the horrible-ness behind, leaving the little minded people to their small town ways. Don’t let them impact your future. Take it on the chin and keep your head up – you’re better than they are. Just focus on what you love doing.
Ok, so sport – not something we loved doing. I remember how much of a killer this was for us. Getting changed into PE kit with everyone around you. Being goddamn awful at hockey, netball, in fact all team sports…and pretty much anything other than trampolining. Don’t worry. Keep doing your best – you don’t have to be good at everything. You never know what you might enjoy in future.
And talking about getting changed in front of everyone, don’t care so much what others think about your body. You’re you. As long as you’re happy with the way you look that’s all that matters. People go through the puppy fat phase, and it’s totally normal. Do enough exercise to get through and stay healthy (you’ll love Zumba and aerobics soon enough), don’t overdo it, with food or exercise. Listen to your body. Most importantly, learn to love yourself. You’re pretty fab!
Now let’s talk relationships. Your first proper relationship isn’t going to be your last, but don’t worry – you’ll end up with Mr. right, just not right now. Enjoy every moment, don’t regret – everything you do makes you the person you are in future, whether you like it or not. Just stay happy, live in the moment and enjoy.
Now family. People told us this time and time again but we didn’t listen when we were 15/16 did we? Family is super important. They’re there for you no matter what. In future, you’re actually best of friends with mum, dad, your sister and brother! Yeah that’s right. You don’t have to believe me, but when you think they’re trying to make your life harder, or trying to stop you from doing things you want to do, they’re not. They love you, want to spend time with you and want you safe and happy. Don’t be so quick to flip out, take a breath and think about if you had a child – would you want them doing that?
Don’t jump so quickly to say ‘I hate you’. It hurts more than you can imagine.
They’re not trying to get you to learn from their lives, you still have room to learn your own way – there’s plenty of mistakes still to be made – they’re just helping you in the right direction. And trust me, they can help you get where you want to be, through all the love and support.
Finally, career. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do later in life, or even at university. You have plenty of time to figure it out. People are working for longer than ever before now, so you don’t necessarily have to stick to one career path either – don’t worry you won’t be entirely stuck down one route. Just do what you enjoy and makes you happy. It’ll all fall into place sometime – I’m still deciding the right path too, and that’s fine.
I hope you enjoy sixth form, and have an amazing time at university- don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. Be sure to join a society – you’ll make lots of new friends there too!
But remember, you’re an awesome person. Keep it up!
Love you lots,
From the future you