Letters to our 16-year old selves

Today’s post is a little bit different from our usual post fodder. We’ve decided to get pretty personal, take a look back in time and write a letter to our former selves. To be specific – our 16 year-old selves in all of their teen-angst, awkward glory.

Below are the results, for your reading pleasure:

Katherine

School photo[closest photo I could find of me at 16, however I’m a tad younger – what a baby face!]

dear Katherine handwritten

16 years have passed and I can tell you know that you’re doing alright, more than alright actually. A quick sneak peek in to your future sees you as a Director based in Sydney, Australia (both S & N are here too), married to a surfer and living within a 5-minute walk from two beaches. Let me allow that to sink in for a moment!

There are a lot of areas I could write to you on. I’ve chosen friendship & love, as these are two themes currently close to your heart.

I know what you’re going through at the moment isn’t easy – you’re feeling a bit lost and alone. This will change with time. Over the next 16 years you learn a lot, grow and make some crazy mistakes – some you repeat and some you don’t (thank goodness). You’ll stumble and fall, sometimes dusting yourself off quickly and getting back up, while other times it takes you a bit longer. Allow yourself to lie on the floor for a bit if you need it but please don’t wallow. You are far more resilient than you give yourself credit for. Don’t shy away from being a tough cookie when you need to be – let your inner strength shine!

A really valuable lesson that you will learn over time is that not all girls are bitchy, catty, vapid, fickle beings. Yes, some are and you do come quite across a few in your journey. Be ok with letting these ladies out of your life – they do not add anything to it. Amongst the muck there are some truly, truly lovely ladies – focus on these ones and invest in building these relationships. You are lucky enough to end up with a wonderful network of these types of ladies – smart, funny, brilliant, ambitious, supportive women who love you for you and accept you warts and all. They enrich your life and along with their support, they offer love and laughter whenever you need it. Above all else, remember, this quote:

girls compete with each other, women empower each other.

Now, on to love. You will get your heart broken, more than once I’m afraid and some in a rather spectacular and dramatic way. You will also shed a lot of tears over the years feeling completely unworthy and lonely. Know this, love is worth it – continue to love and be loved.

You will eventually experience a love so amazingly wonderful it changes your whole world. A love that is worth fighting for … even when he drives you up the wall and you him! The man you find adores you – he’ll play his guitar for you to fall asleep to when you’re tipsy, you’re his favourite subject to photograph, he sends you love notes via song lyrics that remind him of you and he tells you that you’re beautiful every day. Yes, every day! You are beautiful and you are loved. He’s your husband and is going to be a wonderful father for your kids. You don’t have them yet, but you will (and soon if he has anything to do with it!)

Now, before I sign off, here are the final thoughts I want to share with you:

  • Believe in yourself more – you will accomplish great things.
  • Have courage.
  • Stop worrying.
  • Be true to you & your core – don’t change for anyone (you do but it doesn’t work out).
  • Embrace your sexuality and your curves.
  • Dance.
  • Laugh always.
  • Write.
  • Pick up the phone.
  • Hug, hug & hug some more.
  • Speak up, even if it’s hard.

Remember, what’s for you, won’t go past you.

love always, me, you, us handwrittenRuby

Dear Ruby,

This might seem a little strange, but I am writing to you Ruby from the future. You are a young 31 and about to embark on your next life adventure. Once you get to where I am sitting, you will be a little surprised that life unfolded they way it did. I am here to tell you a few simple words of advice that I know now to be true.

Right now you are in the depths of what must feel like sooooo much study, and you’re not even in your final year of high school. Dramatic right? I know you’ve skipped a few classes here and there because you think they’re meaningless classes, but really you can’t be bothered. Believe me when I say, the best education is yet to come, but so too is the hard work. If your Mum and Dad are telling you to study before you see your boyfriend, they aren’t really that unfair, because habits you form now are with you for life. Absorb as much of what you are passionate about, grades do count and you will make them count, but make sure you have fun with your learning.

Boys, well, where do we start? I know you are not going to like me for saying this, but the best and most amazing men are yet to come. I see you lusting after those guys with fast cars; a little rebellion in their eyes, but those things aren’t what make a man. That boy you have your eyes on right now and the angel you think you encountered that fateful day you fell on him on the bus – yes, you will be together for many happy years but, well, I won’t tell you the fairytale ending, there’s no fun in that.

Drinking and partying, I’m going to make this one simple and short, drinking feels like a whole lotta fun now, but you will get over it. It’s going to make you sick many times over. When your mum tells you not to ‘burn the candle at both ends’ it is the best advice she will give you. I know you are not going to listen to her for a long time, but after punishing your immune system repeatedly, you’ll know when it’s time to move on.

I see you wearing all that make-up to school every day, hitching up your skirt, wearing low-cut tops and high heels on weekends, all in an effort to disguise your self as an 18-year-old and sneak in to clubs. I know you’re just desperate to be that little bit older to mix it with the hotter, bigger, rugby boys because that’s how you will fit in with the crowd. You are so beautiful without that entire disguise; your smile alone can light up a room. Your creative, genuine soul is your greatest and most attractive asset. I know you are trying to fit in, but please do not ever lose that. Experiences and people might suppress it, but your passions will create a life you love.

I know you’ve been through some rough times with friends in the last couple of years. I know it’s left you feeling like you’re not sure where you fit in. Yes, girls can be bullies but these experiences are going to be telling in years to come. Those popular girls who seem to have it all, that will all change in a few years.

You have the world at your feet. You will laugh and cry many times over. Forge your own destiny because it’s there for the taking.

Xx R

a conscious beauty

This post was co-written by Katherine & Ruby, the co-founders of A Conscious Beauty.

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