I’ve seen a lot of these Letters to Younger Selves going around and started drafting one a couple of weeks ago with life advice for my younger self. I finally finished a draft I was happy with last night and this afternoon I’ve been digging in the archives of my very old laptop to get photos for this post (I have done no editing to them!) I could only find as far back as my 18th birthday – enjoy the ridiculousness of how I used to dress/make myself up! The final photo on the post is me currently.
Things are tough at the moment, and at times it feels like you might want to give up on everything, but if you work at it, in the future you can have a career if you just believe in yourself. Some awful things have happened in your life that will always bring a lump to your throat when you think about them in the future, but through life we are all sent learning curves to try us. Life is, as Ronan Keating once sang, a rollercoaster.
Your mum is always right, so listen to her. When she tells you that your foundation doesn’t match the colour of your neck, it’s true honey. And when she tries to blend out those tide marks round the side of your face, it’s because she doesn’t want you to look like a fool, not just because she’s trying to annoy you at every opportunity.
Over-plucking your eyebrows for years on end is seriously not ok, and they will take forever to grow back, so just don’t do it, ok?
Right now, it may feel like all your “friends” are smarter than you, prettier than you, skinnier than you and have their lives sussed out, but maybe further down the road, you’ll be the one who’s laughing.
And talking about “friends”, they will come and go. School friends, uni friends, work friends… Quality over quantity is the key and you really need to weed out the ones you can trust from the ones you can’t. Your current “best friend in the whole wide world” won’t even give you a second glance in the street in ten years time. It is sad, but so, so true.
You don’t have to have your whole life figured out just yet. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’ll be doing in five or even ten years time, because in reality, it probably won’t be what you’ve planned out anyway. Even if you’re failing your exams right now, it’s still possible to get yourself two degrees and a decent career. If you dream it, you can do it. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Learn to save your money now. Stop spending all your pocket money on Miss Selfridge nail varnishes and ridiculous coloured Barry M Dazzle Dusts. You’ll soon develop expensive taste, and you’ll discover the joys of Mac too (which you’ll quickly realise sells way better products than Barry M). You’ll want to save your money and spend it on better things than turquoise and coral nail varnishes from clothes shops, trust me.
Revise for your exams. Don’t just pretend you’re revising when you’re in fact sitting in your room on MSN messenger instead, or playing games on your super cool Samsung flip phone, silly girl. This will not earn you a degree. Your mum is right (again) when she’s telling you to limit your time on the internet!
Being skinny is not the be all and end all. Yes, it would be wonderful to have a figure like the beautiful girls in the magazines. But in life there are seriously more important things to worry about. Stop obsessing. Starving yourself for months on end or working out at the gym for hours a day will only make you ill. Listen to your body.
Boys will be boys. They’ll ask you out, kiss you, dump you, go out with you again, dump you again. I could go on… It’s all part of growing up. Deal with it and move on. Your heart will break many times but guess what? The world keeps on turning! The majority of them you meet will be arseholes but there are some nice ones out there. Make sure you are careful with who you trust. You’ll meet your Mr Darcy eventually when the time is right for you.
And finally. Girls can be utterly horrible. You just have to accept it. If you’re not in the popular crowd at school, you will have the piss taken out of you regularly. Brush it off. You. Are. Better. Than. Them.
Your older self x
What crucial advice would you look back and give your younger self?