I recently saw a post on Twitter by The Empowered Women Project about writing a letter to your 18 year old self. I thought it was a nice idea, so I wrote myself something and sent them my letter. I thought I’d share it here as well, just this version is a little longer. What would you say to your 18 year old self?
Dear 18 year old me,
You’ve been through a lot and you have so much ahead of you, not all of it is easy, not all of it bad – you’ll have your heart broken in more ways than one but that will never stop you loving things with your whole being.
These are the things I’d want you to keep in mind:
You’ll change a lot but you fundamentally stay the same – you’re an idealist, your instincts are usually correct, you’re simultaneously an old person and a child at heart, you don’t like coffee, beer or coriander, you’re an optimist. You’re a bit odd and usually feel out of place – you’re an INFJ, find this out sooner – it’ll help you make sense of how you sit in the world. You’re a night person – it’s in your biology. Don’t feel guilty for not being a morning person.
You’ll do a job you love, but it’s only possible through hard graft and a lot of side hustling. Don’t expect things to fall into your lap – you need to make sure you’re seen and heard for others to know you want to do the things that you want to do.
That guy in Sainsbury’s, the one who is always smiling at you from across the tills – he’ll become one of your best friends. You meet him properly the day before he leaves for uni when you’re all a bit drunk. Keep it in mind to talk to happy drunk people more, you never know what connection you’ll make.
Always be kind. Don’t get taken advantage of.
Work hard, but don’t worry about what grade you get at uni – no one cares, or asks. Make sure to spend time making things you want to work on.
Do spontaneous trips, you never regret them and you create the best memories from them.
Don’t be afraid to demand support when you need it. Don’t let other people take emotional dumps onto you if you don’t want it. Remember you’re not responsible for their happiness, especially when you’re not doing so okay yourself.
Support your friends and family as much as humanly possible, empower the women around you, and make as many guy friends as you can, you’ll miss having them around. And on that note don’t feel bad for cutting off toxic relationships. It’s better for everyone – even if you miss the people. Boundaries are important to set. Don’t feel guilty for setting them.
Don’t always do the sensible thing. You’re a sensible person – any risk you consider will always be measured, so don’t be afraid of chasing something that might bring you happiness because you’re scared of an unknown outcome. Things work out.
Work in a bar. You’ll meet amazing people, it’ll keep you fit and teach you to not be a dick.
2012 will be awful. You’ll hate your first real job, the people aren’t nice. Your dog dies. Your best friend will move far away. It’s tough as hell, you’ll be depressed, you might even have think about ending it all. You make it through. Remind yourself when it gets bad, you’ll always make it through.
Look after your body more. Make it a priority. It’s the only home that’s truly yours, it’s important.
You’re so much tougher, funner and more versatile than people perceive of you at face value. You mask this side of you so well to protect yourself – which isn’t always a good thing. Don’t be afraid to let people see all of you more often, and allow yourself to be more excited and enthusiastic about things – it’s always uplifting to be around those kinds of people.
You always really like blunt people, even if you’re not sure about them to start with.
Witty banter, piano playing, creative thinking. You love these things but they are skills, keep them well oiled.
You’ll grow into adults with your best friends around you, and you’ll all succeed in different ways. Don’t get jealous of them, remind yourself you each have different definitions of success.
Read the Redditor’s ultimate guide to acne sooner. Spots are a bitch and having bad skin impacts your mental health more than you realise. Your pimples will be around for a long time but discovering that post is everything you need to get to a better place with your skin.
Be mindful of how judgemental you are over trivial things. Question yourself often, figure out why you feel the way you do about something. Push yourself to be better, but be mindful that you are always enough as you are.
Clouds weighing 500,000kg can float in the sky, we’ve visited the moon, we’re made of the same atoms as stars, you wouldn’t believe it but Donald Trump becomes the president of the US, and scientists have teleported a photon… Remember that if these seemingly impossible things can happen – you can manifest anything you want in your life.
Don’t dance in the shower when you’re sleepy and in a rush. This does not turn out well.
Enjoy the ride,
29 year old me.