A friend asked me to do this a long time ago. Yet I never had the right advice to give to my teenage self.
I can only write when inspiration hits me.
I dug out an old photograph taken of me when I was around 12 or 13.
More than 20 years has passed since this photo was taken.
I looked at the young woman in the picture, her youthful face free of lines and worry. So young. So beautiful.
In a lot of ways, I still feel like I’m her.
Yet the sands of time have helped me to evolve into the person I am today. I am no longer that teenage girl. I am now a woman in her mid 30’s. Where did all that time go?
Life moves very quickly, yet slowly at the same time. And like Paulo Coelho says, “life moves very fast. It rushes from Heaven to Hell in a matter of seconds.”
To look back on the time that has passed, makes me pay attention to all that has changed, yet remained the same.
Like my late Grandfather says “ever changing, and never changing”. He has featured heavily in my dreams of late. I think our loved ones are always with us in spirit. Holding our hands in times of need. Perhaps he has assisted me in writing this article today, on the eve of the turn of the new year.
So today, on the last day of the year, a day where we often look back in hindsight and retrospect on all that has transpired, the good times, and the not so good times, and promise to ourselves that the new year will be better than the last, I have finally been able to write that young girl a letter.
So here it is:
Take good care of your skin, you will thank yourself for it later. Drink lots of water.
Don’t cut your hair – while it will grow back, you will regret it.
Always wash your makeup off at night. That cyst you will get in your right lower eyelid when you are 16 can be avoided if you do this.
Look after your teeth so you don’t have to go to the dentist.
Don’t smoke. It’s addictive, and toxic and it will be hard to quit when you turn 24. You will return to it when you’re 33 during a stressful time in your life.
Don’t worry about boys. Worry about yourself. Grow as a person. You need to find who you are. Otherwise you will still be searching in years to come.
Don’t wax your arms when your friends tell you to – there’s no need. The hairs are blonde anyway.
Don’t over pluck your eyebrows. You’ll regret it.
Continue to look after your body. You have it for life. Oh, and your boobs are never going to get any bigger than what they are now. 10B it is.
You’re never going to get any taller either. In fact, you will look like you’re 12 still when you are in your 30’s. But you’ll still be pretty.
Keep your favourite clothes. You will surprisingly still be the exact same size in 20 years.
Don’t get a perm. You will hate it, and it will take years to grow out.
You won’t feel this way forever.
School teachers really are dickheads. Dad is right about them being a “man amongst boys during the week, and a boy amongst men on the weekends”.
Don’t be fooled by flattery, and try not to be so naive.
If you’re not careful, that trusting nature of yours will be with you for life. Learn how to say no. Learn what boundaries are. You don’t always have to be nice. You will get taken advantage of.
Learn how to stand up for yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.
It’s ok to cry. Really.
You are going to learn more from life, than from school. And the hardest lessons are always packed with the most meaning. They help you grow.
You don’t need makeup to be beautiful. True beauty comes from your soul.
You light up the room when you enter it. You have a magnetically infectious aura about you. You don’t need to look down at the ground. Hold your head up high.
You are going to have a busy life while you’re a teenager. You’re going to be involved in art, singing, drama school, modelling, as well as having a part time job, in addition to school. It all builds character. Enjoy it while it lasts.
School doesn’t make you smart. You learn everything important from interacting with others. From life experiences. And from taking chances. Life doesn’t come with a book of instructions. It can’t be taught.
You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Never give up. Ever.
You can do it. Believe in yourself.
Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.
Create balance. You need to discover there is going to be more to life than just work.
Never be afraid to speak up. People will respect you for it.
Don’t allow anyone to walk all over you. You will easily be taken advantage of.
Don’t fall in love so easily. Fall in love with yourself first.
Be brave. Don’t let fear hold you back. Feel the fear, and do it anyway.
It’s ok to be different.
Don’t allow another person to determine your self worth. You know who you are.
Trust your intuition. It will lead you everywhere.
Every person is a teacher. You will learn from everyone that crosses your path. They are all there for a reason.
Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Money should never define you. It is fleeting. And only an illusion. Retain your sense of humility.
Never apologise for being you. You are more than enough. In fact, you are magnificent.
People will come into, and go out of your life for a reason. It’s all there to serve your own evolution.
Be true to yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything alone.
Draw on whatever resources necessary to get you to wherever you need to go.
Nothing lasts forever.
And finally, I love you. I am here for you. I will never abandon you. You are much braver than you think. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
Happy New Year.