Sorry I've been gone a while. My life has been a bit obscure as of late. I won't bother you with the details, but what's important is that I'm back. And I'm here to stay....
What I would tell my younger self: part 1
I know that I'm not really old enough to tackle this subject yet. But I sure as hell have picked up some cheats over the past 23 years. Tricks and tips that could've prevented my younger self from 'falling down the rabbit hole' so to speak. I know I am young and yet sometimes I feel old. Old enough to not buy the cheapest bottle of rose. Wise enough not to wear my contact lenses for 20 hour days. And surely sensible enough to start saving for a pension ?!? ( Ha unfortunately not...I'm not quite up to that level of adult sophistication!) Yet slowly but surely, Katie- yes the same Katie who got midnight detention for arranging a midnight feast on year 8 French trip- is growing up. Here are 5 things I would tell to my mischievous, insecure and slightly mixed up 13 year-old self:
1. Stop worrying what other people think about you.
Don't waste anymore of your precious time giving two shits what the netball girls think about you. Their opinions don't matter. Only value the opinions of the people who love you for who you truly are (and not for what you wear...or how you do your hair.)
2. Family is more important than finding a boyfriend.
I know you feel like your problems are astronomical. They really aren't. So don't take it out on your parents who will- without doubt- love you unconditionally regardless of how many times you slam the bedroom door.
Food is one of life's greatest pleasures. Don't deprive yourself just so you can get into those size zero jeans. You'll NEVER be a size zero. Even after running the marathon you'll be larger than contemporary culture's 'cover girl.' Don't fight to change yourself. Challenge and stand-up to societal standards. And know that the people who love you, will always love you, regardless of your dress size. So to summarize: eat cake.
4. Pessimistic People
This point may be slightly controversial but as a general rule- don’t hang about with negative people. Classed as a form of ‘social contagion’ it refers to the social psychology of friendships: when your friends habits rub off on you. The theory suggests that if you make outgoing friends, then you are more likely to be a socially confident person. Whereas if you befriend Moaning Myrtle, you’re more likely to turn into a moany, miserably grump. N.B. This of course disregards mental health issues and understandable grievances. The point is simply referring to the standard friendship with ‘that’ friend who ALWAYS finds faults with your other friends. Before you realise it you’ll be joining in with a ‘yeah that dress was WAY too short’ remark. DITCH THE BITCH.
5. Money doesn’t matter
I am going to expand on this point in a future article- but basically money doesn’t make or break your life. It may buy you those £120 ‘Topshop' boot heels. And that £400 mini-break to Wales. Oh and those nights out and the meal with friends last week. But when it boils down to what really matters…money doesn’t. Of course you do need some money to do nice things- but to rely on money for happiness, self-worth and satisfaction will make you weak. Just a quick look at my Filipino blogs will highlight this for you: in spite of the poverty and deprivation- I’ve never experienced a happier culture. As one of the locals told me: “the UK might have a higher GDP, but we have a higher rate of smiles!”
And he was right.
I'm sure you've guessed, but this is a photo of my younger self. I think the second instalment of this article is going to have to include 'Get a good hairdresser!'