Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Dear younger me,

Okay, so I've been away for a few days again. I haven't had more than twelve hours sleep over three days so I've been trying to stay awake and do some uni work. But tonight I want to introduce to you my friend, Lauren. Lauren and I decided to do a collaborative blog post and after much deliberation of topics, we decided to write a joint letter to our younger selves. This is going to be interesting. It was insightful and we had a lot of fun writing and discussing the important things that have led us to this point in our lives.

Dear younger Lauren and Steph,

I've decided that there are some things that I would like to tell you, things that you really need to know. The bad news? The rough patch is going to last for a quite a while. The good news? You come out a stronger person (cliché, I know). I am going to work under the pretence that there is a parallel universe in which you exist on the timeline of my life. I know you are not there, because you're here and a part of me. But if I think about it too much I'll never be able to write this post.

1. First of all you are goddamn beautiful. You really need to hear this from yourself. I know that this is technically cheating, because I'm the one with hindsight between the two of us, so you need to pull your weight too and start practising some self-love. By the way, beautiful doesn't always mean physical appearance. You look great just as you are, but are also so much more than that.

2. Secondly, have confidence in your opinions. Don't get me wrong here, you will receive the usual commentrary; 'bloody socialist commie leftist snowflake femininazi'. I don't expect you to grow a thick skin because, after all, you really are a wonderfully sensitive snowflake, however, don't let it silence you. You won't feel very confident in politics but you know how you feel on individual topics and that's okay. Keep learning.

3. You need to know that it is okay to say no. Okay listen, I know that your life generally revolves around being a people-pleaser (and to tell you the truth, it still does) but that doesn't mean you have to say 'yes' to things you don't want to do. This goes for social events, do-you-want-to-go-out-with-mes, hugging, personal favours, sexual favours, loaning money, completing work for others and giving free art work.

4. Stick up for yourself. You know that phrase; 'treat others how you want to be treated?'. Don't forget how you want to be treated. I'm sorry to say that there will come a time when you are treated badly, and I want you to remember that you can walk away.

5. You are not 'too sensitive'. You are sensitive. You cry at almost everything happy or sad.


I think of my younger self as this fragile little thing. I remember that she had a dodgy hair cut, ridiculously bad make up but so so much love and potential. I remember that she just ached to be better. I wish she had known what I know now. But if you think about it too much, you realise that if she had not gone through all of these experiences, we wouldn't be the people that we are today. There are so so many things that I wish I could tell a younger me now. Especially in times of distress. I worry about this younger me that l imagine to live in a strange parallel universe. This is a strange thought and so easy to over think.

1. Normal is a cycle on a washing machine. I know that it feels like you are beyond loving. But you are not broken and you will never be broken. You are not normal and you never will be. But embrace and celebrate this. You are weird and wonderful. So embrace your unpopular opinions; be a feminist, and a socialist, be left wing. None of these things are bad. Don't you dare lose your 'muchness'.

2. You need to know that you are stronger and braver than you think (Yes, I think that's a quote from Winnie the Pooh). But this is so important. I promise you that there will be a day when you will not need to carve marks into your skin just so that you can breathe. Doing this does not make you broken, or damaged. You do not need to be ashamed. You will come out on the other side and you will be stronger.

3. Be careful who you give your heart to. There is a reason that the boy has a bad reputation. Heed the warnings. You will not be different to him and you cannot fix him. He may break your precious kittle heart. But giving your heart away applies to friends too. You give love far too easily. Don't forget that self-love is a valuable lesson.

4. Write more, please. And read, and learn. Don't stop doing any of things. Your character and growth depends on them. You have so many beautiful things to say and books are good friends.

5. Finally, I know that you feel lonely sometimes. But the friends that you need are years away, and I am not going to tell you when. But I promise that they will be special and worth the wait. You can do this on your own for the time being. I need you to try not to hurt yourself any more than you need to. I promise that there are plenty of people out there that will do that for you.

I wonder how younger me would react to actually reading this list. I wonder if anything would change. I cannot tell you guys enough how much I enjoyed writing this post, even though parts of it were difficult to write! It has changed my outlook on so many things and there is nobody else I would have rather have written this post with than Lauren. I've found myself appreciating even some of the negative experiences. Huge amounts of credit to my one of my closest friends Lauren. You can find her blog here and she is wonderful.

I hope you have a wonderful week guys.

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