Being a teenager again – or Dear 17 year old me.

Does anyone else find the week before going on holiday particularly difficult? It’s like my brain doesn’t want to function properly. I know I should be living in the now, but my brain is firmly focused on the weekend, and the week to come. It doesn’t help that it’s my 30-something birthday next week. And yes, I still get excited about my birthday – I always wonder whether that’s going to wane as the years flash past faster and faster (I’m not sure where the bulk of 2015 has gone, it was Christmas yesterday).

I have never had a breakdown about my age, it’s inevitable at the end of the day. We can’t stop it, and as much as I’d like to get off the roundabout, it’s never going to happen. However, I do occasionally reminisce about being 17 again, and wonder whether I would want to be 17 now? With advances in everyday life, I think it would be far more fun being that age in 2015 –  it feels like I could be whoever I want to be. But deep down I know this is probably a case of the grass is greener and is probably a hideous idea.

I know as I get older I’m starting to notice lines on my face (I daren’t look too closely when I put my contact lenses in, the crows feet are horrendous), I have ever multiplying grey hairs in my beard (I will, however, have a breakdown when I find a grey hair on my head), my head hair isn’t thick and my widows peak can, quite frankly, stop moving north. But if I could be 17 now, well I’d probably run a mile from all the angst and aggro and would just back into my thirty-something body in a heartbeat.

The perennial fashion at the moment is to write letters to your 17 year-old self telling yourself what you would later learn in life. So perhaps that would be better than becoming a teenager in 2015. Would your 17 year-old self even care to listen? Probably not.

But anyway.

Dear 17 year-old me.

I expect that part way through this letter you would’ve crumpled this up, declaring it utter rubbish and hurling it in the nearest (recycling) bin. That part hasn’t changed- being “green”- but so many other things have. And, I’m sorry to tell you, but you were right, that bleached hair was an appalling idea, but hair-wise things do get marginally better! Trivial matters aside, there are so many other things to tell you! I am writing this from the not too far future, but there have been a lot of changes.

But, apart from things to tell, I also have a question for you – how can you see so much beauty in the world around you, and never in yourself? How can you be your own worst enemy? You can see beauty in so much, but you also need to see it in you. Everyone has something to offer the world, and try to see that you do too – even though this remains a struggle for you, try and know it in your heart of hearts to be true.

Now, some don’ts:

Don’t leave anything to the last-minute! You are getting much better at this!! But in your future career, you literally can’t.

Don’t believe that just because you’ve kissed many frogs and some have harassed you, offended you and creeped the hell out of you, doesn’t mean that someone else far better won’t come along. Don’t force things, especially in the relationship department, there is no need to rush. You will have many relationships, be honest with yourself and your partners  – I promise it will cause less heartache in the end.

Don’t believe those who insult you, and poke at your appearance.

And if they have a problem with you, be sad for them. And ruthlessly cut them out of your life, you’ll learn that life is far too short for people like that.

And try not to believe that you are undeserving of every praise that is given to you – someone said something wonderful to you out of the kindness of their heart –  it would just be rude to throw it back in their face.

Perhaps, try to view yourself as you view others, and stop being your own harshest critic.

By accident you will discover the mantra of: Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent – live by that.

Listen to Mother, I know she seems over protective and nags you a lot but seriously she’s right about pretty much all of that stuff and you’ll soon realize how lucky you are to have her.

You will find your niche, it may just be harder than you expected, and only after many, many changes you will find it to be in the simplest and most natural of places – the very start. Don’t give up, you’ll make mistakes – but don’t dwell on them. Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start again. Don’t let regrets rule your life.

You spent so many years thinking yourself ugly, unworthy and lesser than you actually are. Don’t be so cruel. But in doing so you found something you excel at. Remember that day in primary school when you thought you didn’t have a talent? Well you do. It finds you. But don’t stop exploring or finding other things you’ll be good at, find it in your heart again to explore that passion. Opinions do not matter, but dreams do. Why not follow all of them? Knitting, drawing, photography, design, travel, art, literature so many avenues to explore!

Shoes, apples, pugs, art, polaroids, ugly sweaters, films, people, places, craftsmen, lovers, flamingoes, friends and family are all so beautiful in your eyes – believe yourself to be too. Critics are often people trying to build themselves up off the back of the failure of others, and why should anyone listen to the opinion of someone like that? Be kind to everyone, and try to be kind to yourself foremost.

May the force be with you, mini me, and know that everything will be ok. I don’t know that for sure, as I haven’t gotten to the end yet, but starting to believe it is the first step to making it come true.

Love me x


I am on holiday next week, and I shall be living it up in the Vatican on my birthday. Who knows, I may get a dance with the Swiss Guard.


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