I wrote this letter a while ago and I thought I would share it with you. There are so many pieces of advice I would give my younger self; reading this might help a few of you if you are struggling a little! It’s very heartfelt; I’m reflecting on a time in my life which was pretty challenging. I was faced with different challenges, one after the other. I’ve learned so, so much in the years that have passed so I thought I would share my life lessons with you. Talking about these things is definitely a lot better for my mind and wellbeing. About 3 years ago, I wrote a letter to my 20 year old self! When the time comes, it’ll be great to reflect on that and see whether I had achieved everything I set out to in that letter. Anyway (because I’m rambling on a little) I hope you enjoy reading this letter!
Dear 14 Year Old Alex,
It’s me, Alex. You probably haven’t thought about this far into the future, it probably seems so distant to you. I’m 17 now… turning 18 next year! It’s absolutely crazy how quick time flies.
How are you?
I know that you’re probably having the time of your life. You have everything you could wish for! You have a beyond incredible family, you have two great best friends and you have a boyfriend. You’ve got your life into gear and now you’re just watching the world go by from your little bubble. Well… don’t get too comfy. Big changes are about to happen and next year you are about to lose many important people in your life. I’m not going to tell you who, but you’ve already figured out two of them. You’re probably noticing signs and things are really starting to test your patience.
Let me remind you, you are 14. You don’t need a boyfriend. You are so young and naïve – enjoy your life while you can. I know he makes you feel like a princess, like you’re on top of the world. Life is tough – it’s not all pretty. Remember to always admit how you feel. Don’t ignore the signs because you’re afraid of hurting somebody – or rather, you’re afraid of hurting yourself. There comes a time where you need to put your own happiness and wellbeing before anybody else’s, no matter how selfish it may seem. If you are not feeling 100%, open up and it will make you feel a whole lot better.
Great friendships are so important. At the moment you don’t really have many friends, as sad as it may seem. However, you’re happy. You’re happy with the few friends that you do have and that’s what’s most important. Soon, you will be in the middle of a friendship problem and you won’t know what to do. It may feel like everything is your fault, but listen to me, none of you are in the wrong. People grow and change meaning that long term friendships are hard to maintain – you aren’t always going to be best friends with the people you were in year 7! You have no control over things like this, but always remember to follow your heart. Always, always do what feels right for you.
Whilst I’m on the topic of problems and falling-outs, please never retaliate in an argument… or seek sympathy. It will get you nowhere, believe me! If you ever find yourself in a disagreement with somebody, take a step back. Is it really worth arguing over something so small and petty? Arguments are such a waste of your time and energy! Be mature about it, admit that you both have disagreements and nobody is in the wrong. Most importantly, learn to accept others’ different opinions – the world would be soooo boring if we all agreed on everything!
Try to see the positive in all situations. You’re very quick to see the negative in things! One of the most important lines of this letter is this one: everything happens for a reason. Although it may be hard to believe, trust me on this one; there is something good in everyone, everything, and every situation. Yes, even the toughest ones which make it difficult to get out of bed in a morning. You learn from the bad times and you become an even happier person from the good times!
See every new day as a blessing. You are so, so lucky with what you have. You have an education, a home, a family, and lots of wonderful food. These things may appear to be ‘basic’ to you, they really aren’t – they’re much rather the foundations to a happy life. Appreciate what you have don’t think about what you could have. Live in the present and enjoy every moment.
Don’t give up! You have a tendency to give up when there are signs of things not going your way. Not everything will go as planned in your head. Tolerance and perseverance come with age. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. You need to be prepared to face all of the curveballs that life throws at you! Take them in your stride – they will strengthen you. You won’t gain anything from giving up when times get tough. Keep giving it your all, resilience and determination overshadows things that may go wrong along the way.
Stop trying to live a life through your phone! Put your phone down, pick up your camera, and go outside!. In years to come, you too will realise how easy it is to go hours without picking up your phone. There are so many beautiful things to see, and so much to do – all without using your phone. Take a walk outside or talk to the people close to you (rather than texting them!).
Lastly, be you. Do not change anything about you for the sake of fitting in, or for the sake of others. You are an individual and people appreciate that, although it may not feel like it. There are so many little things that make you the person you are. You may not value these things, but somebody will one day. People may look at you in envy because you’re constantly laughing and smile – this isn’t something you need to change. They are simply jealous that you can find happiness no matter what situation you are faced with. Wear what you want to wear, not what other people are wearing. If you don’t want to wear makeup, nobody will judge you for it. Do not straighten your hair – embrace it how it is naturally!
All of the best – you’ve got what it takes to take control of your own life.