Saturday, 5 December 2015

24 Things I'd Tell My 12 Year Old Self

Hey strangers, I know I've been well and truly AWOL since I left for South East Asia a few months ago... sorry about that. I've got a looong wait for a bus so I thought I'd make an effort to post something, finally.

Confession: I started this before my 24th birthday in September, but travel plans and life admin took over and I never got around to finishing it. Whatever, here's 24 things I'd tell my 12 year old self (12 y/o because my high school-age self took her fair share of shit):

  1. Don't cut your hair yourself, you'll look like Noel Fielding, in a really, really bad way. Don't worry though, it WILL grow.
  2. Face wipes just move the dirt around on your face; use your brain, use a flannel and use a cleanser.
  3. Freaking out about little things the way you do is not "normal". Stop ignoring your problems and go and talk to a doctor. NB: you'll have a few bad experiences with unpleasant, unprofessional and unsympathetic doctors before you finally get the help you need: keep at it.
  4. That body you hate so much? It's great. Your metabolism will slow down, so make the most of it (and maybe start looking after it a little so your lifestyle doesn't catch up with you quite so suddenly... you'll look back on photos and cry.)
  5. Don't give that guy the attention he's begging you for; don't give him the satisfaction. He is unwell, and his behaviour will affect you for a very long time if you let him get to you.
  6. High school popularity means nothing whatsoever in the 'real world'.
  8. Teenagers are hideous. The 'friends' you have now are not the friends you have later, so don't worry about how awful everyone is in high school. You'll find your people.
  9. You will not be this socially awkward forever. In fact, you'll grow to be quite confident in most situations (you'll even conquer that blushing problem, for the most part).
  10. The world of fake tan is a dangerous one; tread carefully (and maybe try not to get addicted - it's expensive, time-consuming and kinda sticky). Pale is fine, by the way...
  11. Smile with your mouth open for photographs. You didn't endure three years wearing a brace to keep it shut and look awkward and uncomfortable.
  12. Look after yourself. You don't need to damage yourself to be noticed, you don't have to be hurting to be in control, and you don't have to be broken to be interesting.
  13. Go to more gigs and concerts.
  14. Stand up for yourself more. The easiest targets are the ones who accept bad treatment without a fight, so it's a vicious cycle.
  15. Leave your comfort zone every once in a while. It's good for you.
  16. Stop trying so hard not to be a 'geek'. You're intelligent, allow yourself to get good grades. Also, stop being a nightmare to teachers - you don't look 'cool'.
  17. The guy will eventually love you too, but there's gonna be some wait, and it's not pleasant. Bear in mind: it will be great, but it won't last forever. That's okay. There will be more relationships - great, terrible, confusing - and they'll all teach you something, but you actually do pretty okay on your own. Who knew?
  18. Be nicer to your parents: they are incredible, and the way you treat them is hurting them. Would it kill you to tell them you love them?
  19. That mood you're trying to convey? One day there'll be an emoji for that. Don't ask.
  20. Being one of the only virgins in the classroom is neither a terrible tragedy or a hideous embarrassment, it's totally insignificant.
  21. Trends are all well and good, but think twice about those you follow. A velour tracksuit and diamante "Chanel" earrings, really?
  22. Think long and hard about going to university. Uni isn't for everyone, but if you do decide to go and you don't love it, know that it'll be worth it anyway.
  23. As Matt Haig (you'll like him) says, you're your own best laboratory. Go easy on yourself, but remember to mull your feelings and actions over, too. Self-awareness is the key to keeping one step ahead of your illness, and, if you ask me, that's the only way recovery is possible. Know yourself.
  24. Travel as much as possible. Find places to see the sunset wherever you go (see photo. This place recently became one of your top three happy places). Keep perspective, you are so small.

  25. Ultimately, keep on truckin', girl. You got this.
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