Hindsight is an amazing thing.
It is also very annoying.
As teenagers we thing we run the world , know everything and are invincible. If only I still felt like that. Now my life runs in a way where I am indecisive, I worry about everything , have a crapload of responsiblity and I care way too much about what other people think.
I saw some teenagers down the beach recently while I was walking my dog. As I went past I heard this young girl whinging about how her parents wouldn’t buy her the latest iphone 5. They were “just so unfair “ and how she wanted to just move out with her boyfriend. She couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen years old.
It got me thinking about my own good and bad experiences as a teenager and what I had learned over my lifetime. It prompted me to write this letter to my teenage self, passing on some advice I wish I had known back then.
Yes you. The one who knows everything. Who eats whatever she likes and still fits in to those tiny clothes from Supre. Let me tell you something, if you think life is going to be one big party forever you are sadly mistaken.
1. It’s time to knuckle down and make some decisions. You still haven’t bothered to go for your license yet, when are you going to get around to that? You won’t always want to live in a small town forever, where you just walk from place to place. You are going to need a car to get a decent job. Now get on with it, times a wasting.
2. Stop blowing all your money on cigarettes and alcohol. That stuff is just no good for you. Once you get to my age you will kick yourself for the premature wrinkles that are showing up. Swap it for some H2o and some fresh air and do some real exercise, increase your muscle tone and bone strength. Cruising from house party to house party is not cardio.
3. Don’t be afraid to increase your network, become passionate about something. Your small town friends will still be here in a few years time. Don’t you go eyeing off that bad boy with those tattoos either, nothing good will come of hooking up with him. Find yourself a nice guy, they exist I promise. A nice guy will never make you feel insecure, cheat on you or throw a punch at anyone who looks at you. That’s not called protective, it’s called mentally disturbed.
4. Don’t get any credit cards or loans. Those things are like a moth to a flame. It looks all bright and sparkly from a distance, but once you get too close and commit, you are going to burn.
5. Get a job you love. I know you don’t love your checkout chick gig. You are good at it I must admit, but you don’t actually like it. Stop wasting your life and find something you love doing, even if it means going back to study it to get there.
6. Start putting money away for a house deposit now. There is not as much time later as you think. One day you will want to have children and be a stay at home mum. Paying off a mortgage sooner rather than later is a much smarter thing to do.
7. Be compassionate towards other people. I know that you have had some seriously tough times in your life. I promise you will have more, but someone else will always be doing it tougher. Keep your eyes open and be prepared to help another in need.
8. Take lots of photos. Take them of everything and everyone and store them in a safe place. You won’t believe how much you will enjoy them later. Also at your age, it is just one of those unfortunate things, that several of your friends will already be dead before you hit your twenties, make sure you have photos to remember them.
9. Don’t ever be cruel to the nerd. Don’t stand back and stay quiet while other’s are mean to the nerd either. They deserve kindness and respect just as much as you. And you know what? one day, they could be your boss and you will be glad you stood for something right.
10. Read lots of books. Expand your vocabulary and your mind. Lots of people write in order to teach others how to overcome mistakes they themselves made. You might learn something life-changing.
11. Put more time into training your dog. He is so smart but so bored and is desperate for you to teach him something. Stop pressing the snooze button and get up and make him learn. He would be perfect for movies if only you put the time into him.
12. Tell your mum and dad you love them more often. I realise that they are being impossible right now and I still don’t believe they made all the right decisions, but one day they will be there for you in ways you never thought they would. Especially mum, she is much more sensitive and harder on herself than you know. She will also one day, become one of your closest friends. Treasure her.
13. Handbags and shoes are not as vital to your survival as you think they are. Do some sums on how much money you would save a year not buying those designer money pits. You could travel. See the world. Please do that, you will wish you had later when you don’t have the time or money.
14. Fuel your body with healthy organic foods and make sure you get enough regular sleep. You will witness some very ill people in your time and you don’t want to feel as I do, the person who abused their body for so long unharmed while another suffered in agony for no real reason except that it’s just unfair. When you eat food like this you will feel amazing in a way that your party lifestyle does not even compare to.
15. Don’t collect things that are not either valuable or sentimental. These things will drag you down physically and emotionally and make you need a bigger home than you actually do. Letting go can be extremely therapeutic.
16.Enter as many competitions as you can. If you want to go on a reality show like the amazing race, just do it. You won’t want to leave your kids once you have them even though you are just dying for some sort of adventure that doesn’t require packing a suitcase for something the size of a teddy.
17. Take care of your back. You only have one and to live with pain is no fun. Stretch, strengthen your core and practice good posture. You can thank me for this later.
18. Have kids earlier. You will want lots of them trust me, they are so much fun. Just don’t wait too long. Start early so you can still have the energy to keep up with the youngest of them. Make sure you have them all with a man who treats you well and has the same values as you. When you pick him, make sure he’s the one for the rest of your life. It will be worth it if you pick right.
19.AND LASTLY..Enjoy where your boobs sit right now. They will never look like that again.