5 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 15 Year Old Self
How things would be different if I knew then what I know now. I’m sure I’ll be saying the same in another seven years, but I guess that is the beauty of growing up.
Words by Eleana Davidson
When you think of the cliché mum one liners that you hear as a child, one of the more classic ones was the “be your own best friend” diamond. Mid way through one of your many life-ending newly-hormonal meltdowns, about something you couldn’t recall now even if your life depended on it, your mum would gently suggest the concept of being kind to yourself. “What would you tell your best friend in this scenario?” It would quickly be returned with an eye roll, a sigh of total disbelief of how she still just doesn’t understand you and then, swiftly carrying on with said tantrum. At fifteen years old listening to your mum was not cool; admitting to yourself that she might even slightly have a point was even worse. Which meant being your own best friend was definitely not on the agenda, especially when, at any given moment, the world was just seconds away from crumbling into pieces. Fast forward seven years, there are a few things I wish with all my soul that I could have told my fifteen year old self which would have prevented so much heartache and so much simply unnecessary worry. They are as follows:
Put down the box of Peroxide Blonde hair dye
The notion of that my naturally ashy blonde hair was what best suited my complexion and a colouring quite obviously escaped my young brain, as you’ll see from the odd photo; that escaped it’s painful death on the fire pit (or in modern terms, the untag button) that for a good few years I sported a awfully yellow toned bleached do. Not my finest look by any means, but maybe a notch better than the dark reddy brown strands I swapped it out for a year or so later. Note to 2011 self: leave your beautiful beachy blonde waves alone, because you only end up spending hundreds of pounds in the future trying to replicate that exact look - idiot girl.
Be kinder to your mum
You spend your teen years much like how I depicted in my opening paragraph, thinking you’re the smartest person on the planet and your mother is pretty much your worst enemy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. As the years go by, my mum has told the tale of being the primary caregiver of two teenage girls, pretty much single-handedly and my God, does my heart go out to her. Picture this. It’s my younger sister’s birthday, one minute past midnight, my mum, having forced her eyes to stay open that late after a day from hell at work, is walking up the stairs, armoured with a birthday cake, presents, cards, the lot. A gentle tap on the bedroom door, singing voice at the ready. “NO, NOT TONIGHT MUM” comes bellowing from the other side of the wooden barrier, my sister clearly wasn’t in the celebrating mood. So back down the stairs, my lovely mum goes. Victoria sponge in the fridge and cries herself to sleep. It’s crazy to think we were so cruel and yet she was so forgiving. I guess that’s the nature of mums, but if there was one piece of advice I could have offered my fifteen year old self, be kinder to your mum. She’s struggling, but she’s still trying. Help her, she’s your best friend and number one fan. You’ll realise that one day.
Little boobs will be fashionable one day
Fear not young one, bralets and crop tops will be your best friends in a few years and your Double D cup friends will envy those little pecks of yours, I promise you. Don’t wish them away or hide them under layers of Primark extra padded bras either.
The power of saying no
The older you get, the more you’ll realise that saying no to anyone and everyone that you want is a pure talent. A rare speciality that you should hone in on, not avoid at all costs, like you once thought. No one will really care if you don’t go to that party come tomorrow. It’s not worth you sitting there all night, crumbling with social anxiety on your own, just because you’re worried about saying no to your friends. They won’t really miss you. Or if you don’t want your first kiss to be in the school car park, or you’re not really feeling the desire to neck that 70cl bottle of vodka. No, no, no. It’s okay to say no. Be proud to say no. Just say no. The earlier you realise this, the easier life really will be.
Your heart will be broken a fair few times, but it will always mend itself
My favourite quote pretty much of all time is “one day, someone will hug you so tight that all the broken pieces will stick themselves back together” and it’s a tough one to have faith in, but couldn’t ring any more true. You’ll have those days when you think your heart has been torn in two, and God does it hurt, and your pillow will be damp from all the tears you’ll shed. You’ll meet guys that you’re so utterly convinced you’re in love with, only to find out some months later, that you were so utterly wrong. Boys will break your heart, friends will leave without you even seeing it coming and even parents will break it in a way you didn’t realise was possible. But each time you’ll recover and every single time, without a shadow of a doubt, you’ll pick yourself back up and love the undeserving people all over again. It will be what makes you, you, and it will be what makes you so damn wonderful. Don’t lose your sensitivity in this cruel world and darling, you will be absolutely okay. Eat that tub of Ben and Jerry’s, cry your little heart out when you see that new Facebook relationship status or snapchat story, and let yourself be hurt, but whatever you do, do not lose faith because I can assure you, you will be hugged so tightly one day, that none of it will matter.
How things would be different if I knew then what I know now. I’m sure I’ll be saying the same in another seven years, but I guess that is the beauty of growing up. We all wouldn’t be the people we are without those testing, to say the least, teenage years. Our hearts were broken, our faiths were shaken, but we learnt that no matter what, our strength never really quivered. I think the biggest lesson above all was we learnt the hard way that life is cruel enough without adding to it yourself so you must try to be your own best friend (Okay mum, you were right). Life is cruel enough without ourselves adding to it. It really is simple, be kind to yourself, the world and always to others, and I promise you, my sweet fifteen year old self, you will, without a doubt, figure the rest out just fine. And to any of our readers; you will too.