Maybe it’s the time of year, with another birthday approaching that makes you all nostalgic. Maybe it’s having a bit of a rough patch that makes you sit back and have a re-evaluate.
Either way, so much has happened in the last month that has made me think how great it would have been if 10 years ago, someone would have prepared your 16 year old self for what was to come.
Because growing up kind of sucks big balls, so it would have been good for a heads up.
So given half the chance, I thought I’d write to my 16 year old me. Or 16 year olds some place else.
Dear Me, Dear You, I don’t know how to address this.
So I turn 27 in a few weeks and the last little while has been a right old ‘grow the feck up’ rollercoaster. I thought I’d take the chance to write to you so you know what’s coming your way in the next ten years. I wished I’d had this letter then so I could have had a bit of forewarning, so I’m writing it now so that you do.
For starters. Enjoy your lie ins. Something happens in your mid twenties and no matter the day of the week you wake up at work time. And you rarely go back to sleep because there’s always something boring like washing to do. So sleep now. Whilst you still can. Also, don’t take it for granted. In ten years shit will get real. Your problems will extend far beyond that guy texting you back or what to wear on Saturday night. Things that you don’t want to happen to people you care about more than anything in the world will happen and it will suck. You’ll spend hours laying wide awake just worrying. Real worry. So whilst you can sleep now. Do.
On a lighter note, you will stop worrying about the stuff that seems really important now. If you balls up at work or a mate gets wound up at you, at the moment it is catastrophic in your world. It’s not. In 7,8, 9 years time you’ll adopt a slightly more ‘fuck it’ attitude to things and certain people and that’s just fine. In fact, it’s better than fine. It’s a beautiful thing.
Talking of beautiful. You are.
Maybe not to everyone, most days not to yourself (although you’ll get better with the self loathe thing). But you are. In your own way. And to your own people.
At the moment you’re awkward with the way you look, and how you dress, and your height, and your weight and that kink in your hair.
You’ll always have a hang up. (Unless you turn out conceited. And a bit of a twat. But I’ve checked and that doesn’t look like it happens) But you’ll learn what suits you, you’ll learn what doesn’t. You’ll learn to weigh up the importance of abs over pastry. On the most, let the abs (and your general heart health) win but don’t get paranoid. Because the other thing you’ll learn is that the pictures you look at on the internet of the pretty, skinny women. Yeah them? They’re bullshit. You’ll never look like them pictures because the people in the pictures don’t actually look like them pictures. Neither does any other human. Anywhere.
You’ll find you will meet some people who are concerned with your looks. Bin them. You’ll meet some guys that will take you at face value and won’t want to get beyond your body. Bin them. People will make some really nasty comments about you along the way, and for the most you’ll take them to heart. Instead you know what you should do with those comments? Bin them.
You’ll loose some friends along the way, but that’s fine too. Some people are meant to be in your life for certain periods. Some people are meant to be in your life for good. You’ll learn who’s who.
Promise me this. Don’t ever be chuckaway with people’s feelings. And whatever you bloody do, don’t stand for anyone that’s chuckaway with yours. You’re going to think you’re in love. A lot. You will be in love. You’ll fall out of love. That will feel like a steel capped boot to the gut but you’ll get over it. You’ll go through stages where you think you’re going to marry every man you ever meet. You’ll go through stages where you are adamant that you will live a life of solitude and cats in a musty room of despair. I haven’t got the answer on this one yet but here’s hoping it’s somewhere in the middle.
Just don’t settle because ‘you should’ or ‘it’s time’. If there’s that feeling in your belly that’s telling you it aint right, listen to it. And at the time you’ll break a heart. You might break your own. But if your guts telling you no, you should listen.
You’ll learn that the feeling in your belly is right 90% of the time. Trust it. Please.
Especially when it comes to lads. Listen to even the smallest warning sign. Because honestly babe, some of them really are bloody time wasters.
Stop being scared. You’re actually relatively smart. And you’ll do well. But only if you believe in what you’re capable of. That little monkey on your shoulder that’s telling you that you’ll fuck it up or telling you that you’re no good? Learn to live with his inane mutterings but ignore him. He’s going to hold you back if you’re not careful.
Other than that all I can say is try. Try to be good. Try hard not to be a dick. Try to care about those that matter. Try to care less about those that don’t. Try to be good with money (that won’t happen, again I’ve checked and it doesn’t). Try to be a great friend. Try to work hard. Try to get on a plane at every opportunity you can. Try and be a good kid and spend time with Mum & Dad. Stuff’s going to happen to them that will make you realise how much they mean. Try to learn new things. Try to be understanding. Try to get a job you really love, no matter how long it takes you to find.
Try is all you’ve got girl, but try all you will.
Me. Or you. Or whatever