A letter to my younger Self

 

Dear 13 year old me,

You’re one of the quiet ones, you prefer books to real life people. You spend a lot of time in your room. This isn’t a bad thing. You still have the friends you grew up with, to them you’re Nerdy Spice. They all shave their legs, have done for a while. They all have boyfriends and stay up till after midnight. Mum won’t even let you near the tweezers and you have an 8 o’clock bedtime.

You’re embarrassed that you have a bed time. When your friends call and Dad tells them you’re in bed, you have to explain it away with a stomach bug the next morning, on the walk to school. But those 8 hours of sleep are a god-send. It gives your body the time to re-boot, time for your hormones to untangle.

Although, now at 25 years old, I crave early nights and those blessed 8 hours are essential. Without them I’m a cranky pants.

Remember when you used to call your friends during that 13th summer, let’s go swimming! No. Why? Because all of your friends had ‘that time of the month’. You were so upset because you didn’t have boobs, or hairy armpits, or a period.

In desperation, you cried to mum, “I’m never going to get my period, I’m going to be the last girl ever to get them!” You felt so left out and mum calmed you down, and said in a quiet voice, “When your periods start, you’ll wish you never got them.”

Listen to mum. She’s like Gandhi. Do not scoff at her rules, jokes, or words of wisdom. Mum knows what she’s talking about & she’s right.

You will hate your periods, boobs get in the way and shaving becomes a full time job but without a pay day.

You will put a lot of pressure on yourself on your journey through secondary school. You will never meet your expectations, but you have to realise that you have already made Mum and Dad so proud. They are proud that your Parents’ Evenings go well, your grades are good and they are grateful they don’t have to worry about you causing trouble on the streets at night. They can trust you to make good choices and to do your best in everything.

Be thankful that Mum and Dad are strict parents and that they love you enough to use rules to mould you into a better person. In another 10 years when you’re living on your own in Northampton, you’ll be glad that Dad taught you about Online Banking and made sure you are street-wise. You’ll be grateful that you spent time babysitting your little brother and sister because it taught you responsibility. Be grateful that Dad taught you about money and that you have to work hard and save for things that you want. Thank Mum for teaching you compassion, for being a shining example of a good-heart.

Over the next few years, you will meet amazing people. Some you will keep with you forever and some you will lose as they go their own way. Life takes everyone in different directions. Learn everything you can from these people, how they influence you and the impact they have on your life. You can learn so much from people.

You will push yourself and set expectation that you are never able to achieve. Learn to love who you are. There are some tough times coming up and you need to be strong.

You will meet bullies, exams, heartbreak, fall-outs with friends and fall-outs with parents. You will move 90miles away from everything you know & everyone you love. Be outgoing, meet people, try new things.

Don’t try to micro-manage everything. It’s OK not to have a plan. Don’t rush into adulthood and force yourself into a life you’re not ready for. Everything doesn’t have to happen right now. Be patient

(No, I haven’t cracked Patience yet, but I’m trying)

Alas, you will have to kiss a few toads before you marry your prince. Open your heart to love. When you find it, it’ll take your breath away. This love will not be an easy one, and you will face some tough situations, but he’s so worth it. He’s exactly right for you, the man you pictured when you read all mum’s Danielle Steel novels. You have found your best friend. He is the other half of your soul and he loves you irrevocably and completely.

When you take a tumble, be it due to illness or lack of judgement, remember that anything worth having is never easy. Have the conviction to stand back up.

You will experience hurt and pain and defeat and there is no avoiding this, but know that you are a strong. No matter how alone you may feel in those dark days, know that people love you. They will shoulder this hurt with you and it is OK to let them for it is too heavy for you to carry alone. Acknowledge this early, before it breaks you.

Do not let sadness bind your personality and drain you but hold fast to who you are. Do not let pain change you, try and stay soft. Stand strong against the regret and bitterness that will taint your caring nature. Keep striving to be a good person.

Your sensitivity is a gift and it allows you to connect with people on an emotional level. You have empathy and understanding, which people will lean on. Do not be afraid to cry, crying is not a sign of weakness. It shows that you care enough about something and you’re willing to break trying to get it.

Be confident enough to laugh at yourself. It’s OK to be weird.

Never apologise for being who you are. Stay cool.

From your 25 year old Self   xo

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“Just rip it off!”

There is nothing more horrifying for a young girl than going shopping with friends, sisters, boyfriends, whoever! And realising that not only are you a size bigger (or smaller!) than you once were. Standing in the changing rooms, breathing in, sucking everything in until passing out is an actual possibility. I have never been one for worrying what size I am, as long as I feel healthy, and to be honest it’s been a long time since I’ve felt normal nevermind healthy! So off we go- clothes shopping.

There were two traumas during this shopping trip; I have misplaced some boobs somewhere, dropping 2 cup sizes. I also got stuck in a dress!

STUCK IN A DRESS.

I have repeated myself because I just want that statement to sink in for a moment… picture it.

Wandering around the shops, grabbing a dress or two, heading over to the changing rooms, I’m full of smiles. Loving the dress I’d found, I dragged my little sister into the changing room. The size 12 I picked up was so skin tight my sister had to push parts of me in just to pull it down!

Not worrying too much I attempted to get it off. “Eh?! So what if I have to get the next size up? I love this dress” 

I couldn’t get it off. I was literally stuck in this dress. I’m giggling and laughing, saying pull and push, this way and that way and it still wouldn’t budge. My sister is yelling at me without shouting (it’s kind of a yelling voice but in hush tones for those that have never done this!) telling me to try and bend over so she can pull it over my head, I’m thinking if I bend, the seam of this dress is going to go and my ass is gonna be out of the thing! I then got really hot all of a sudden as a feeling of extreme claustrophobia overcomes me, panicking “just rip it off, get it off me!”

Finally, using the “PIVOT!” method, I was out of the friggin’ thing.

I was hysterical. Hysterically laughing. We were laughing so much.

Standing in my underwear I then wait for my sister to bring me the next size up. A quick knock and she comes strolling in, with this leading statement: “The 12 was way too small, so I got a 16.” My jaw hit the floor, tongue rolled out, eyes wide. 16?! The size 16 wasn’t much better, giggling to each other and giving up, my sister and I decided to look at shoes. I’m always the same size in shoes!

To jump from a size 12 to a size 16 in 10 minutes is every woman’s nightmare. Or so I thought?

Recently, I have found it hard to laugh. I have found it hard to be positive- especially about my body. Not so much body image but resentful that my body hates itself and gives me chronic pain. And so, this ‘stuck in a dress-gate’ was just what I needed! I needed to laugh. Not only were me and my sister laughing, but apparently the rest of the ladies in the other changing cubicles had a good chuckle about it as well.

The design of the dress, the fabric it’s made out of obviously doesn’t suit curvy women; and I’m sticking to that statement.

So traumatic it could have been, but at least I made myself and other ladies smile for 5 minutes.
I hope this made you smile, just a little.

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Little 16

A xo

Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver

Ok, so bare with me. I haven’t written a review since I left uni and God, that was 3 years ago now.. so here goes..

 
A love story. A lonely teenage girl looks for friendship in her wolf. What she actually finds is a great deal more. Full of drama, excitement and a little humour, I couldn’t put this book down. Stiefvater describes the complex relationships of Grace and her parents, Grace and her friends and Grace and Sam so you feel a part of her inner circle. 
 
The way Grace feels about her wolf; dependence, loyalty, awe, is written in such a way that it makes you feel like this is an ancient love, like Romeo and Juliet or Anthony and Cleopatra. Grace and Sam understand each other and that is conveyed in the lovely way Stiefvater has written this story; like Grace and Sam are the ultimate and the rest just fall around them.
 
Definitely a page turner, I couldn’t put it down. Sam’s responsibility to his friends gets you shouting out at the book as you read. The twists and turns in the story make reading this a rollercoaster ride. It is written so the chapters alternate from Sam’s point of view to Grace’s. But this doesn’t make it confusing or hard to follow. It gives the reader an insight into both lives and how one character affects the other so drastically. 
Aimed at the Young Adult/Teenage audience, this story has a – sort of – ‘Twilighty’ feel to it; an impossible love, drama, teenage boys. So if you loved that series, you definitely want to read this one! The story finishes in such a way that it’s not quite a cliff-hanger but you still want to read what happens next. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. 
 
Main points: 
  • Page turner
  • Good plot
  • Lovable characters
 
Quotes from this book, that I love: 
“A life is measured by moments like these.” – Sam to Grace.
 
 
 
Linger is the next book in this trilogy.
A xo