My partner’s little sister is turning 18 this weekend, and offering her a few words of advice has led me to reflect on what insight I would impart on on myself ten years ago, if I had the opportunity to. So here is a letter to my 18 year old self…
A letter to my 18 year old self.
Hey Little One,
Well done on making it through a terrifying year. I know you didn’t think you would. Thank goodness for great friends, huh? Keep those ones close, and don’t worry about letting the others go. You’re locked into Schoolies but just take it all in, go along for the ride, and keep your hands to yourself (a good lesson for life, just by the bye). By the time you turn 18, they won’t really be your friends anymore but it will be fun enough. Friendships will be transient in your life, until your mid-twenties, so focus on your relationship with yourself.
This year will be a great year to focus on school. Forget dating any boys or girls, just try to treat yourself with compassion and kindness and develop as good a relationship with yourself as you can. You may not make it through the year unscathed, but the strength you gain from the challenges will be invaluable in the future. Try to distance yourself from the expectation of your parents and yourself, and that elusive ‘five year plan’… which won’t work out but might help you figure out what’s important to you in life.
Over the next few years, you will face many challenges and it’s not going to get easier for a while. If you have the opportunity to develop a relationship with your father, take it. You will find more of yourself than you ever expected, and there you will also find peace. Peace will not be found by pushing shit uphill regarding your degree but I do recommend getting that over and done with in one go (unfortunately not speaking from experience, so trust me on this one).
You are smart, you are capable, you are compassionate, and you are worthy. I want you to know that. Try to drop the focus on your weight, you have done enough damage to yourself already and you will only serve to make your metabolism more touchy. There are other attributes far more appealing than being skinny. Amongst your self-care practices, I urge you to consider self-pleasure. Accepting and encouraging intimate acts that don’t do proper justice will never end well for you. #truthbomb.
Keep writing. Keep dancing. Never get a fucking credit card (ever). Never trust your brother, and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for anything that is their shit rather than yours. Learn how to manage your money, and build up a self-love practice the will crush even the strongest pangs for self-sabotage. Ferrets are a terrible idea, so is agreeing to take a music industry job for minimum wage. Instead of a personal training certificate, take a marketing course and build your skills that way. Do your best to keep your word and finish what you start.
Life won’t turn out how you wanted, and it will take some effort to accept that. I would love to give you a list of things to avoid and ways to make things you want happen but the beauty of life is in the learning. You’re doing good, kid. Whatever will be, will be.
Love, Ceri (age 28) xx
p.s. Make sure you are at a bar in Melbourne called Cabinet around 9:30pm on a Wednesday night in late June 2011, don’t take anything but an open mind. Half of the time between now and then will be in the company of someone who truly adores, supports, and complements you. You’ll end up somewhere you never expected, but it will be an adventure entirely worth having.
It’s a tough one, isn’t it… do you warn yourself about everything or just let things happen as they were intended to unfold? Some things are so hurtful, I wouldn’t want them to happen to anyone, but I think that’s what gives me the ability as a coach to guide someone through the darkness inside themselves. Ahh, life.
What would you say in your own ‘letter to my 18 year old self’, or to yourself from 10 years ago?