Through a newspaper article I found out about a book called Dear Me in which celebrities write a letter to their 16 year old self. On the website for the book, readers have submitted their own letters, there is so many different ones to read, some beautiful, some sad, all that make you think.
So I thought, if given the chance, what would I write to my 16 year old self?
Well I decided to give it a go, here goes…………..
Dear 16 Year old Me,
Wow 16, it seems so long ago, how much you have grown, changed, experienced, yet I still look at you in photographs and see me there, see a spark of what I was, and what I was yet to become.
I tried to find a photograph of you alone, but most of them you are happily cuddling up to your niece, Jazmine. Your big sister Tamina has just made you and aunty, something that came as a surprise, and a while to get used to, but you loved in the end.
That little baby is not so little anymore, now she is 15, not long off the age that you were in this photo (but with much better dress sense then you had!). I look at this photo and I remember the joy of holding her in your arms for the first time, she was so teeny tiny, yet now she is taller than you!
You will happily push Jazmine around in a pram at the shops, bringing many stares and nasty remarks from other people. They all think she is yours, that you are a teen Mum, you will have some really harsh things said to you, it will hurt you, some will even make you cry.
Try not to dwell on it too much, from where I sit now, I realise this was a good example in life for you not to judge a book by its cover.
One day you will become a Mother yourself, you will crave to have your big sister beside you once again, to give you hints of what worked for her, to share Motherhood stories, to just share life. I am sorry to say sweetheart, this wont be able to happen.
In two years time, your life will come crashing down when your beautiful sis looses a brave, hard battle with cancer. You will have a huge ache inside your heart, some mornings as you wake up you will need to remind yourself to just breathe.
You will feel like you will never get to smile again……………………. you haven’t lost your smile, or your laugh, although it won’t feel that way at the time, you will find many other beautiful things in life, though Tamina will always hold a special part in your life, in fact you will include her name as one of your daughters middle names, this will make her feel very special.
If I remember correctly, right now you feel that you are not so great at anything, you don’t get the best marks in school, you are not sporty, or popular, or have any hobby that you excel in.
You wonder if you will ever be great at anything. Well I can tell you that you will, you will be great at being yourself.
You will find your own passions in life, the things that make you tick, you will remain a bit kooky like you are right now, some people may want to tear you down, but you will remain yourself, and will be great at being the unique person that you are, don’t ever start to believe any of those people who try to make you feel otherwise.
You will get a really (and I mean REALLY) bad haircut that will seem like forever to grow out but it will (though I am still cringing at the photos when I look at them now!).
You will lose contact with some friends, make some other new ones, and I am happy to say stay in contact with some of the lovely girls you are friends with right now, they will be a huge part of your life, you will feel like you get to “grow up” with them.
Friendship will be an important part of your life, and you will be lucky to call some really amazing people “friends” though they feel more like “family”.
Your heart will be broken, more than once, but please do me a favour, when you meet a guy named Jamie, try not to be too hard on him, regardless of the fact that you think he is just like the others, he isn’t.
You will learn the true meaning of unconditional love when you become a Mummy, you are blessed to have 2 beautiful, healthy, children, a pigeon pair. You will learn the true meaning of “exhaustion” by being a Mum, but it will be all so worth it for the endless supply of cuddles, kisses and moments of hearing the words “I love you Mummy”.
As a 16-year-old you can’t wait to be an adult so that you can know all there is to know about life, well darling, I have to tell you, I STILL don’t know all there is to know, you will realise that life is just one huge never-ending lesson.
I’m 31 when I write this, I look a little bit different then what you do now, and I feel a little different too, but that 16 you is still there.
Life has been full on, a rollercoaster of ups and downs, highs and lows, laughter and tears, but is has been all worth it.
I must go now 16-year-old me, I wish I could somehow give you a huge hug, and whisper in your ear “you will be ok”.
I do want to tell you one thing though, stop comparing yourself, your body, your ability to others, you are beautiful, exactly as you are.
I love you,
31-year-old Me xx
What would you write to a 16- year-old you?