I could sit here and bore you with lengthy stories about my formative years but in all honesty, they were horrible and I’ll go into detail a little more, further into the post. I know that most people find the process of growing up and puberty difficult so hopefully you can relate to what I’m saying.
1. Don’t obsess over your weight
It was one of the things I hated growing up! I had a lot of puppy fat and I was certainly curvier than the other girls! I would always compare myself to these other, skinny girls and wonder why I didn’t look like them.
Now I’d tell myself it just doesn’t matter! Weight is a temporary thing which can be lost and gained and anyway, the 31 year old you has embraced it and used it to create opportunities!
2. Running around after boys is not a productive use of your time
I mean, what 14 year old doesn’t want a boyfriend?! It was at this point though where I was letting my grades slip because I got my first serious boyfriend. I’d always achieved really well and suddenly, it didn’t seem to matter anymore.
I’d now tell myself give over! Some people find their soulmates at 14, but those people are few and far between. As it so happens, you won’t even live in the same city as the boyfriend in question nor will you speak to him ever again so buckle down and stop defining who you are by the person you’re with.
3. Bullies never prosper *TW: Self Harm*
I’d love to call out some of the people who bullied me in school on here because I know some of them read the blog and I think 14 year old me would want me to but honestly, I don’t need to do that to feel strong again. I have built myself back up over the years.
I know from looking at social media that these bullies have done very little to better themselves since school, which is entirely their choice, but at aged 14, what they said, what they did and what they thought was so important to me. They made me feel as though I was not worthy of even breathing the same air as they did and unfortunately, this led to a period of time when I self harmed. Funnily enough, my secondary school did very little about the bullying initially but the moment they saw I was self harming, they took it a lot more seriously.
Now I’d tell 14 year old me take care of and worry about yourself! There will always be people who make you feel inadequate, regardless of your age. The best thing you can do is focus on yourself and the kind of person you want to become. Life is a journey, mistakes will be made constantly but it’s how you respond and come back from them that determines who you truly are.
4. There’s always time to turn it around
At 14, I had to choose my GCSE options. I had NO idea what I wanted to do other than eat chocolate and obsess about members of N’Sync. I don’t think I chose wisely. I picked subjects that did not at all relate to what I would do later on and because I absolutely hated it, I’d literally zone out during maths lessons. As a result, I got a D in maths aged 16.
I left school and got job after job but I found it hard to get anything decent because of my maths grade. I knew I was capable of more than I was doing.
Now I’d tell 14 year old me, it’s ok not to know what you want to do. Things will come good in the end so long as you work hard, listen carefully to advice you’re given and you stick to it. You’ll do a lot of different things that you’ll inevitably give up (acting, dance, musical theatre, hairdressing) but when you find teaching, you’ll never look back.
And for those of you who are wondering, I did eventually get a C grade in maths, aged 21. I was actually only a few marks off a B!
5. Family is EVERYTHING
As with most people, teenage years are fraught with arguments, clashes and general dislike of authority. Family are the first to criticise as well as show you love and I’ll admit, I wasn’t a nice teenager to my family. Sorry guys ❤️🤷♀️
Now I’d tell 14 year old me, show them love, unconditionally and put your ego to rest. I know a lot of it was hormones but as the years go by, your family will help you out of sticky situations A LOT, without judgement (or maybe with silent judgement 😂) and no matter what silly thing you do next, they will be there for you no matter what.
You’ll also go through some horrible times relating to the health of your family and you’ll regret being such a brat when you could have been making more beautiful memories. However, you do make up for it as you get older.
6. The people who matter will stick around
I didn’t have many good friends growing up. Being bullied meant that people didn’t want to hang out with me 🤷♀️ but I did have a core group of friends at school and I think you always just assume you’ll be friends forever and that it would be the end of the world if you’re not.
I’d tell 14 year old me those people who stick around are truly special and should be valued. Those who don’t stick about will miss out on some of the best times and those who do will truly enrich your life.
Have you ever thought about what you might change if you could go back in time?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.