An open letter to my Fourteen Year Old Self
This one is for you!
My youngest sister just turned 14 in the last couple of months. And while I wasn’t 14 so long ago, 5 and and 3/4 years to be exact, things are pretty similar, yet so different to be 14 years young in 2017. I can remember when I was 14, it was hard enough to be a teenager. Let alone all the social media that 14 year olds have now. I had Facebook, but I hadn’t jumped on the instagram, or snapchat bandwagon.
I struggled through my teen years, I still do now being in my last year of being a teenager and I guess you are always wiser in hindsight. As the saying goes "I wish I knew then what I know now". Here's some things I would tell my 14 year old self ...
So to the 14 year old girls out there or maybe you are slightly older or younger, I hope you enjoy the read and maybe take some comfort from the fact that even if your friends are saying it, everyone is battling with something at some point, you are most definitely not alone!
To my dearest Charlie,
You might find that a little funny. Charlie .. only your family call you Charlie. Well, Charlotte, further down the track your friends decided to nickname you Char (which you decided you didn’t really like that much). But don’t worry when you get to 18/19 you are known as Charlie!!
Nicknames aside, congrats for making it to your second year of being a teenager - I hope you aren’t finding the terrible teens too bad yet
You might feel like your world is pretty crazy right now, that everything revolves around you that things couldn’t get any more complicated or worse - except for the fact that you start NCEA level 1 next year. Let me be the bearer of slightly bad news .. things will get worse, but they will also get better.
Girls are bitches. Plain and simple really. We are a horrible specimen to be quite honest, (and as you know we are a girl) and sadly the nastiness doesn’t stop when you leave school, I don’t think it ever does in life to be fair. But you will learn some seriously valuable life skills that will help you navigate your way. Hang in there honey, and try to always be kind! Eventually you’ll find some fab people to surround yourself with.
It’s okay if you hate school or love school at the moment. We’ve all been there.
There's this thing called weight gain, which you are probably well aware of already. Weight and you are not exactly best friends, I know that you are already calling yourself horrible names and picking at all those little things you don’t like about yourself. This wont get you anywhere! Trust your older self, not a lot of people notice those things, you are your own worst critic! Focus on being healthy and energised, keep playing those team sports, nourish yourself with good food and be kind to yourself. The last one is important, speak kindly to yourself and about yourself.
Life isn’t always fair and easy, but life is good and crazy and fun and it's worth living - remember that one!! You might need the reminder when you are about 17.
There is this new thing called Snapchat and Instagram. The world of social media. Its pretty cool really you get to share a highlight reel of your life, but it also has downsides - “likes” start to feel like they define you and your friends. You follow all these gorgeous models and “influencers”. Just remember that they are only snapshots of people’s lives and a lot of the time it’s not completely real - there is a thing called photoshop. It does not define who you are as a person. Follow people that inspire and motivate you - it’s okay to unfollow!
Appreciate your parents, they are the best people on earth and you are so so lucky to have them on your team. You might not always agree with their decisions, or advice! But they are just doing it out of love, they always have your best intentions at heart. Plus, listen to Mum! She’s pretty much always right (don’t tell her I said that) and she likes things that will be trendy next season so definitely take note!
Be nicer to your siblings! Those three are also on your team. You are the oldest and even if they wont admit at they look up to you and you set the standard. They will pick up the dishes slack for you when you are stressed and they will always be there for you no matter what, so remember to be nice to them and try not to take your stress out on them.
Make sure you cherish all the time you have with your grandparents! Life is short and you will miss them immensely when they are gone.
You are pale and tanning in the sun will always lead to sunburn so you will learn to love fake tan! (Laugh as much as you want) No more feeling self conscious about your pale complexion. Bondi Sands is the best, you may as well skip the streaky sugar baby from the get go and just hit the bondi straight away - thank yourself later for that one.
You are a stressor and a perfectionist if you don’t already know, and you leave assignments to the last minute, only when you get to your second year of uni will you hand in an assignment two days early - clearly a bit of a slow learner. But remember that not everything needs to be perfect.
Be unapologetically yourself, its not always easy but being you is pretty cool. There is no one else out there like you, so OWN it! Be different, its okay!
You are beautiful, smart, talented, wanted and loved! Be you and have fun doing whatever you are doing, live in the moment. Make mistakes and enjoy living. As cheesy as this may sound, you only get one life so make sure you live it to the fullest and have no regrets.
You’ve got a lot to look forward to and many challenges ahead, so keep smiling, laughing and being you
All my love,
To you all you gorgeous gals out there young or old, remember you are beautiful, smart, talented, wanted and loved even though I know you probably don't feel that way sometimes.
Keep doing you!
Love and Health,