Sunday, 25 September 2016

Things I'd Tell My 14 Year Old Self

Letter to my teenage self

FYI these two images were taken in the exact same spot in my bedroom 10 years apart

As you probably know, if you've taken a look at my sidebar, I'm 24, which means it's been a full decade since I was 14. How has it been 10 years since Chad Michael Murray was my main celebrity crush (there were many) and I was listening to JoJo, Danity Kane and the High School Musical soundtrack on my iPod Mini? Can you tell I spend a lot of my time procrastinating on Buzzfeed?

Even though many things are the same; I still live at home, my wardrobes and drawers are bursting at the seams and there's still no sign of a boyfriend, so many other things have changed, particularly how I treat and see myself. Here is what I would tell my 14 year old self;

You are not fat...
For years I allowed this very thought to rule my life. I was never bigger than a size 12 but for some reason I felt like an absolute whale. It probably had something to do with the fact that my body was changing. I got stretch marks. I had cellulite. But instead of just viewing this as something that basically everyone has, especially as their body changes and curves emerge, I reiterated over and over again that I was 'so fat!' I never felt as pretty or as thin as my friends. When boys let it be known that they 'fancied' me, I thought to myself, surely this must be some kind of Ashton Kutcher style Punk'd kind of thing. Who could like someone like me? Who could like someone that looked like me? It's sad really because I never felt good about myself during those years and as a result I said no to almost everything. It also didn't help that everyone I watched on TV and read about in magazines (Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton, etc.) were basically skeletal.

I know you hate PE and just fainted in the gym (twice) but...
Exercise is important. This year I had the misfortune of having an issue with the nerves in my feet, something that is still ongoing but for several weeks at the start of the year I struggled to walk any kind of distance without my feet being in agony. In just a couple of weeks, I experienced muscle weakness in my legs as a result. It got so bad that I was referred to a physiotherapist who then had to retrain the muscles in my legs whilst my feet recovered. Now my legs have never been stronger and my fitness is better than ever. I've never been particularly fit and hated things like athletics and cross country running at school but to be able to walk for miles and miles without getting out of breath or having tired legs is a big difference for me. I actually push myself to hit certain targets now, something 14 year old me would never have done.

Please pay a bit more attention in computing...
When I first started my blog I completely customised my free template but that took a lot of time and countless pages of Google being open, to do so. HTML is definitely something that you end up having to wrap your head around at various points in your blogging journey and it would certainly be a lot easier to understand had I truly listened in certain lessons.

You will meet people with similar interests...
In school basically everyone was obsessed with getting drunk and going to the 'unders' nightclubs in town. Neither of these appealed to me in the slightest and as a result I ended up making acquaintances rather than lifelong friends in those years, as more and more I would say no thanks to one of those nights or weekends. What a difference it makes when you meet or interact with individuals who get you and what you like, who also have similar interests. Through blogging that's exactly who I've met. Even just having a conversation on Twitter about what we've been buying in the Topshop sale or what movie or TV show we've just watched and loved, is a big deal when you've felt for years that no-one quite likes what you do.

Stop stressing about exams/tests...
If only 14 year old me had had access to inspirational quotes like 24 year old me does thanks to Pinterest. I always make sure to repin any variation of the 'worrying solves nothing' quote because honestly, it doesn't.

There will be a day when you're no longer shy...
I was the kind of child who hid behind the legs of their parents when meeting new people and even when I was at school I would get so nervous about the smallest things. Doing anything new or going places I'd never been before would leave me with butterflies in my stomach but like all of the time. To think that I now regularly go new places, meet new people and try new things, all thanks to this little blog of mine is something that would have blown my 14 year old mind.

Print out or back up your photographs...
When I was in my early teens, digital cameras and camera phones were just starting to become a thing and more importantly, an affordable thing. The amount of photographs I took that never made their way onto Bebo or sat in a folder named 'Ellis' Pics' on our big family desktop, back when the monitor was literally the same size as a microwave, if not bigger, all of which I now no longer have. I wish I had printed some of those photographs out or at least put them onto a USB to reminisce nowadays.

Stop straightening your hair to within an inch of it's life...
I must have been about 14 years old, or maybe even a little bit younger, when I received my very first pair of ghds for Christmas. As someone with naturally curly hair that can get a little frizzy, the fact that I could achieve poker straight hair at home was a very big deal. Only now can I look back and laugh about how obsessive I was when it came to my hair and having it straight. If my hair had the slightest kink in it it would seriously bother me. I couldn't leave the house, even just to pop to Asda or somewhere like that, without having my hair sitting perfectly. When I think about it now, it seems so silly but I would straight up get upset if it wasn't sleek and straight.

So there you have it. What would you tell your 14 year old or teenage self? And what kind of teenager were you?


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