This is a letter to my 16 year old self inspired by the lovely Kezza’s most recent post If I Knew Then What I Know Now.
Boys can be rats. You’re messing with one of the worst of the bunch, the rat who pretends to be a cute little mouse. Look inside to see whether his actions match up with your morals, because if they don’t, the boy is not worth the trouble. Trust me, even if he leaves now, there will be plenty of chances for you to change your mind, he always comes running back. Realising you’re worth more than his constant bullshit becomes a source of ego and inspiration for you later though, so I dunno. The shattering of your trust for men might be more precious.
Forget the cool kids! They are ridiculous and you know it! You’re too smart to waste all your weekends drinking until you stumble and befriending mean people who mean nothing to you in the long run. Some of them even turn on you. Your “best friend” especially, but she does it in a more elongated, tortuous, slow and malicious way that does not become apparent for years. All those popular boys are just pigs in the end. They hit their girlfriends and get drug addictions and have 3 baby mamas each.
Run away from them and go back to your friendly, sweet boys. One of which you know has a crush on you, who you have a crush on too. If you pass up the chance he gives you, you will regret it forever. He goes into a long term relationship with a chick who makes your life hell for a while, and is still seeing till this day! You’re still best friends with him, but there’s always a sad spot inside that wishes things went differently that will probably always be there.
You were blessed with a brain, with creativity and wit, so use these gifts! When you try, you never fail, so try harder. I know its easy to just coast by without doing too much and still getting ahead, but if you put a little bit of effort in you could go so far. Doing it now will make it easier for you in university, otherwise you start to lose motivation due to lack of practice and organisation. Studying is fun, you love to learn and to be an expert on different things. Don’t waste that brain of yours, engage and preserve it.
The person you are deep down is a lot cooler than you realise, so stop trying to hide her. Stop clamming up in social engagements, you’re actually good at talking and you’re very friendly. If you let other people notice then you would have a lot more fun in uni and at work. You learn to do it eventually of course, but the years you spend being a snob rubbed off on you and now your body language is probably always going to scream ‘unapproachable’. You are outgoing and eccentric, and the sooner you start letting that out the better your life gets.
Go easy on people, ok? Especially your family, they end up becoming the closest and most loyal people in your life. Nobody is perfect, and you can’t even live up to your own expectations, so when they do something you don’t like cut them a bit of slack and try to be kinder. Treat people and their feelings gently and strive to leave only a positive imprint on the world, not a negative one. Compassion is the most beautiful quality a person can have. You have the ability to make someones day much better by just saying a kind word, or sparing a bit of change, so try to do it whenever you can.
However, don’t interpret that as to mean you can let people walk all over you. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. If you disagree, speak up. Don’t be bullied into anything, and never act out of fear. Look someone in the eye and tell them exactly what you think. It’s liberating. Don’t worry about what others think of you, let them think. If anything, it should amuse you that you are on their minds. People love to pull other people down, but learn to trust that your opinion is the only one that matters.
You may not realise it at this moment, but the girl you are now makes some critical decisions that shape her path for a long time to come. It’s hard to say now, being your 8 year older self, whether these slip ups have chipped away at your character for good.. or made you stronger and wiser. We will have to wait for my 8 year older self to write to me, so that we can see. You’re still hopelessly naive, so maybe we still have a chance at reversing some of the painful events that have wearied you along the way.
Be strong, Luli. Adopt cats.
Love, 24 year old you.
“If I had to do it all again
I wouldn’t take away the rain
Coz I know it made me who I am
If I had to do it all again
I learned so much from my mistakes
Thats how I know he’s watching me
Nobody knows what life may bring
It might make you happy
It might make you sad
But I know there’s a reason for everything
That’s why I keep believing
Whatever’s meant to be is gonna be..”