If it’s normal for most teenagers and 20 somethings to constantly pick themselves apart and worry about how they look, behave, and whether the direction they’re heading in is the right one…then I’ve had a very normal experience of growing up.
Recently I’ve been inspired by women in the public eye, friends and even strangers, to be honest with myself and to try to turn over a new leaf of self acceptance. I know I’m not perfect, far from it – and I’ve still got a lot about life to learn, but my resolution this year is to be less focused on this false idea of ‘perfection’ and actually give myself less of a hard time quite frankly.
So I wrote a letter to my 20-year-old self, what things might I tell myself then if I could go back to do it all over…
You feel like your struggling to keep up at Uni, struggling to grasp all the concepts and theories but you’re actually doing better than you think – and all those unsociable hours in the library, head in a book, writing reams of notes will eventually pay off. You are smart. Enjoy it, don’t fear it.
You should not pluck your eyebrows! You don’t know what HD Brows are yet, but it’s going to bite you later when you want to look like Cara Delevingne and you’ve totally annihilated them!
You are not FAT! Even if you were, this is not a reason to hate yourself just because you are not a size 8. There is more to life and more to you.
Having social anxiety about not being good enough or living up to people’s expectations or judgements is pointless, anyone who looks at you that way isn’t someone you want to be around. Chances are they aren’t even looking at you or judging you at all…it’s all in your mind. A lot of things are in your mind.
Similarly, comparing yourself to others because you perceive their lives, looks and loves to be more interesting and superior to your own is SUCH a waste of your time. And you waste a LOT of time doing this. You are enough.
You will make mistakes, you will hurt people and you will kick yourself for lack of self-control, lack of feeling and having a lot of opinions. But ultimately the bad doesn’t outweigh the good, and we all make mistakes. You will learn from them. You are a good person.
You have the love of a very special person, don’t take it for granted. He is the only one who will love you for exactly who you are now, and who you will become. Let him in.
Lots of love
What advice would you give your younger self? What three things would you tell that person to do, say feel? I’d love to know.