When I was a teenager, which of course covers the years when we are fully cocooned in school, to the years when we are released to the ‘freedoms’ of getting a job and actually earning money, we make many wrong choices and waver between undeserved confidence to unnecessary insecurity.
I was more the latter, in truth. The undeserved confidence was reserved for my unquenchable imagination were I was the superhero of endless scenarios that had grown-ups and females my own age enthralled by my feats of daring-do. In reality it was more staying in my room and daring-don’t.
It’s easy to look back and think of what changes I would have made and to what advice I would give my teenage self. However, prompted by a suggestion to do so by my blogging site WordPress for Bloganuary, here are nine things I would have said to my sensitive, insecure, self-absorbed but caring teenage self that may have helped a little…
1 -To go for what I want and not for what people tell me to do, but to realise it takes hard work and dedication; that way people can see that you are serious.
2 -To try that little bit harder in school. To tell my English teacher that I love English more than anything else and ask their advice about what I should do about that.
3 -To talk to my mother, a former proofreader and avid reader in general about what I want to do, and ask for her input and support.
4 – Football is great, but not make it the main thing in your life, it will always be there. When I got offered a photography apprenticeship at 16 I turned it down simply because it would require me to attend weddings on a Saturday and thus prevent me from watching football, a decision I have regretted to this day, despite all the great football memories.
5 -To stop unfavourably comparing myself to others.
6 – Stop worrying about being thin.
7 -If I’m interested in making music, I have to learn to play the guitar or piano, and not give up so easily.
8 – To handle my finances much, much better
9 – Don’t be afraid of living
That last one is hard because at 17 I lost my mother quite suddenly to cancer. This impacts on all of your life and can make you fearful at a young age of what may be around the corner.
But it shouldn’t make you tentative about making everyday decisions to the point of crippling indecision, something that haunted me for years.
However, how many of us as teenagers would take advice anyway? Especially when it’s from someone pertaining to be our older selves sent to give us advice? And aren’t we told not to talk to strangers?
Maybe a question may be what advice will be giving ourselves in ten or twenty years time, and how will the experience of mistakes we have made in the past impact on the choices we make during that time?