Winging Life Since 1995

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Dear Teenage Self

A while ago I found myself reading a letter written in Vogue by Victoria Beckham to her eighteen-year-old self. If you haven’t read it I would really recommend it because it got me thinking about a lot of things. What I wish I knew then and how I could help myself with what I know now. We’re eternally learning and it’s fascinating to realise that for every moment there’s a lesson, there always an opportunity to broaden your skills and knowledge. I gave my own letter a go...

Dear Emily-Marie,

You’re not having fun, that's for sure. With friends, with your health, with who you like and don’t like. It won’t be easy but it’s better that way because you’ll be stronger from it. You’re not like the other girls and you won’t ever want to be.

You’ll miss around two years of school because of your health, but while you’re sat in the hospital waiting for yet more blood to be taken, remind yourself never to underestimate your ability to do what you do best. A lot of misconceptions will be thrown around about why you’re not at school. You’ll get called lazy more times than you can remember and you’re going to cry over it because of how frustrated you are. How can they understand if you don't really understand it yourself? But that’s ok. Crying is good. You’ll not worry when you get better grades than most come results day.

Don’t worry about what people think when you’re eating lunch by yourself or when you're not invited out. Those girls will peak too early and end up getting expelled for drugs and theft. Don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t do well - because you will. And when you get locked in that locker and left there, hang in there babe, you’ll be out soon. You’ll start to understand that being weird is a good thing and when people label you as it, take that as a compliment. You’ll meet other weirdos and they’ll be your most favourite people in the world. You do belong. You’re going to get your period later than everyone else and you will cry every day because you hate it. Please don’t cry, you’ll get used to it. Periods are pretty cool and it’s good to not be afraid to talk about it. Be stronger because, without it, you wouldn’t be able to have the most beautiful children you’ve ever laid eyes on. Hopefully.

The last two years of school will be complex and new. Discovering and accepting that you’re different, finding where you fit in and people disbelieving in you. Don't worry what people think of you, you're not perfect so don't try to be - be relatable, be honest and be yourself. You’ll love your teachers, they’ll be there for you because you give a damn about your subjects. They’ll want to help you and they will. Listen to them, trust them, do them proud and you’ll make yourself proud.

Your heart will get broken for the first time and it will really f*cking hurt but you've got to look after yourself because people aren't going to understand. Love will be questioned far too much and you’ll fall a few times. You’ll start to develop crushes on girls too but you won’t tell anyone for a while. It will be scary and you won't like it and for three years you'll hate yourself for it. Come out to yourself first. You’ll like boys again too, just not for a while so don’t worry about that now. Either way, labels are unnecessary, just be who you are. If others find it confusing, it’s a good job it has nothing to do with them. Love is love - it’s the person that matters not their anatomy. Those relationships are important and you'll have some of the happiest times of your life.

Age 19 you’ll start to get panic attacks, you’ll not want to eat much and when the colour of the sky or the pattern on your duvet make you want to throw up, just take your pill. Don’t worry if you have to stay awake all night, it can be fun sometimes. Just put down the blade, it won’t get you anywhere. Stand up for yourself. You’ve always been pretty good at that but don’t let it slip. Some people will try and take advantage of you and you won’t always realise that the situation you're in isn’t good. Yourself always comes first. You’ll be treated like a doormat and your opinion won’t matter. When you realise and tell your friends... they’ll already know. You just wish they would have told you sooner. You deserve more than that.

Learn quickly that Instagram is just a highlights reel and no one else knows what the heck is going on, nor will they have their life together. Even celebrities get spots and forget to shave their pits from time to time. They’re just human babe. Don’t ever think you’re worthless or unlucky. If you want something, work hard and get it. Your future self will thank you later.

And, if any of this is worth remembering, don’t cut that fringe, and for god sake, if you do, don’t do it yourself three minutes after having the idea. You’ll hate it. Like really, really hate it.

Always be grateful and never ever ashamed.

Much love x

*Photo credit @jasminedowling

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