Thursday, 22 August 2013

What I'd Say to the 16 Year Old Me

GCSE'S! I can't really remember what must have been going through my head the night before my results day, but I was most probably going mental. I do however, remember opening the dreaded results envelope and being disappointed. Honestly it felt like my life was over (the added 'Asian excellence' pressure made it even more unbearable) It seems insane that it has been 7 years since the fateful day and alas!-I'm still alive and breathing. Life has a funny way of sorting things out for you. Even though now I have to deal with twenty-something life confusions, this spell of nostalgia has inspired me to write a post on what I would say to my 16 year old self-


Confidence

Most of my friends wouldn't believe me now when I say I used to be painfully shy. I wasn't the most popular and by no means was I the prettiest. My extreme social awkwardness didn't help either. Nowadays I talk openly to whoever I meet, about whatever I want to. Some people are taken aback by my honesty but it usually makes for an excellent conversation. Looking back I would tell myself that if something was on my mind, to just say it! Chances were people were usually thinking the same thing. No one had the power to banish me to the lion's den if I said something weird or streaked naked through the school corridors (okay the teachers may have something to say about it) but what I'm trying to get at is that I wish I would have been more open to myself and to others.

Self Image

The summer before university was when I lost a large amount of weight. Before then I would wear baggy clothes and sit in a position that I knew would cover all of my bulges. I'm still far from my ideal weight, but being active has made me feel better about myself. Sure I still have my bad days, but back then I was a walking (or sitting) mess. I had no desire to workout and was the girl who did whatever it took to get out of PE. If I could go back in time, I would try to ease myself into exercise. Not just slogging it out on a treadmill but trying different activities with my friends. It would have added a spring in my step that I so obviously needed being a teenager!


Careers

I drove myself crazy when it came to my future career path. My submissive personality led my parents to chose a career path for me. A doctor. I went along with it, even though deep down I knew it just wasn't me- but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so who the hell was I to say 'no' to my parents dream for me? It was round about the time when I accidentally cut my finger on broken glass and I immediately fainted, that slapped me back into reality and my parents finally realised that I wasn't cut out for that sort of future. I wish I would have known that it was OK if I didn't know what I wanted to do at that time- it was a natural process of growing up and sooner of later it would come to me. And it did. Trying to please others all the time and not sticking up for what I wanted wasn't going to do me any favours in life. I wish I wouldn't have been so confused. A clear mind would have helped me apply myself to my education better.

Love

Rejection is brutal. Especially when you were told you weren't 'Avril Lavigne' enough for him at 16- but that was the first of SO many. Everything you think you know in this arena is constantly tested. I haven't had a smooth ride unlike some who plaster their romantic achievements all over social media. I always found it more difficult, more awkward and more confusing to engage in this particular area. I still do. In reference to the television programme 'Girls'- my heart has been treated like monkey meat, time after time. So much so, it has moulded my thoughts, beliefs and actions now. I just wish I could tell myself back then that it was all going to be okay - because that's all you need to hear.


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