Musing on the trials my teenager and my soon to be teenagers are going through prompted me to think on my own teenage experiences... if I knew then what I know now kind of stuff. It's got me thinking, and I decided to write it down. If any of my lovely followers would like to do the same, please let me know. I'd love to see the result. I'd also love your comments on this one, as I don't make personal posts very often. What would you tell your teenage self? x
So, my letter:
To my lovely teenage self
I’m smiling as I write this, because I know you just won’t listen. Anybody over 21 is an ancient as far as you are concerned, and hasn’t a clue. Yet you long to join them and be an adult. Top of the list of what I want to say to you is: HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF. You are so much better and capable than you believe. If you don’t believe it, nobody else can either.
On friends: Good friends will pull you through the rough patches and push you back up. Choose your friends carefully – close friends, truly close friends, are few and far between, but a goldmine and worth 100 others. Four of the friends you now have will be with you for life, through thick and thin. They will constantly inspire you, and carry you along with their loyalty and enthusiasm. And you will make other friends along the way – it’s always possible to make friends. Always! Other friends will drift in and out of your life. Don’t always think that other people have tons more friends/are more popular/have no issues… everyone has issues. Everyone! Everyone struggles. Don’t judge. Those around you are going through just what you are going through. Accept those around you for what they are and you’ll find life a lot easier.
On school: You are completely right with your thinking on this. School really didn’t prove to be the best years of your life. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. But boy does it improve tenfold once you move on and you have the freedom to make your own choices. The old chestnut saying about school really is just that. It doesn’t fit all, and it certainly doesn’t fit you. But I figure it’s better that way. How sad if school really was the best years of your life! You have eons of time to enjoy after school – embrace it!
On dreams: Follow your dreams and hold those dreams solid in your heart. You really can achieve so much of what you want if you believe in YOU. So, please have confidence in yourself. Stop saying ‘that’ll never be me’ or ‘I couldn’t do that’. That image of yourself you held from the time you were 13 of you at 21 driving a red convertible MG? You’ll have that convertible one day, and believe me, the longer you hold the dream, the more powerfully satisfying it is once it is achieved. That hint of what you’d like to do as a job? You’ll achieve it and more. Dreams really can come true.
On body image: Don’t feel awkward about your body, and always be covering up with baggy jumpers. Listen to your mum – she’s right. You are gorgeous, and it’s good to have a waist and show it off! Don’t wait too long to discover yourself. You love high heels but your friends hate them? Step out proudly. Get those heels and work them! It may seem a small thing, but it's so not... Don’t listen to other people. What is right for them isn’t right for you. Oh, and avoid browns and blacks. They just make you look miserable!
On boys: Don’t fret so much about boys. They are fun and basically very simple to understand, as well as easily pleased. Enough said on that topic.
On self image: Have respect for yourself. You don’t have to do what your friends do if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy about it, or feel it’s just plain wrong. From respect comes strength. And from strength comes the power to achieve what you want. It’s okay to love yourself. You are completely and utterly loveable, and nobody will ever understand you better then yourself.
On life and death: It’s a harsh lesson, but people you love do die. Never miss a chance to tell your family and friends you love them. They may not be there tomorrow. Never go to bed on an argument with a loved one. Life can be very short.
You’ll do fine. In fact, you’ll do far better then fine… you’ll be grand. It’s fun to enjoy your job, and it is possible, despite what lots of people around you probably say, so follow your instincts. It is possible to combine love and romance and marriage and make it last a lifetime – lots of us do it. 30 years from now, you will still find your heart skips a beat when your soul mate walks into the room. Just know it can and does happen.
It’s a cliché, but the world really is your oyster and you are right at the beginning of your journey. Don’t waste time. Go get it!
Lots of love, me x