A Letter to my Younger Self

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Life has a funny way of switching around. When things go bad, everything goes wrong.

Yet, pain is always temporary. It can and will get better.

Things we think are the end of the world, won’t matter in two, three, ten years. Live every day and make the days count.

This open letter is to inspire and guide somebody younger than me on this rollercoaster called life.

Hey, life is filled with experiences and tests and trials. You’ll grow. You’ll learn.

It’s not always fun. But, that’s life.

School

For somebody who loved school, the learning, the teachers, the environment. I also hated school. I hated the thought of school. I’d come up with excuses to stay at home.

I hated some people in my classes. I look back now and I didn’t hate them all. But, at the time, it felt like it.

The playground was the worst. I’d spend time in the medical room, just to be away from it.

“You can’t keep asking to go home with your mum”.

“Don’t you know the story about the boy who cried wolf?”.

“There’s nothing wrong with you”.

But there was. My heart would be beating so fast. I’d feel sick. I’d feel dizzy. The thought of going outside and having to deal with “midget”, or “geek”. Words that are laughable now just didn’t feel it back then.

I hated the librarian for sending me back out into it all.

I would be laughed at for not wearing makeup to school. It’s okay that you don’t wear makeup. You don’t have to force yourself to wear it just because it’s not cool not to. Your skin will thank you later when your skin is clear and they’re dealing with breakouts.

So, don’t listen to them. Do well in school. What they say now isn’t going to matter in ten years. It won’t even matter in five. They’ll laugh at you for having good grammar and taking pride in your work, they’ll laugh at you for reading a book in 3 days straight, they’ll laugh at you for “trying to dance”.

You’ll be the one laughing when they’re asking for “tips to start a blog”, or trying to look edgy in coffee shops reading books and asking where you danced as they want to send their daughter to ballet lessons.

It all comes back around.

Friendship

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Girls will be mean. I desperately wanted to be part of a girl group. I wanted the big group of friends. I wanted to fit in.

There were times when the girl group would exclude me from sleepovers, playing out, parties just to make you feel not good enough to hang around with them.

Remember: you don’t need anybody toxic in your life that makes you feel worthless.

Be friends with the people that are proud of your accomplishments and encourage you to be better. Do the same for them. Make your circle a solid one with friends who care about you. Be kind to people.

If I’d have known that when I would turn 15, I’d be placed next to a girl in form, called Abigail and she’d be different to any other friend that I had before and we would become best friends the same day, I wouldn’t have believed it. But, it happened.

Wait around a little because you’ll find good friends. You’ll know when you meet them.

Accept that you’ll outgrow some friendships. Time will run out on them and that’s okay.

But, it’s also okay to accept that when you’ve done some growing up, you might find each other again. Never be too proud to apologise and move forward.

Don’t wear yourself out putting in the effort to work on friendships that aren’t reciprocating.

Work

When you get your first job, people will laugh. They’ll call you “Miss Waitrose” or whatever fits. They’ll make a point to visit and go through your till just to pull a face at you.

I didn’t care then. You shouldn’t either.

Because, once you’re the one constantly shopping on payday or changing your spending money into dollars, they’ll suddenly ask if there are “any jobs going?“. They’ll ask for a good word to be put in. They’ll ask you to take their CV.

By the way: everybody that passed me your CV, just know that I read it, laughed at your grammar and shredded it, in case you were still waiting to hear back 10 years later…

You don’t have to settle for the job you’re in, just because you currently have one. You never have to stop looking. Never stop learning. Don’t be afraid to apply for a job that you’re not entirely qualified for. Everybody is learning. Be willing to listen and start from the bottom.

Don’t be put off by applying for a job that’s “suited for older people”. Surprise them when you get an interview. Surprise them, even more, when you get the job. Surprise them when you’re so good at the job that you were so nervous about. Show them that you can do it.

Find a job you’re passionate about. Even if that means changing every so often. It’s okay to apply to the same place four or five times before you even get an interview. Show them what they were missing before. Be so good at your job and put your soul into it that you get nominated for Employee of the Year after working there just four months. But, don’t be afraid to have to sacrifice a job you love for a life you love.

Find something to keep you creative. Whether that’s a blog. A scrapbook. A One Second Everyday video. Keep your mind active and have a creative outlet outside of work. Work on your own projects. Invest in yourself.

Tough times at work are hard, but they’re temporary. Remember, we’re all human, we all make mistakes. Hold your hands up and apologise when you accidentally double booked your boss for two meetings. You’ll get through whatever it is you’ve done.

Your colleagues will become some of your best friends. You’ll share memories with them. You’ll cry with them. You’ll laugh with them. You’re all going through the same. When you move on, you might not see each other again and that’s okay. Friendships don’t always last forever. Enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Money

You’ll always have the chance to make more money, but you won’t always have the chance to make more memories.

Spend your money doing what you love. Live within your means but never be afraid to spend it on something you want, or need.

Invest your money on holidays and travel. You’ll see amazing things. You’ll experience ways of life that you never even thought were possible. You never have to stop learning.

Make sure you have enough money to live on, invest the rest in something you want. Wait a while until you buy something, do you still want every expansion pack of the Sims 3 months later? If you do, great, go get it. If you don’t, you’ve saved yourself £100.

Buy the boots. Buy the jacket. Buy the T-shirt. If that’s what you want and you’ve got the money, get it. I guarantee it will be gone the next time you go in the shop.

Book the flights on Skyscanner when you see it’s at an all-time low price. Spread your hotels on a payment plan. Spend your money where you want to spend it. You’ve earnt it.

Never let anybody tell you where to spend your money. Never let anybody make you feel guilty for spending your money.

Your money, your rules.

Love

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In your life, you’ll do things greater than date a boy. Work on doing things you love and the right boy will come along.

Don’t make excuses for people who don’t invest 100% in you. Don’t lie for them either. You’ll have a long time trying to convince the fact that they weren’t actually as good as you painted them to be.

You’ll want to lie for them and cover for them. You don’t want people to worry or think less of you.

Be honest. Move on.

You’ll finally accept yourself that they’re actually the bad one and it won’t be fun. It’ll be less fun when you’re trying to convince people what they were actually like.

You’ll cover for someone and they’ll still ‘like‘ their photos on Facebook or send them a message. Long after you’ve moved on and realised what they’re like. That makes it worse.

Heartache isn’t fun. You’ll feel like the world crashes down. But, you get over it. It feels bad now. But, you’ll bounce back and find somebody 100x better whom you won’t have to cover for. Somebody who does invest 100% in you and does respect you.

Don’t ever let yourself be disrespected or made to feel not good enough. Don’t listen to that lad who told you that you need to lose weight when you were only a size 8. Block the boy back who blocks you at weekends so that you can’t message whilst he’s with his girlfriend. Those people don’t deserve your time. Don’t go out of your way to try and make them jealous. It doesn’t work.

The right person will come into your life when you least expect it and show you why it never worked out with anybody else. Later on, you’ll laugh about it. You’ll grow from it.

Time can heal almost anything. You’ll find out who you’re supposed to be. Life comes with lessons and experiences.

Spend time with your family. Invest in yourself.
Give back. Support each other. Be kind.

Hasta luego,

Lauren signature

This post was made in collaboration with Rhianna from https://www.lovefortydown.com. Be sure to read what she wrote on her blog here:

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

7 thoughts on “A Letter to my Younger Self

  1. Awesome. Love your perspective on money. Short – got a kick out of that. My daughter was also short. She was the butt of jokes too. We adopted her from the foster care system, had the same issue, and now is an Emergency Registered nurse. It is you who will have the last laugh

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

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