Tuesday, 4 September 2012

To my 16 year old self

As I turn 26 in a week, I thought it only fitting to write to you, 16 year old me back in 2003. You're studying for your GCSEs and already having to make decisions that will affect your future, but it's ok.
You'll do fine in your exams in the summer, but don't be complacent. The maths tutor Mothership hires to help you will be a bit eccentric, but more encouraging than Ms Auerbach, ignore her.
Your A Levels are important but they will not matter in a few years, drop History, do Drama instead. I should have done. Although Mr Jones will leave halfway through. You'll love Mr Livingstone's lessons, and will one day get a hug from him at a sad occasion. Daniella will still be your best buddy, your evil twin. We talk everyday.
Things will get harder, turning 18 will be painful, you will be in hell. Ask for help. Ask Mum, ask a friend, ask a teacher. Do not suffer. You are not alone. I love you.
There will be dark days, truly, utterly wretched ones. You will go to some horrible places in your head, reach rock bottom and fall apart. But you will get better. It won't be easy but books, music, your friends and Madre will help. You don't feel like that forever. Promise. Hating yourself is easy, it's taken me this long to start loving myself, you will have help.
You will go to university, it won't be the one you think. You will not love everything about it, but you will learn a lot and be completely inspired. Your mind will expand and you will read hundreds of books, some of them will become your favourites, others will not.
Your friends will change, but you won't lose everyone, but gain some truly wonderful people in your life, they will be the best you will ever know. Those you lose will not be worth worrying over.
You will have a lot of adventures, always say 'yes', a life of regrets is not worth it. I wish I had said yes more, but I have let go of those regrets.
You will not get everything in life you want right now. Things will not slot into place the way you imagine. It'll be a slog, but so worth it. You will meet the most amazing people, see wonderful things, go to some great places and learn so, so much.
One day, when you least expect it, and are thinking you're ok being alone, you will meet a truly wonderful man. He will love you completely and utterly, burgeoning insanity and all. You will begin to plan a life together and you will be happy.
Be nice to your sister, but teasing is ok. She needs you on her team. Take care of everyone, you're good at that, but don't neglect yourself. There will be ups and downs, but all the tough times lead somewhere good. Don't get rid of your books, it's annoying trying to track down replacements.
Embrace your weirdness, it's part of you.
I love you, weird, messed up 16 year old me. Take care of yourself. We need you. xx

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