Last weekend, I received the wonderful gift of myself from my Dad and Stepmother. When I was 16 and still at secondary school, I sang live in front of an audience of several hundred people, which was then broadcasted on prime time television, here in the UK. My parents, of course, were so proud and they taped it to have ‘on file’.
The gift I received was the DVD footage of my performance and many other of my singing performances from that time.
P was dying to watch it. Footage of your 25 year old girlfriend at 16? Who wouldn’t want to see that?! Never mind that it had been on ACTUAL telly!
We sat and watched it in the safety of my parent’s living room, my ever-so proud stepmother clutching the remote so I couldn’t fast-forward at any point. We watched and watched what felt like hours of footage…
And I broke down in tears. And not the happy kind.
Despite being full of self-esteem now at aged 25, at age 16 it was a different story. Even though I was as strong-willed and gobby as I am now, my weight, my height and the fact I hadn’t grown into my face yet meant that my self-confidence was at an all time low. Just looking at myself on DVD, the way I felt about myself then came flooding back, and the fact that P, the love of my life, was there looking at this girl I hated, it became far too much.
After massive amounts of cuddles and love from my parents and P, I remembered what made me amazing and that that girl didn’t exist anymore. She’d been improved, renewed and recycled.
I wish I could make my 16 year old self feel as good about myself as I do now. I wish I could give her a letter.
Dear 16 Year Old Me,
Firstly, go wash your hair. You heard me. Go wash your greasy hair, and get a fringe cut in. Pronto. The way we have our hair at 16 is NOT a good look. Yes, yes, yes, I know the professional red dye job meant we had to have it cut short and its growing out…trust me, we don’t do that again…. and actually when you get to 20, don’t dye it black with a permanent home dye kit either…that was costly to fix.
Secondly, don’t worry about that boyfriend. He is not the best you can do. Let’s be honest…. He is punching well above his weight in the looks (and personality) department. He doesn’t treat you as well as you deserve to be treated. I know this to be true, because I found one that does treat us well. Very well in fact. (And he’s pretty hot!)
Oh…and don’t skip school. I know you want to spend time with afore-mentioned boyfriend, but please re-read afore-mentioned paragraph. He is a waster. You should not be spending your Saturday job money on buying him cigarettes. He is 5 years older than you and should be able to hold down one of the many jobs he has walked out of. The fact that you can skip school in the afternoons to spend time with him proves what a waste of space he is. Thankfully, we are smart so we get through our GCSEs with ALL A-C’s, but that is not to say I’d like to drop those C’s and make them B’s. Get your head in a book.
I know we are tall, (we still have that issue in 9 years by the way) but try to find some clothes that cover your midriff….please for our future sanity… 25 year old us is much slimmer and less ‘wall’ like… we can wear crop tops in 2011…they come back in fashion (as do leggings…DO NOT throw that massive bin liner away).
Remember that the friends you have now are not the friends you will have at 25. Apart from the very few (and I can think of 1), you will speak to no-one you hung around with at school. You will meet the majority of your girls in a few short months when you get your behind to college. And yes…I said girls. In fact, you will have no close male friends at 25, despite that right now you are the “guy who knows about girl stuff”. Yet this is only due to the fact you have your wonderboy and not because men now hate you.
Get over your chin. Get over it. It is large, and yes, in the future you will refer to yourself as ‘Desperate Dan’, but you grow into it. It makes your face unique and you’d actually look really boring without it. I know you don’t believe me, but just you go research what they have to do to make it smaller….go on…… yeah…I thought the big metal bone file would put you off.
Oh and your skin? Make your peace with it. Use moisturiser. Spots will plague our life right up to the present. And being pale? That is our trademark.
Lastly, be happy. Do things that make you happy. Don’t grow up too quickly. Be silly, make mistakes. You don’t want to get here and have anything to regret. At 25, we don’t regret anything, so just you keep it that way ok?
Lots of Love
25 year old You