Although the majority of readers over here are probably my own age and my mum, there might actually be a couple of teen gals out there, this one is for you.
This letter is to my teenage self. All those things I wish I could have told myself when I was worrying, stressing and panicking over nothing. The truth is we are always learning and there are always going to be times when we say ‘Oh god, what was I thinking?’ and ‘I wish I knew that earlier’ but the beauty of it is that we always learn, so here is what I would have told teenage Kate.
And hey, if your not a teen dream in need of some girlie advice, the little trip down memory lane might be hideous but it is definitely worthy of a couple of lols.
First up, you’re doing great. You made it through school and college and you did pretty well through it all. You’ve got some pretty amazing times to come and your going to love every minute.
I know it seems like everything is revolved around grades and exams. You revise for exams to get into college, you revise for more to get to university and it seems like thats the only thing that matters. Although you might remember how to work out the area of a trapezium, theres not a lot much more you remember from school, so stop stressing so much. You probably won’t learn anything of real importance like mortgage schemes and tax until you actually leave school and learn yourself. You’ll put all your hard work and determination into doing well, be proud of this because determination is something that everybody needs.
You’ll have some of the best times with the best people and you should treasure all these moments that you spent together. You’ll learn who is really going to stick around forever and who is likely to drift away and theres nothing wrong with this- change is good. Don’t regret any of the moments that made you happy even if they didn’t last forever. Make sure you make as many memories as possible because those are what you’ll remember from your school years.
Always set aside some time for looking after yourself. At times it can seem like life is moving at 1000 mph, take a breath and spend some time to yourself while practicing a little bit of self love. Its amazing being as busy as a bee, but remember its ok to take a break from revision every once in a while.
One of the best things you can learn is not to care so much what other people think. Some things aren’t for everybody and who really cares what people might think. So what if you dont go to uni or ‘find yourself’ in Thailand, you’ll have your own amazing experiences, and you’ll be lucky enough to spend them with your soulmate. When you learn that you can be happy with your own decisions, plans and experiences it will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Put the hair straighteners down! Straightening your hair to oblivion everyday is not going to do you any favours. I’m talking about split ends on a whole new level and unbelievably brittle hair. As for that over powering side fringe, I wouldn’t particularly say its your best look but you loved it. Cut back on the blonde spray, take away the heat and stop washing your hair every single day- its not helping the matter.
Theres nothing wrong with not liking the taste of alcohol yet, if you don’t like it then don’t drink it. Theres nothing cool about getting paralytic in a field on blue WKD and Labrini anyway, you’re not missing out. Besides,you’ll make up for it later with way to many wine Wednesdays and fizz Fridays when you can appreciate the beauty of alcohol properly.
You’re going to learn a pretty valuable lesson from a little, ginger kitten. Its better to have loved and lost than to never love at all, people come in and out of your life on a daily basis and the best you can do is make the most of it. Although it might sound cliche, you need to learn to be filling your life with excitement and joy because nobody knows whats waiting around the corner. Maybe one day you’ll find out how its possible to miss that little cat so much; if you do, then be sure to let me know.
Please remember that everything you put on Facebook is now going to haunt you forever with ‘Facebook memories’. Be prepared for all those pretend photoshoots in the fields behind the house and in your friends upstairs bathroom to keep popping up year after year. You’ll wonder one day why you used to have conversations with friends on your Facebook timeline rather than sending each other a private text or Facebook message, I honestly don’t have the answers for you.
As for the body stuff, there are a couple of things. 1. Your skin will not appreciate being neglected. Put down the make up wipes and buy a proper cleanser, and while you’re at it please remember to moisturise. 2. If a tampon hurts, your probably not pushing it far enough- try again. 3. Plucking that borderline monobrow situation you have going on is going to be a big regret one day, put the tweezers down.
You are beautiful! Your beauty isn’t measured on how pretty or hot other people think you are. Its your whole being that gives you beauty- your character, smile, laugh, thoughts and everything else about you! The key is believing it and being happy in your own skin. Remember that comparison is the thief of happiness. You should live your life appreciating the beauty of others, the beauty of yourself and the beauty that is surrounding you in the world, rather than comparing it.
Your family are your best friends, especially your sister, remember to say thank you for the times when she pays for lunch, gives you all her hand me downs and doesn’t complain when you borrow that purse or scarf and never give it back. She’s a keeper and you would be nowhere without her. Family doesn’t have to be related by blood, your lucky enough to have friends that have become family in that house over the road where your best friend lives.
Speaking of family, be thankful for all those times you went climbing trees, when you learnt to drive a digger, and use a chainsaw. And be grateful for the person who taught you how to do it, the same person who turned your loft into a den and made a rope swing out of ratchets whenever you asked. Thanks to him, you can now say with pride that you know how to use a drill and put up a shelf with no help.
When it comes to advice, your mum is always right. Its a fact, and no matter how many times you try to prove it wrong, you cant. Remember this when she says ‘have you looked hard enough?’ and you swear on your life that you checked the bottom of your wardrobe for your favourite top, she will come marching upstairs and pull it out right in front of your eyes like some kind of magic trick. Listen to your mum and appreciate everything she does, she really does know best and you wouldn’t be half the person you are without her.
Finally, don’t give up. You’re not a quitter and you’re not about to start anytime soon.
Older (and supposedly wiser) Kate