“Everything seems to be coming along far too quickly. I’ve grown up and that’s scary”.
I wrote these words into my blog two weeks after my 16th birthday. The day I wrote that, seems like a million years ago, just over 5 years ago actually but in retrospect, at 16, I hadn’t grown up. Not even close and there are many things I wish I knew then, that I know now. So, here goes (and brace yourselves, because there’s a lot I shouldn’t have done)
DEAR 16 YEAR OLD ME,
It’s you, at 22, you’ve graduated from University, got yourself a job, a double bed, 3 niece and nephews, you’ve had a good few boyfriends and you’ve travelled Europe. Not bad going for someone that thinks the world is collapsing on them. Enough of that.
Tip 1: Don’t do everything because everyone else is doing it. Don’t kiss boys or let them dictate so much of what you do. Have fun with friends and don’t worry about who fancies you or doesn’t like you back. Don’t drink White Lightening in the park because they all are, it tastes like piss and you know it. Don’t think that you need to have a million friends and a million plans, you’ll be left with the ones you are meant to be left with.
Tip 2: He was probably “IT” from the start. You ‘um’ and ‘ah’ about being with your friend every bloody blog post. Just bloody do it. It will save 6 years of wishing you had said something from the beginning.
Tip 3: Be more understanding. I get it, you’ve had a tough year battling everything at home. But it gets better. Take it easy, don’t get angry or bitter because something ruins your plans. Family is the most important thing, don’t be silly and forget that just for the sake of a gathering in someone’s shed that happens every Friday.
Tip 4: Don’t be jealous. Things are changing, school is finishing, you’ve got prom and new boyfriends to look forward to. Don’t get jealous about not feeling part of something, or being left out. You’re going to get left out, be confident enough to do your own thing and meet your own friends.
Tip 5: Forget about high school. The bitching starts at 16, so just focus on those you want to keep in your life and forget the rest. Stop trying to please everyone. Forget rumours and remember that High School is over and is the tiniest part of life. High School doesn’t really matter, and sadly, in the end, nobody in it does (shit got deep, soz)
Tip 6: Don’t give up on driving. Just so you know, you still can’t drive. So when you turn 17 and you start taking your lessons, bloody finish them.
Tip 7: Don’t leave things until the last minute. It’s all well and good sitting on Facebook, but just get on with what you have got to do. GCSE’s are ‘nuttin, so stop stressing and moaning and just get on with it. You’ll do fab either way, but save yourself the future wrinkles.
Tip 8: Don’t be afraid to share what you write. It’s taken you so long to become confident with what you feel you are good at. Just be proud of the things you write, don’t be afraid to show it off and start saying the things you want to say. If you love what you do, it’s good enough.
Tip 9: Be happy with the way you look but please don’t wear that. Give it a bit of time before you start bleaching your hair will you. PS. I’m not sure about a lot of your choices, but your 16 year old fashion is not on. Do not wear beads and headbands and 20 bangled bracelets and hooped earnings all in one outfit. You are not Avril Lavigne.
Tip 10: Just be happy. I remember crying a lot at 16, it was a tough year but it was also one of the best and one with lots of ‘firsts’. It was the beginning of it all and you should enjoy it. Don’t cry about the little things. Be happy and stay happy. Spend time with the people that make you happy and do what you love. That’s it. Simple.
So that’s it for the first in my three part series of ‘Dear Me’. I hope for the younger readers you can learn a little from my mistakes. I don’t regret many things, but it would have been good to have had a heads up about it all. Life. What a pickle ay.
See you next Wednesday for a slightly less PG, “DEAR 18 YEAR OLD ME”.