I had a goal to make 100 followers by tomorrow and I made it! Thank you so much to those who have read, liked, commented or followed. It means a great deal to me to have my content out that and actually have people read it. So thank you again.
I’m onto the 6th day of my blog challenge. I’m actually really enjoying the self discovery through talking about myself and my life. Things you don’t think about ever until prompted – and even then it’s quite difficult. Who knows, maybe by day 30 I’ll be as wise as Mother Theresa and ready to start my career as a self-help guru and life teacher.
Today’s challenge is:
A Letter To My 14 Year Old Self
I really wish that this letter had existed when I was 14. There’s so much coming your way – good and bad – and I would have loved to have avoided or changed how you are going to react to both. You’re a strong person though, and you’re going to get through everything amazingly well. It may not seem like it at times, but you are. I promise.
You’re currently in Year 10 at school. In the last 2 years, you’ve been welcomed into and made a huge group of friends; it’s the first time in a long time that you’ve actually felt part of something and been accepted. I wish I could say that this is what life will be like, but by the time you get to my age now, you won’t talk to 90% of them – and won’t be that close to the remaining 10%. I don’t like the sound of it either, but as the years go by, you will reassess what matters more to you. You will realise that loyalty means the most, and the friends you revolve your life around won’t do the same for you. But for now, enjoy your time with them. They’re going to make you stronger, more confident and happy. Just don’t sacrifice your education for a ‘laugh’ with them.
You’re still being bullied but, with your friends has come a new confidence. You’ve started to realise the words that have been thrown at you for so many years aren’t who or what you are, and you start to stand up for yourself. You will even square up to a bully and they will back down and leave you alone (great job, by the way – and thank god she didn’t actually hit you when you told her to haha!) I still remember this now as a defining moment; a turning point. You start to care less about the comments and jibes. The years of hurtful and degrading comments is slowly going to become a thicker skin on your body. You’re also not ‘fat’ – you’ve got an amazing body. A body I’d kill for now.
You’re currently in rehearsals for your school’s production of Grease – you got one of the main parts as a pink lady. You’re going to have to work really closely with a guy in your year who’s one of the ‘popular kids’. He’s going to be your on-stage boyfriend and even though he’s making out he’s pissed to be put with you, he’s actually going to realise you’re a nice girl and not what people have made you out to be. The play is going to be amazing!
Oh – and the guy you fancy who’s in the play isn’t going to be much to look at in a few years time; and he’s a dick so move on. Actually, all of the guys you fancy will mean nothing to you. You won’t have anything to do with them. No wait – actually, one of the guys you’re ‘in love’ with is going to walk up to you and ask you to sing with him at an open mic night. You’re going to spend loads of time with him rehearsing, but then he’s going to pretend you don’t exist after you helped him look good. He also becomes really ugly – looks and personality – so don’t bother stalking him as much as you did in school.
You’re obsessed with boys. You and your best friend are a pair of love-sick teenagers stalking the guys you fancy. Keep doing that, we love to look back now and laugh at ourselves. You’ve had an innocent couple of boyfriends, you’ve been ‘in love’ with boys out of your league, and you’re currently involved in an online relationship with someone. You’re going to dedicate a lot of your time to them – please don’t. If you can’t stop it, then be prepared to be heartbroken and shocked in the next few years. The relationship will end in a year, but you will find out the awful truth in about 4 years time.
Your sister is going to be diagnosed with a life changing condition this year – and you’re going to struggle with it really bad at first – as a family too. In the first year, she’s going to be in and out of hospital due to the condition, and you’re not even going to be able to cope for the first few weeks with going to see her because it’s so hard. But you’re going to realise what’s important and change your attitude. You and her are going to have a turbulent sister-ship. You’re going to be falling out one minute and getting on the next. She’s going to do things that piss you off and wonder how you cope with her as a sister. She’s going to move in with you and mum, whilst she tries to find an adapted place to live, and you’re going to argue and fight but also laugh and play. It’s going to be a really tough slog. What I can tell you is that your sister becomes your inspiration and your idol in later life. She will go through so much shit, her life will be incredibly hindering and difficult but she will never complain and she will get through it and you will look at her with so much love and pride.
When she has her baby in 10 years time, something none of you ever expect, you and her are going to become so close. She’s going to appreciate you and consider you a friend. You’re going to become her rock, and you’re going to stop arguing and fighting and be at peace with one another. So appreciate her, go and see her in hospital at every opportunity, no matter how hard you find it seeing her like that. You’re going to have to do even harder things for her, there’s going to be no barrier or personal space soon. You’re going to have to help with personal care and it’s going to become so normal to you both… you would not believe. She’s an incredibly difficult and feisty person, and you struggle with her but I promise, she’s going to be your best friend one day.
The next 9 months are going to change your life. Some big things are going to happen that define how your life proceeds. This will be one of the defining years of your life and the choices you make aren’t going to be the ones I would make now, but I understand why you make them.
In about 8 months time, you’re going to find out about a family secret that’s going to complete change your life and affect you for the rest of your life. It’s nothing you could have changed or stopped, it started before you were born. But it has torn your family apart and is the reason your parents divorced when you were a kid. It’s not going to make sense, probably ever, and you’ll never be able to understand it. But, when you do find out, just shut that shit down. You’re going to be manipulated and further lied to for the next 8 years, and it’s going to put you between a rock and a hard place. We’re strong – we’re getting through it – but we can change how we cope with it by changing how we initially dealt with it. So, shut it down and get on with your life. If you don’t shut it down, prepare to spend your life confused, angry but in a difficult position that you can’t escape because you feel you’re responsible. If I had the time back now, I would be walking away and leaving it behind.
About a month after you find out this secret, a boy is going to walk into your life unexpectedly and not leave it for almost 6 years. He’s going to become your boyfriend the day before you turn 16 and your life is gradually going to become miserable, difficult and entrap you. I wish I could stop you from agreeing to be his girlfriend, even more so stop you from even meeting him. I said I would never regret it but I really wish you wouldn’t have gone out with him. He’s going to talk to other girls behind your back – one of them your close friend whilst she’s sat in class with you – and he’s going to make up things to upset you in order to console and mind control you.
He’s going to start arguments to assert his authority, and turn them round so that you think you started them. He’s going to stop you singing, seeing your friends, having a life. You’re going to spend most of your time with him crying. You will argue every weekend without fail, and he will threaten to leave you every time to put you in your place. He’s secretly incredibly insecure, and he will use your emotions to stroke his ego and make him feel needed and important. He is a manipulative prick. Towards the end, things are going to become more heated and aggressive. He’s going to start pushing and grabbing you during arguments – at one point he’s going to grab your breast so hard you think it’s going to explode. He will come to know exactly what buttons to press to make you angry, he will push you to a point you’ve never been pushed to before just so that you react.
You’re too kind and loving to see him for what he is for a really long time. By the time you do realise, you’ll be in too deep and he’ll have made you think you can’t live without him. But you will realise, 5 years later, and leaving him will be the start of your life. The best decision you ever make. You will do things you didn’t think you were going to do because he’s not in your life. You’re an amazingly strong person – and you won’t even cry when you break up. You will just feel… free.
Instead, put your all into your singing. You’re at your peak right now. You spend your weekends with your Mum singing in pubs and bars. People come out to hear your sing, you have a mini fan-base. Some of these people are still going to be in your life 13 years from now. They’re going to become some of your most trusted friends despite the age gap. You’re going to audition for a place next year at a well-established college of music and you’re going to get in! Your boyfriend is going to talk you out of it because he’s secretly afraid you’re going to go places and leave him behind. Instead you’ll turn it down, and it will put you on a path of confusion, not knowing where you belong or what you want to do. I promise it will all turn out fine – just nothing like how you expected.
Your auntie is going to pass away this year suddenly. It’s going to really hit the family for the rest of their lives. Your Granddad is going to pass away in 4 years time – you will spend every day that he’s in hospital by his side, and you’re going to be with him when he takes his last breath. You’re going to regret not seeing him more and getting to know about him and his past. Please go and see him and your grandma more. You don’t feel they care as much about you because they have their favourites but your Granddad loves you. The last words you’re going to say to him are ‘love you Granddad’ and he’s going to say ‘love you too’. That will be it. Please make time for them and get to know them – you are going to regret not knowing him better for the rest of your life.
In 6 years time, fate is going to come knocking and you’re going to coincidentally meet somebody that will change your life. He’s going to be the best thing that ever happened to you. You will meet him whilst you’re still with your boyfriend, and he’s going to become a friend before anything else. He will be the one to push you to get out of that horrible situation and by pure accident, you’re going to fall in love and end up having a happy life together. He’s going to be a breath of fresh air, he’s going to motivate you to achieve your dreams – your degree, a job that appreciates you, independence. He will be behind all of it – because he believes in you. He will want nothing for himself – only to see you happy. Don’t be afraid of the unknown – go meet him, be happy.
I wish I could change a lot of things for you but I know I can’t. I have to live with the mistakes and choices we made – but that’s what living is all about. It’s about experiencing the highs and lows; learning lessons from them both. I find it so hard to write this without feeling regretful and sad. But I need to remind myself that I am where I am now because of the choices I made. They felt right for me when I made them. I sometimes pine for the life I could have had with regards to family and friends and love interests. But I take a step back and think of my life now. Would I be here now if I had done things differently? I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my adult life right now, maybe I wouldn’t be in this position with different choices.
Who knows – but 14 year old me, just keep going. Like I said, the next 12 months are going to be some of the hardest, and the time you will make some big decisions. But you’ll be so strong at the end of it all. I’m so proud of us.
Love to myself,