Day Five – “A Note to Your Past Self”.
Hmmm. This is vague. Interesting, but vague. Who do I write to? My five-year-old self that was obsessed with Barbies and the colour orange? My nine-year-old self who was absolutely convinced she’d become an artist when she grew up? My twelve-year-old self, in the cusp of puberty and extremely embarrassed by it all? So many options.
Dear my sixteen-year-old self.
Hi. I know it’s hard to believe I’m writing to you from the future. I’m 25 now. Seems crazy right? 25, the time you assumed that you’d have it all together. Well, unfortunately you don’t. No partner, no job, renting (don’t be mad, I know you swore you’d never get stuck the rent trap but you also know how badly you needed to move out of the parentals place. Trust me, this isn’t so bad), still not sure what you want to do with your life. But you know what? A lot of 25-year-olds are in the same situation. It’s scary, but it’s not so bad. I know to you, 25 seems so far away, but it isn’t. It’ll come faster than you think.
I know right now you’re going through some stuff. You feel alone. You aren’t. Sixteen is a tough year for most people. Don’t let it get you down. Enjoy yourself. I know the teachers at school are all about you “knuckling down” and suggesting you “think about your future”. I know the tests are getting harder, the lessons are getting more serious. Don’t worry about it. Just do your best, but don’t let it wear you down. There’s more important things than the result of some quiz. Go out more with your friends. Spend more time with your dogs. Buy stupid things. Quit that awful job. Don’t let yourself get stressed out and depressed. Everything will work out.
That boy you think you’re in love with…let him go. He’s not right for you and not interested in you. You pretending to enjoy sport isn’t going to get you anywhere. Don’t let him hurt you, you’re worth more than that. It’s okay to be alone, even if the whole world seems to believe otherwise.
It’s okay to be emo. It’s okay to enjoy it. If it makes you happy, just do it. It won’t last forever. At 25, you can’t do stuff like that any more. Enjoy these phases while you can, it’ll make for more interesting stories later on.
Don’t listen to your mum or anyone else who says you’re fat. You aren’t. You may not be the skinniest person in your year level but you are not overweight. Don’t throw in the towel and think it’s okay to eat bad food all the time. It will catch up with you!
The most important piece of advise I’ve got – more important than anything else I’ve mentioned – is to be yourself. I know at 16, it’s all about peer pressure and fitting in, but almost all the people you associate with now, you won’t remain friends with in a few years. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. People grow up, go separate ways, don’t have time to organise catch ups. Don’t worry what they think. Don’t pretend you enjoy things that you don’t, don’t spend time with people you dislike. It’s okay to go against the crowd sometimes, but it’s also perfectly fine to go with it (which I know you struggle with). Sometimes, the crowd is right. You don’t have to constantly be at war with “the man”. Pick your fights.
Anyway, hope school isn’t too tough for you today! Chin up soldier!