Dear Younger Me,
I am writing this letter to you because I think you need to listen to the words of advice in it. I know you don’t want to hear it because let’s face it, you’re always receiving unsolicited advice, but hear me out. It’ll be worth it.
Currently, you have just started your third year of secondary (high) school. Here are a few things that you are currently into (90s kids will relate):
- Drake and Josh on Nickelodeon
- MSN Messenger
- Smiley-face potato waffles and lasagna (this won’t change)
- The Jonas Brothers (your other mates have already picked their favourite one from the band so you imagine your future with Kevin Jonas)
- Twilight – you even changed your facebook name to have the word “Vampiire” in it. – No that isn’t a typo. Facebook didn’t allow the correct spelling
- Graphic Design – you are convinced that you will become an architect
- Science – you also want to be a Dr on the side…
You have come from being one of the taller kids in primary school (kindergarten) to secondary school where you still feel like you’re big and you stand out. You were bullied a lot as a child and so you have an altered perception of yourself, and you always feel extremely self-conscious.
I know, changing clothes during PE (physical education) is such a pain, right? You almost resent all the skinnier, less-heavy looking girls. You feel more comfortable being around girls your own size so you don’t stick out as much. It will come to your realisation that some skinny people are also struggling to come to terms with their own weight, and often also wish they were heavier. They are also taunted, just as you were. So please try not to think too hard about how you look. It gets better. Promise.
Right now, you have a weird sense of humour and a lot of people don’t understand it. You like rock and punk-pop music and putting badges on your bag. You can’t sing to save your life, but your best friend thinks you can, and that’s all that matters. You then have a vocal coach to give you some lessons – you tried at least LOL. You read Tracy Beaker magazines and collect stamps and art stuff. You love making cards and sell them for a few weeks to your teachers. You feel great!
You have a lot going on for you in your life. But even though you are around people, you still feel alone.
In a few years time, things will look up. You will feel more confident. You’ll join a Drama Club in school where you will learn how to speak in front of an audience. Sticking up for yourself and dealing with confrontation will become easier, increasing your self-esteem as a result.
“Remember that sometimes ignorance is bliss; out of sight, out of mind.”
GCSE exams will come up, you will learn to be better able to deal with stress as this is something you struggle with a lot. Despite going through therapy for your Bulimia, which will be at its worst for the next several years, you will do really well and exceed all of your expectations. You will look back and be really proud of yourself and the hard work you invested in your qualifications during this time.
In five years time, you will have completed your time in education. I know, it feels like a long while away, but time will fly by so fast. You will be back at therapy and this time it will start to work. You will learn to challenge those thoughts in your mind. Remember that sometimes ignorance is bliss; out of sight, out of mind. You will embrace this mantra more in your 20s.
University will be the time when you start saying “yes” more to opportunities and grow. You will also meet some really inspiring people. You will take part in fundraisers, faith events. You will try archery for the first time, be in a newspaper and be working in loads of different jobs. Here you will develop your passion for helping people.
“You will realise how important it is to be different and not always want to look the same as others”
In 10 years time, you will be working alongside people who believe in you. You will be around people who enjoy your company and love you for you and really see your potential. These are the people you have really wanted to be around all your life.
You will feel comfort in being alone. This is something you always found difficult as an anxious teen growing up. You will savour ‘me time’ and not struggle with FOMO as much (Fear Of Missing Out).
Your connection with your faith is something you will continue to work on. You will find peace in your religion and being around those who remind you of it.
You will overcome Bulimia. Yes, you read that right. Your relationship with food will improve, finally!
Helping people through their struggles is something that you will enjoy doing. You will overcome your fear of heights, driving, and flying. You will reach out of your comfort zone a lot.
You will become stronger physically and mentally.
I hope this letter reassures you. You’re doing well, keep going.
The sky is the limit.