This post was written as a guest post for the lovely Neve’s blog series ‘Dear Neve.’ Please read all the rest of the series here. They are truly inspiring stories.
This post was one of my favourites to write and honestly it made me a little emotional. I had such a lovely childhood and was so lucky in so many aspects. But unfortunately, like most teenagers, I went through episodes of bullying, friendship issues, boy troubles and struggled with a lack of self confidence. Until writing this, I had never given much thought to how I felt growing up, especially during the transition from kid to young adult. This was such a wonderful chance to process things I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Anyway here it is..
Dear 16-year-old Chloe,
I wanted to start with a reminder. You are beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted and so incredibly worthy of love and all the other good things life has to offer, even if you don’t believe it right now.
Oh my gosh I am so incredibly excited for you and everything you are about to experience. The next 6 years will be a roller coaster, but please make the most of every little moment because you’re about to enter some of the best years of your life. You’ll go adventures, fall in and out of love, discover the meaning of true friends and find people who really do get you. I don’t want to spoil it all because there’s no fun in that. But please please grab life with both hands and don’t look back. I promise the hard times will be worth and you will make it out the other end. Life will surprise you, and it may not go exactly how you thought it would but trust me, life knows what it’s doing, and so far it hasn’t let me down.
I’m going to leave you with a few bits of advice. Things I know you already know but sometimes you need a little push. A little reassurance. So here goes..
Trust your instincts and be selfish. No he’s not right for you, but it won’t be long till you find the courage to end it. You won’t realise until much later just how toxic that relationship was. Pressure to do things you’re not ready for, guilt because you would if you truly cared for him. I’m so glad you stuck to your guns and said no. You are allowed to break things off even though it will break his heart. You are allowed to be selfish and do what’s best for you. And I promise, despite feeling like there’s no one else out there who will love you, you’ll celebrate when you end things. More than that you’ll meet the man of your dreams pretty soon and he will treat you like the god damm princess you are!
You are beautiful and special. Please stop comparing yourself to others. Yes, they may get more attention but you know deep down that is not the kind of attention you want. You don’t need to be someone you’re not. Don’t believe a single word of negativity you get told. Believe me when I say you’ll have the last laugh. You’ll leave that town and become someone I am incredibly proud of. And all of them? Well they’ll be stuck in the same old routine wanting something more. You do you, and you will have the best life.
I hate to say it because I know how much it worries you, but you will lose touch with your friends from school. But that’s not a bad thing. Sure every so often you’ll think of them and won’t help but feel sad. But the future is full of so many amazing people you are yet to meet. Your kind of people. No more shitty friendships full of arguments and jealousy and pettiness – which, after all, is all you’ve ever wanted. Once again have the courage to let people go, to realise when they’re no longer making you happy, and surround yourself with people who do.
Please try to be kinder to mum. Involve her more in your life – she understands more than you think she will. You only get one mum and we lucked out because ours is pretty amazing. Please treat her that way. She will be your best and fiercest friend if you let her. I don’t want you to leave it to late, until you move away, to start appreciating her like I did.
And finally do not worry about the future. Like I said before you are about to go on this most wonderful journey. I know you have so many questions for me. What was college like? Do we get to University? Do we graduate? Are we still going to teach? Who is that boy!? But trust your older and (a tiny bit) wiser self – everything works out for the best.
I wish I could come along for the ride all over again, but it is for you to experience on your own. Just stay true to you and have confidence in yourself and your decisions. But more importantly, let me worry about the boring future stuff, go out and enjoy life!
All my love,
22-year-old Chloe x