Dear 16 Year Old Me,
You don’t always need to be sensible. Have fun, and make the most of the time in your life where you have few responsibilities.
You are young and beautiful, even if you don’t feel like it. One day, you’ll look back and realise that your body shape is the perfect shape for YOU. Wear a bikini. Flaunt it while you can. What’s more important is how you feel. Focus on feeling healthy and strong rather than worrying about numbers on scales or measuring tapes. Wear your body with pride.
I know you never feel ‘cool’ enough, but being authentic is more important than being cool. Be true to you. You don’t need to keep up with any crowd. Those who are most important in your life will love you for who you are. Nurture the genuine relationships, and release those not worth spending energy on.
It’s okay to be an introvert. Don’t hide behind it or let it stop you from going outside your comfort zone, but acknowledge the importance of quiet strength and take the time for being alone when you need to without feeling guilty about it.
Say yes to things that scare you. They will stretch and strengthen you.
Study hard, and take pride in what you do at school and university, but don’t stress about the final outcome. Options will always present themselves if you’re open to the opportunities. Every career evolution you accept along the way will lead you to where you’re meant to be, give you life experiences and help you meet the people you need in your life at that time. You don’t have to have a grand vision for a particular career, and perhaps you never will, but each step will bring you closer to the authentic you. Focus on your strengths.
You don’t need to be in a hurry to settle down. You will remember your first love fondly, but your ‘the one’ will come along when he’s meant to and he will be worth the wait and broken hearts experienced along the way. Wait for the one who will challenge and frustrate you, but also love and value you more deeply than any of the fairytales could prepare you for. Be with the one who will walk with you unquestioningly in good times and in bad. Take time for each other, lean in to each other, love each other with your whole hearts.
You will be a parent, even if you have an irrational fear that it will never happen. Parenthood will bring you more challenges than you could imagine, but each of your beautiful children will be worth the heartache and teach you so much about who you are. Slow down, soak in every moment and be present to them and all the gifts they bring to the world.
When you are a mother, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. I know you always feel like you’re at the bottom of the priority list, but your wants and desires are important too. And, feel free to consult the guide books, but remember that you are the #1 expert on your child. Go with your gut, it will serve you well. Your intuition is your superpower.
Take heed when Mum tells you to look for the good in every situation. Practice gratitude. Your ability to be grateful through adversity will keeping you going in the most difficult of times.
Be kind, be brave, be you.
With all my love,
38 Year Old Me x