To My 15-Year-Old Self

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I wanted to do this as a form of reflection – it was an idea that came up in my Mindset Mondays course, so that’s why I’ve taken to writing this publicly.

Dear the me of the past,

I can’t begin to describe the rollercoaster that I’ve gone through over the course of the last thirteen years. And a lot of what you’re going through right now has had a huge impact on my life, I can’t lie about that.

I deleted all of the photos from your age, so we’ll go with one from when you’re 18. You look good in it, even with that annoying hat that you always used to wear when you washed your hair every other day (it still gets greasy, just go ahead and wash it every day – even my hairdresser tells me so).

Your parents have split up right now, and things are looking bleak. He won’t move out, you’re looking to rebel, I get that. But it’s probably not for the best. You eventually won’t recognise him to be your dad, just the ‘Sperm Donor’ or ‘Spermy’ for short. You do change your name, gain a nickname like you always wanted, and even get a nickname amalgamating your first two names! I use that now as my pen name, so it works.

The step-dad is no better – after Mum’s done with the sponge (who we call ‘Knobin’), we have another guy. It got so hard living with him that I ended up with severe depression and anxiety, as well as a few PTSD-related issues. It’s been eight months since I got out of there, and it’s been a slow recovery, but a positive one.

These friends won’t last – none of them have for me. I haven’t even spoken to Akhila in seven years. We lost contact and she’s all but disappeared from the face of the earth since the last time I saw her. Maybe I should stop looking?

How did it all go so wrong? Chelcie decided to play into the hands of her manipulative mother, Harriet became a lost cause for a while (we still talk if we see each other in town though), me and Sam never really recovered from when he said he’d take me to prom no matter what, only to get a girlfriend and have someone else drop that bomb (I mean, I was happy for him, but he could have told me). Karl said I had an attitude problem as soon as I said that I didn’t want to talk dirty to him. The others, I don’t even acknowledge their existence. Would I laugh at their misfortune? Absolutely.

There’ll be all sorts of rumours, such as being pregnant and whatnot. But please don’t feel like you need to lie about friends for popularity’s sake. It won’t change anything. They won’t believe that you’re able to land a boyfriend until a pregnancy rumour suits them.

Speaking of boys – while you’re at school, don’t even bother. None of them are worth trying to pursue, and I messed up my education because I was more focused on boys and that need to be popular. Four years after you leave school, there’ll be a boy that is worth every waking second of your attention. Give him that attention. Everything that I’ve gone through over these past (nearly) eight years could have been much worse if he wasn’t at my side. There’s also a bit of confusion about being attracted to women, but your path will be clear when you’re 20. Trust me, it’ll all work out!

Friends will come – supportive friends. It’s best to not even try when you go to Leggott (also don’t do Health and Social Care because they really screwed you over). Although to be fair, you do meet someone in your second of year at Leggott, called Lucy, that will inspire you to go to North Lindsey and change your life. You’ll meet amazing people at North Lindsey, at your dream job, online – you’ll not be alone, no matter how lonely you might feel.

You’ll go on so many amazing adventures. Pay attention in Geography, because it will amaze you in the future! I don’t care if Mrs. Hornsby hates you, you pay attention and stop messing around with Chelcie and Harriet. Your grades will thank you later. As for adventures, your wanderlust starts on your 18th birthday trip. It was amazing, and you’ll find that special someone that will go abroad to watch a gig and make a holiday of it!

Your first stint at university won’t go so well. But you’ll learn to rise above everything and try again. In hindsight university wasn’t the best choice to begin with, and an apprenticeship would have been better. But at least you get to work and live in Portugal for a little while, which was an amazing experience. Your final graduation ceremony was a farce. It’ll be a massive blight on your view on the three years as a whole, especially the final year. But you achieve that on your own.

You start allowing yourself to make decisions rationally – you decide firmly not to have children, and you’d like to get married, but you’d rather elope – and that’s fine, because I hate huge wedding ceremonies (although Connor’s cousin’s wedding last year was absolutely beautiful). But be yourself, stay yourself, and just…maybe tone down the atheism outbursts…just a tad!

Well, that’s pretty much it. You gotta find your own way!


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