In a few days, you are going to turn 15 and get your first taste of real grown up exams. Something, oddly you have been looking forward to ever since you were in primary school and could see teenagers on the road with their big folders, looking so much older and wiser than you are today. They seemed to know exactly what they want and are striving towards it. I want to let you in on a little secret, the chances are they are still figuring things out for themselves and forging their own path. In fact, by the time you reach your mid-twenties you realise no matter how old you are, you never quite feel like you have it all together. I am here to tell you there will come a time when you are content and at peace with the person you are. Remember this saying, “All you can do is your best” it will leave you in good stead as you navigate learning how to prepare for exams.
You’re currently starting to make strides in Karate, attending three classes a week. I cannot tell you how jealous I am. Cherish these lessons, I know, right now, it feels like a slog but within the next two years, you will learn to love and cherish it. So much so, you will be waking up early on a Saturday so you can train (And grab some of that buttery toast.) There will be a time when you will have to say you can’t do it anymore. It will break your heart but trust your gut and remember those memories will always be there. You can always return but for now, that chapter needs to close so another one can open.
You spent the last few years at school feeling like the oddball. As if people only let you hang out with them. Over the next two years, you will find a good group of people who will make you feel included during your lessons. For the first time, there will be people who want to hang out with you outside of school not because they have to but because they want to. You will feel comfortable with them. It is exactly what you need while you bide your time out until you go to sixth form because there my darling is where you will soar. It will be the most life-changing two years of your life thus far. You will meet new people, experience new things, travel to different parts of the UK. The type of close friendships you see in movies and tv shows which you live vicariously will slowly start coming into your life. Throughout the years it will change but the friendships you make over the next few years will stay with you for a very long time.
Quiet is a word that will begin to irritate you. It is a word that will be associated with you. People will mistake it for a sign of weakness when in reality it is your strength. When you do speak it is with purpose and careful consideration. There is nothing wrong with that. It is your superpower: hold on to it.
University will hit and quite honestly, it will not be the experience you thought it would be but that is ok. You will make the most out of it and come through it. Your third year will be the most challenging year of your life. Not because of the lessons (You’ve got academics down by this point) but because you spent your entire life knowing where you were heading. You had a path but now that path is ending and you will be entering into the world of the unknown. You put pressure on yourself. The following few years will be the hardest few years you will ever go through. Here is the thing, strong one, you slowly but surely will dust yourself off and pick yourself back up over and over again till finally, there will be a time where you feel you are getting somewhere.
During these years I want you to remember something. I want you to remember your family and friends. Let them know how special they are to you. There will be moments where you should have done more for them but they love you nonetheless. They will support you and guide you and be there for you in your numerous moments of need. They are your anchor of which you will find your strength to get better. Remind them from time to time just how special and valuable they are.
Work on relieving the pressure from your shoulders. The weight of the world and its problems will cause you to burn out and starve yourself. Your body and mind both deserve better. You deserve better than that. The ambitious 11-year-old you deserve that. It will take a lot of work. A lot of missteps but you will get there. Get to a place where you feel…content. You don’t want to strive for happiness. Happiness is a state of mind that comes and goes and while it is there it is brilliant but it can be fleeting. Being content within yourself is more stable and in turn more fulfilling. This comes from loving yourself and the person you are while striving to be the person you want to be. Over the next few years, it will be hard to imagine such a state exists but I promise after a lot of work and a lot of soul searching it is something you will be able to achieve. Just hang in there.
Failure will be a big theme in your twenties. You will feel like you failed to be a good sister, daughter, employee, and person. There are many reasons for this and it will take a lot of therapy to unpick it but ultimately, that feeling of failure isn’t coming from others. It is coming from you and the pressure you are putting on yourself to be the perfect version of yourself. You will slowly learn that perfection does not exist and it is ok to not know all the answers. Your mindset will change into a growth mindset and it is the best thing to ever happen to you. You will wish you were a sponge so you can soak up knowledge on everything from those around you.
There is tonnes more I want to share with you but unfortunately, there are some things I cannot prepare you for. You have to go through them in order to be the person you are 15 years from today because that is the beauty of life. You have to go through things in order to grow but know this. You are loved, you are cared for, and most importantly of all, you are not a failure. Remember that paint it on your head if you need to. You are not a failure.
I love you 3000