I have good news, and I have bad news. Let' start with the bad news, as I believe that is traditional...
The lovely Emma invited me to guest post over on The Awkward Magazine, writing a letter to my 16 year old self. It definitely got me thinking. It's only been seven years since I was 16, but I feel like I am a million miles away from where I was then. I was awkward and shy, anxious and unsure. I'm still those things some of the time, but most of the time I am pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself.
It's not so much that I would want to give 16 year old me advice, because I had my head screwed on and I could have maybe done with making more mistakes (how many people say that, huh?). It's more that I want to give myself reassurance. Reassurance that being a grown up is so much better than being a teenager, and that no one is their best self at 16, no one is living up to their potential, and it really does get pretty incredible once you leave home, have more choices (and more disposable income!). Even if you do have to pay rent every month and get up early to go to work, even during the summer holidays.
My sister is 16 right now. She's so much more of a bad ass than I was (not that it's that difficult!). Sometimes I want to gather her and her friends under my wing like a mother hen, and give them some of that reassurance. Tell them how brilliant they are, and how much they have ahead of them. To stop worrying about what they look like right now, because no one is their most beautiful at 16. That how popular you are at school doesn't define you - not now, and certainly not when you leave. That being a grown-up is going to be so much fun. Just stick the braces and the awkwardness and the anxiety about the future for a little bit longer and it will all be okay. I want to tell them that I am in awe of them, and how brave and brilliant they are, that they make 16-year-old me look like a wimpy wet rag in comparison. Of course, they wouldn't listen, just like my 16-year-old never listened to the wise words of my elders. But it still feels worth saying.
What would you tell your 16 year old self?