Things I Would Tell My Teen Self
Looking Back Over 10 Years
The title is pretty much self explanatory, today I'm giving myself some self love, and advice on a topic that used to haunt me all day long. Most of us look back to our teenage years, and the first things we think of are chunky school ties, Maybelline Stay Matte Mousse and everyone carrying around their P.E kit in a Jane Norman shopper bag. Never mind the cringe high angle poses of Myspace that make us look like our legs are 3 inches long. So today this post should resonate and inspire you to look back to the past, re-work your present for a bright, happy and vibrant future.
Your teens were a whirlwind of ups and downs, and whilst you might question your choice of hair, or why certain things didn't become alike others, you should always remember that you made it to this moment. This very moment in time you're healthy, happy and life is much better than your 13 year old self. This is down to your life choices, following your heart to places that you wouldn't have dared to even dream about.
You should never regret any of the choices you made, because at one point you wanted it, and you'd only be lying to yourself if you said otherwise. So don't beat yourself up over little things, because in years to come it will all be irrelevant, and you'll be in the fast lane of life where you'll be swept up in a wash of wonder. Whilst these questionable decisions might loom over you just before you go to bed, it's vital that you stay strong and see everything through till the end, never jump ship in a moment of doubt. You'll be thankful for trying out new things for the sake of experimentation, and learning about yourself through what you love and hate.
Friendship is a big topic when it comes to your teens, you'll no doubt scroll through Facebook wondering where everyone is up to in life, and how those friendship bracelets you made for your best friend aren't worn anymore. It's not that they don't love or appreciate you anymore, it's that they're setting sail on their own voyage in life, so let them, as they allow you to. You'll be surrounded by new people every day of your life, which opens up the opportunity for new friends, friends that want a caring, loving person like you by their side through memories. Which brings me to the point of comparison, never ever EVER compare yourself to anyone. You are you, and there's only one walking this earth, so don't look to social media for the next step in life, you've made your own decisions as an adult to create opportunities for yourself. You'll eventually learn that variety is the spice of life, and that we should celebrate our differences, not all become another sheep in a identical flock.
So what if people stare, or make rude remarks, they're only a brief momentary bump on your journey to happiness, and their ignorance for not tolerating social change is not your fault, it's theirs for not being so open-minded. You take everything to heart, and want to do everything for the greater good so brush every negative comment off your sensitive soul, and focus on the positive from the people that matter (this includes yourself!)
You used to think that self-love and ego were the same thing, which you've now learnt is worlds apart from another. Self love is what will drive you through the next few chapters as you discover that you don't have to be what you see in the magazines. You don't have to fit societies supposed "expectations" of every young woman. You'll learn that every woman has a different body shape, that a thigh gap isn't feasible for some people's bone structures and that your weight isn't a competition, so stop looking at thinspo and celebrate you-spo. Yes you've had an ongoing battle on the scales, from dangerously frail to becoming well covered. But your journey of becoming an independent woman with confidence doesn't reside on a set of scales, and please stop telling yourself the quote "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" by Kate Moss. Because you'll discover the beauty of food, the experimentation behind it, the social aspect of food, and that you cannot survive on a healthy diet on air and noodles, no matter how Myspace or Tumblr it was. As soon as you learn how to cook (thanks Mum and Dad!) your world will expand and create fruitful memories with family, friends, clients and strangers.
Do you, believe in you and be the best version of you that you can be. Be the person that Mum and Dad always wanted you to be, respectful, caring, lovely and to know your inner beauty. Mum and Dad have been your rock whether you believed it or not through a mist of teenage angst, they were your best friends and the guiding beacon of light for when you didn't want to fess up some teenage drama, they went through it all too.
So don't be afraid to ask stupid questions, knowledge is power and paints a picture of your own life - nothing is too stupid to Google or confess to anyone. You're only young, and forever learning about new experiences about the world. You'll learn that school did nothing for you, and that's okay - the education system isn't designed for everyone. Hopefully one day they'll realise that brightly coloured hair doesn't make you an outcast, it makes you a special individual, you're a smart cookie and knew from a very young age that people shouldn't be uniformed, and that self expression is something that shouldn't be suppressed through such a mouldable time in your life. But don't fear, you'll find your style, you'll find your happiness and you'll find your still amongst the storm of the world.
Don't let teachers get you down, never let them tell you who you are, who you need to be, and why what you're doing is wrong. Because you're not wrong, your a unique snowflake. Your thoughts and visions weren't too outlandish, you were just a creative soul with so much art to give and unfortunately judged by a narrow minded art teacher in high school. Never mind college, where you learnt to thrive and were repressed artistically and emotionally. College taught you a lot about life, about relationships, friends and how to walk and talk like how you do today. You just needed a boost of confidence, and to be reminded that your opinion is equally as valid as others, so speak your mind and don't let anyone tell you that you opinion is wrong.
You thought your love life throughout your teens would be a vibrant like paint fresh from the pot, but really it was like mixing every colour together and creating brown on the palette. That was not your fault, you just weren't confident enough to hurt someone's feelings by saying "I don't fancy you" and would then take it out on yourself because you rehearsed in your head over and over again whilst in the bath what you would say to said person, and never follow through to speak your mind. But now your love life is the happiest it could ever be. Be thankful that you stuck around and became St Valentine to everyone else, because you definitely avoided some major cliffs. I'm glad you started to say no to people, you became stronger and more opinionated on how you should be treated. Also I'm glad you said yes to certain situations as your life in the present day has orientated around some minor decisions you made in your late teens, like showing up to certain parties and meeting your perfect boyfriend, and amazing cat Mia.
Whilst you've always been happy deep down, you'll know happiness like no other when you get out your teens, you'll find freedom, expression, love and tranquility. You'll find friends and a deep appreciation for your wonderful family who have seen you through every moment of your life and created this wonderful rainbow that you are today. Be happy for everything that's happened, because present you is very very happy today.
Free yourself, to be yourself, if only you could see yourself.