It is a fact of life- when we were younger, less experienced and innocent- a child we all imagined what life would be like. Who we would be when we grow up, who would stay in our lives and who would disappear. And nine times out of ten we all wished we could grow up faster. I’m 22, an adult-in-training and if I could go back to my younger self now there are things I would tell her. So, I’ve decided to write an open letter to myself. And maybe we should all do this. Is there anything you would have done differently or people you wished you’d have given more time too. The open letter is one way to get all of that out. Here goes…
To a redhead, blue eyed, freckled care-free yougster,
I’m here to tell you a few things. First off, that attitude you’re sporting at home is not impressive and in about a years time you’ll suddenly mellow out and wonder what all the fuss was about. If I could go back, I’d still push the same boundaries but not so loudly. However, I would thank you for this because without learning from that attitude I wouldn’t be able to harness the same confidence for job interviews, getting through university and meeting some amazing people. But we could have toned it down a bit.
Secondly, you’ll eventually get your own room at eight/nine so just put up with sharing for a little longer…He’s not that bad. Although, the trick of dumping his mess in his bed was the best thing ever because he always tidied up and it still works now. Maybe you could have gotten rid of some of the clutter before hand though because it took myself and mum a week to do when we finally sorted through everything. It was a pain and at heart we were all ready into the simplistic look so do yourself a favour and keep on top of the clutter instead of getting stressed.
And finally, embrace your hair. We are stuck with this for life so, just embrace it. The colour, the curls because now people try and dye their hair this colour and can’t. So, when someone teases you about your hair simply reply with “And? Your issue is…” That puts off the kids if they don’t know it bothers you. Also you are currently growing it out so you can wear you long, thick curly hair down more…so maybe tell mum you don’t want it cutting short that would have helped a lot. It’s a pain to grow now. Also, you are going to start to straighten it in secondary school so, it isn’t all bad. And when you start putting lowlights in and straightening it- nan does complain but you’ll carry on doing it regardless and she liked it actually once you didn’t put as many in.
Okay, so we’ve just started really getting into secondary school and focusing on studying. The first thing I’m going to tell you is that it is alright not to know what you want to do in life. As a kid, we wanted to be a load of things;
Nurse: Mum and dad can attest to the fact that this should not be your career choice. They had the bruises to prove it.
Teacher: You don’t have the patience for it. I remember getting bored every five minutes and wanting to do something else. Well you have more patience but if you do teach it would probably be at college level because you’ve now turned into one of those adults who can’t believe the mouth on young kids these days.
Athlete: So you fell down some stairs and that put a stop to that. But it’s all good because we like to go for a run now as it is a great de-stressing tool. Plus, by stopping the athletics you got to try out new things. For a start, you became more girly for a while. But, it’s all good because you’ve now settled on somewhere in between a girly girl and a tomboy.
And many other careers… But, at 22 we’ve finally made a decision. So it’s time to start trying to get into that. However, rest assured that you are young, we are still young and can try as many things out as possible. Life is not about money, it is about experiencing things, memory making and having fun.
We finally got that bookshelf and the double bed after years of asking. So it pays off. However, that book shelf is nearly full so the dream of owning a home with a library in one day may become a reality because we won’t be throwing away books anytime soon. The only thing we would probably change now is not asking for two colours in our room because as much as I still like blue and purple, turquoise was then and still is our favourite colour. And would probably match the curtains, carpet and bedding much better. Also, don’t put posters up…you get bored after a few months and now both the walls and doors are bare except for the faint marks of blue tack.
Thirdly, embrace the clumsiness. You not only fell down some stair aged 14 which resulted in a trip to the hospital, eight-twelve weeks of recovery and causing your mum stress on her day off but, the falling is going to happen a lot and you’ll always have bruises to prove it. Just last year, you damaged your ankle again which resulted in some very good friends convincing me to go to the hospital again but the year before that you couldn’t run for four weeks after hurting your knee while running. I’d say don’t push things when it comes to injury, don’t be stubborn but we still are now which gave mum and dad a lot of stress last summer.
Finally, you are now and were then a huge geek. With a love of action adventure films, marvel films, Doctor Who and many other sci-fi/ fantasy books, films and tv shows you aren’t exactly into the girly love films. You will sit and watch a few but they really aren’t your cup of tea. So, when you were putting on all that makeup, straightening your hair and attempting to fit in…well that is what sets you apart from others now. Basically, you should embrace your uniqueness because it’ll be much easier down the line and you’ll meet some amazing friends with the some of the same and different tastes as you.
You know when your parents tell you- you don’t stay friends with everyone in life? You should have listened much earlier. All the stress could have been avoided. In life, we don’t get on with everyone and if you’d have realised that sooner well a lot could have been avoided. Overall, if you hadn’t have gone through this though well, I don’t think I’d be the person I am now. It reminded me of myself, the person I liked who exuded confidence, embraced challenges and loved life and well, we are that person and more now. This doesn’t go without saying that some of the people you meet over these few years won’t still be in your life, and other still are and these are the people who are there for you no matter what. Just remember there are still those childhood friends who you still talk to, and even when you are busy know you will still be there. A click away.
You’ve applied for university and are waiting to get in. Well, you do. And we’ve just graduated with a 1.1 class honours degree so, we did something right. It is something to be proud of so as you make those difficult decisions, expel the negative energy and start to see your grades rise? Well you made the right decision. Be proud of getting an offer from all five universities, be proud of improving with your overall grade every year and be proud of achieving such an amazing result because it’s all us. We did it!
And finally, at 22 we are still an adult in training. We moved out for university which was the best decision in the end. At 22, we are still growing so don’t feel at 18+ that this is now the time you need to know everything in life. Because all that pressure isn’t good for anyone. Achieve the goals you set for yourself like you have so far. We’ve lost that weight, we run regularly, we eat healthily, we have some amazing friends and we are well on our way to becoming an amazing adult. Although, the best adults are those who never really grew up, the one with their inner child still joking about and laughing.
Still a redhead, blue eyed, freckled, but experienced slightly older youngster….