I’ve just returned from one of my oldest pals birthday parties. It was held at her parents home, where I spent 80% of my teen years watching films, gossiping and pretending we were actually cooler than we really were.
Today was a serious blast from the past and gave me all the nostalgia for being 14 and unsure about all things in life (how to dress, how to do my hair & especially how to make boys like me).
It got me thinking; wow I wish I could go back to my 14 year old self and tell her that things actually turn out just fine. I made it through all social disasters in school, I got a degree, got employed and even managed to find myself a real gentleman.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But here’s all the things I would loved to have known when I was the wild age of 14.
Dear 14 year old self:
HE’S NOT WORTH IT. Yeah, I get it. You think he’s the best thing since sliced bread, he puts 10 kisses at the end of his lame-o text messages and he bought you a ‘Me2You’ teddy bear on Valentine’s Day.
But the moment he sends you that break up text and you feel like your world is going into melt down, please remember this my 14 year old self; he’s not worth it.
He’s 14 and he’s got really crap hair and hasn’t quite discovered how to dress himself yet. Sure, he’s served his purpose as your very first ‘love’ but soon a guy will come along that makes you wonder whether you’ve ever looked at anyone else in the same way at all. The best is yet to come.
YOUR BODY WILL CHANGE. There will come a moment in life when you stop comparing your waist/chest/height with everyone else.
In fact, my 14 year old self, I know it’s hard to believe but there will be a day when you and your body are actually really, really good friends. You’re still growing and changing and transforming so give your body some respect; it’s going through a lot. One day you’ll be the best of pals and feel sassy AF and proud to call it your own.
YOUR PARENTS ARE THE BOMB AND DONT YOU FORGET IT. So perhaps you don’t always see eye to eye right now but in future years you won’t see them everyday and you’ll really look forward to visiting them for dinner. You’ll actually miss those early morning conversations (my dad saying good morning, me mumbling in reply). And you’ll actually miss their general company and rubbish stories over dinner.
I know right, so weird.
Your parents are the bomb. Give them some slack, they’re just trying to do what’s best for you. So maybe they don’t want you to go down the park until 12pm like everyone else, and maybe they would prefer it if you didn’t stay round your boyfriends house every night – they’re just trying to look after you and mould you into a fabulous human being (which FYI they succeeded in doing, if I do say so myself. Good work, guys).
KEEP THAT DENIM JACKET/ADIDAS TRAINERS/90s SCRUNCHIE/DENIM DUNGEREE DRESS. This stuff all comes waaaaay back into fashion in ten years time so do me a favour and stash it away. I’ll be forever grateful. Because just like my 14 year old self, my 24 year old self is also skint as hell and craving new clothes to keep up with the trends. Some things never change.
VALUE FRIENDSHIPS. Do I need to spell that one out for you? Some of the people you meet at 14 will be your pals for life. Probably because you met them at 14 and they know far too much dirt on you for you guys ever not to be mates. And yes, you won’t have as much in common 10 years down the line, but these people will be the ones you can always go back to rely on.
AND DON’T SWEAT IT OVER FRENIMIES…They won’t be around forever. They won’t always talk about you behind your back. And if they do, you sure as well won’t know about it ’cause you’ll be far in the distance making a success of things.
In fact, you’ll see them miserably strolling the town 10 years on and stare in disbelief at how far you’ve come and how little they look like they’ve changed. Karma has a funny way of biting people in the bum.
Mean girls will always be mean girls, but once you finish education you don’t have to be in the same vicinity as them ever again. So hold your head high and take it as a compliment that someone wants to spend the whole of their maths lesson talking about you.
YOUR GCSE’S WON’T MEAN DIDDLY SQUAT IN 10 YEARS TIME. Oh flippin hell, I wish I was wrong about this one. I wish kick ass GCSE’s impressed employers so much that they handed jobs to you on a plate there and then.
‘Oh wow, all A*s and As? Here, you’re hired!’
The truth is, GCSEs will open immediate doors for you (like college and university), which don’t get me wrong, is really great. But they sure as hell won’t really mean anything in the long run. So try your hardest. But don’t lose sleep over it. You’ll find your way however you do academically.
And I’ll let you into a little secret; getting an ace job is all about who you know and how personable you are anyway. So how about working harder on that.
NO ONE WILL REMEMBER THAT TIME A BALL SMACKED YOU IN THE FACE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLAYGROUND – I PROMISE. Dear 14 year old self; I know it might feel like the whole world swallowed you up the day that ball hit you in the face and you feel like you’ll never live it down. I know it was real embarrassing and everyone saw you cry (including that guy in the year above that you think is kinda cute – he’s not btw).
But this, along with allllllll the other cringeworthy stuff that happen at school, will be old news by the time you leave.
You should be more concerned about the cringeworthy drunk shenanigans you get yourself into in years to come – now that kinda stuff people don’t forget.
PROM WON’T BE THE BEST PARTY YOU EVER GO TO. Like seriously, stop stressing over what to wear – you’ll spill cheap wine and tears down it anyway. Forget finding a ‘date’. Go with your gal pals, the ones you’ve actually journeyed through school with. And remember that this is probably going to be the worst party you ever go to, laced with lame expectations and disappointment.
Enjoy it for what it is – the end of an era – and look forward to all the wild and exciting parties to come; university halls shindigs, house warming gatherings and oh so adult dinner parties that turn into conservatory discos.
ENJOY BEING ‘RESPONSIBILTY-LESS’. Right now, the biggest responsibility you have is ensuring you get your butt to school by 8.45am and making sure your tie is the right length. Revel in that. Savour every last minute. Because some day you’ll have bills to pay and a house to clean and food shopping to do and targets to meet.
So skip to school, laugh like a goofball more and really take the time to appreciate having zero responsibilities that actually matter in the real world. And no, making sure your hair is poker straight every morning is not a real responsibility.
Like I said, hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?
Happy Sunday everyone. Hope you’re lounging around relaxing in any way you see fit (eating endless amounts of roast dinner).
Very wise words and good Advice, some Relevant in latter years too.