Originally posted August 27th 2010.
Writing a letter to my 16 year old self….where to begin? It was the most bittersweet year of my life so far, and it’s tough to believe it was as much as 10 years ago as it’s a year I remember soooo vividly!
Dear Laura Anne,
So you’re now 16, nobody ever calls you Laura Anne (except your friend Craig who for some reason likes to call you by your full name) and you have made some amazing friendships in this last year. Don’t let them go easily. Invest in those friends who you love and love you back – and most importantly have your back…always. As the years go on, and you face more of the ups and downs of life, the more you will appreciate the friends you’ve had since you were young.
I’m not sure if you met your boyfriend in the best possible way, and there are going to be complications from the decisions you have made now that will affect the rest of your life. Tread carefully not only with each others’ hearts, but the hearts of those close to you too. Especially as you face challenges far greater than most teenagers could barely imagine.
Choose life, and live it. I know that at times you feel there’s no hope, feeling so trapped between trying to survive through the life you are living, and working your way towards the life you can see but never seem to be able to reach. But the simple fact is, the dreams and visions you’ve been having – they are real, and their message is truth to encourage you. You will come through. There will be healing on the other side. There is a purpose for you in this world. Choose to live your life unselfishly.
Ask the GP for Depo Provera. It will save you from years of pain and embarrassing situations (and most likely an unplanned pregnancy). Plus, get a physio referral for your back injury! It will come back to haunt you later on if you don’t…
You are going to have so many opportunities in the next year…I know that you don’t want to go back to high school for another year. But seriously, make the most of it. Get stuck in, work hard and you will get the results you need. Listen to the teachers that are going to encourage you in your learning and help you achieve all you have to the potential for. Ignore the ones who don’t, and do not let the anger and hurt of them bringing you down with negativity get to you. Enjoy the trip to Morocco (you won’t need half the food you plan to take by the way), and get all you can from experiencing life as a dance teacher in Sweden too. You are making memories that will last forever.
Don’t let fear stop you from doing things in the future. Make an active effort to live a life of no regrets.
You’ll be going to university next year, leaving all your friends behind as they finish off high school. This is the right decision, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. You are not the same as everybody else, and these next few years your life is going to change more than you could ever have imagined. You’re going to make amazing friends, learn so much. Yes, you will go through more heartache, but you will not be alone in it. Perhaps leave the weird jacket and avoid the hair dye at home (it will not work in your dark blonde hair!!).
Do not get your navel pierced….or if you do, remember that if you are allergic to surgical steel earrings, you will be allergic to surgical steel navel bars (even if your infected belly button will get you out of classes pretty much whenever you like because it looks so disgusting, it’s not worth it).
Learn how to manage your finances. (Do not trust your father to teach you about this).
Make time to spend with your family. It will make things much easier as you deal with the rollercoaster ride you’ll go on in years to come with them.
Your worldview is going to change pretty radically in the next 14 months. Um, when the time comes to explain that to your family (particularly your mother and Nana) choose your words carefully so they don’t think you’ve joined a suicide cult.
Don’t put up with guys who treat you poorly. They are not worth it, and it is better to be single than to be with the wrong guy. Do not let them put pressure on you or make you feel guilty. In fact, while you are at university you might be wise to just not get involved in any relationships like that altogether!!
As I write from 10 years in the future, know that you love to sing even more than before (so Standard Grade Music wasn’t such a waste of time after all, huh?). You’ve been to Australia, South Africa, New York City, travelled around Europe, and you are still writing. Some of the people that you didn’t get on with in high school are now your close friends. You now love Starbucks (you’ll grow to love their hot chocolate). You still love to e-mail, and you will make even more friends online in the years to come. There’ll be great tools you’ll discover like blogging, facebook, twitter and skype! I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the next decade you are yet to face is all milk, honey and apple strudel…
…but I promise you it’ll all be worth it.
Lots of love,
PS – It’s now 16 years in the future, and I’d like to reassure you that you saw the light again and realised that Starbucks Hot Chocolate is indeed the worst, plus they don’t pay their taxes in the UK so you’re still avoiding them as much as possible. I think you’ll be happy to know that.