#126 The Umbrella Collective, Week Four – A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self

Once again i’ve teamed up with Rhiannon, Laura and Alice for our weekly umbrella topic. After a couple of fun weeks, we’re returning to a more serious topic, a letter to our sixteen year old self. Seemingly this has been done by a lot of celebrities, I can’t say i’ve read any of them but I’m sure they probably make a more interesting read than mine. A lot has changed for me in the last sixteen years, mainly for the worst at the moment but there has been some good. Read on to find out. 
Dear Amy, 
You’re now twenty five. You haven’t done much that you set out to do when you were sixteen, I’m afraid. Nor will I sugar coat it and tell you life has improved, because nine years later, it really hasn’t. You’re currently going through the worst year of your life and at the end of the day, you only have yourself to blame. You had so much potential at sixteen but you make some really bad choices because you’re so afraid of everything. You hold your head up and think you know better but you’re afraid of what people might think, of taking that leap of faith and above all, you’re afraid of asking for help. You could of been anything, you are smart but over the next four years you make some really foolish mistakes because you’re too busy following your heart rather than your head. You haven’t left the country and despite living in two cities for six years, you’ve came full circle and you’re back living at home. You hate it as much as you did at sixteen. You’re not an actress, not even close. You never achieved your dreams.
It hasn’t been all bad. You have had some awesome times, you get to see New York twice which is more than a dream come true.. and while there you’ll have some of the best and happiest moments of your life. You’ve already met who will become your best friend ever, your friendship will continue to grow and you’re a much better person for having her in your life. You’ll also make some immature decisions in regards to the friendship (although the second time it’s out of your control) but you’ll sort it out. You wouldn’t of survived if it wasn’t for Bee. The friends you make at college are irrelevant. They’re jealous, bitter and you’re well shot of them but you will make two awesome friends at university. It’s the only good thing that comes out of that experience. You’ll live with them and have the happiest year and a half of your life. The best part of it all, is you’re no longer the ugly ducking. You’re not beautiful but you’ll no longer despise the way you look as you did at sixteen. You’ll not be as insecure and you’ll be able to control things that make you feel better in your own skin. Your fashion sense will have improve, you’ll learn how to apply make up and the clothes you like to wear will become more accepted (everyone wears a beret in the winter, can you believe it?!) 
You will fall in and out of love. But i’m afraid to say you’re still looking for your Prince Charming. Not with the same gusto as you did in your late teens/early twenties. In fact, at twenty five you’re so jaded and untrusting I often wonder if you’ll ever meet him. You’ll have your heart broken a lot because over the next nine years, you’ll give it to plenty who are unworthy. I wish I could turn back to the clock and be sixteen again to stop you making these mistakes. I wish I could tell you to leave the country rather than hand your heart over willingly to men who break it without a second thought. Every time you hand it over you make catastrophic mistakes. But if I stopped you making all the mistakes that you have to come, you wouldn’t have your daughter. 
Your daughter is the reason you’re alive. Your daughter is the reason you’re still fighting. Your daughter will make you be a better person in the future for her sake. At the moment, your life is bleak but she is the silver lining. She is the reason you get up in the morning and the reason you still plan for the future. I now believe in myself, I know I will make it better. I’ve finally grown up. It takes you nine years but you’ll finally be here, knowing you have the power to make the changes. Your daughter is the only person that makes you realise this.. so if I was able to give you this letter and warn you against falling in love and making all those stupid choices, she wouldn’t be here today and I would still be making stupid mistakes. You have finally closed that door on your life, you’re ready to be the one taking a hold of your life. You’re finally ready to stop being afraid. 
Looking back over the last nine years, I have some advice. Cherish what you have in the moment because life will never be as bad as it is now, no matter what you think. Don’t hang onto people who don’t have the time for you and don’t hang onto people who don’t love you. Cut and run, you deserve better. Never think you are a bad person, you’re not, have some self belief. Stand up for yourself, some people are put on this earth with the sole purpose of life wrecking. You’ll meet them in all kinds of disguises but as you get older you’ll become better at recognising them. Work hard and play harder, you only live once after all. You are stronger and braver than you think. I wish I’d known this back at sixteen, I could of done so much more. After everything you’re going through this year, you’re still standing. You still have hope. Some days it’s all you have to cling to but it gets you by. The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” has never been more apt. Your daughter will be proud of you, I am proud of you. You have come a long way and been through so much this year alone. Please continue to hang in, things will get better.

Life isn’t a fairytale, Amy. You’ve spent so much of your life waiting for your handsome prince to come and sweep you off your feet.. but it isn’t going to happen. Men aren’t like that. You don’t need someone to come and save you, you can save yourself.

Love, Me.
And for the shits and giggles, here are a couple of dreadful photos of me at sixteen. They were taking on my last day at High School, I was so happy to be leaving as it wasn’t a good experience. Little did I know the worst was yet to come!

Donna is my only friend I still have from High School.
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