Sixteen year old Elaine was a pretty weird kid. Although it was only five years ago, I’ve grown so much since then, and feel like if I could write a letter to myself, I’d save myself a lot of heartache and frustration – but then that’s what being a teenager is about, right?
I decided to publish this as maybe some of you can relate. Maybe there’s a sixteen year old reading this who might decide to take some of the advice I’d give myself. It might seem a bit sentimental in places, but I suppose that’s the point. Without further ado – here we go.
First things first – be nicer to yourself. You give yourself a hard time. You’re not fat. You’re not ugly. And you do not look like a seagull (or any other strange animal you somehow think you resemble). Looking back at pictures of you from where I’m at now, I feel silly for not appreciating myself more. Give yourself more credit, you’re actually pretty sensible and didn’t do anything too stupid growing up. You have really cool hair. You are full of ambition. Don’t lose that burning ambition you have, it’ll come in very handy later on.
You feel pretty depressed sometimes, but that’s okay. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, and everyone feels the same at some point of another. Things honestly do get better, even though right now all you want to do is curl up in a ball and hide from everyone. Don’t let your self destructive habits spiral. Really Elaine, everything is actually going to work out just fine in the end.
Please, please appreciate being with your friends more. When you move to Dublin to go to college, you won’t see them every day like you do now as you’ll go to different colleges. They’ll always be there for you and when you meet up even after weeks of not seeing each other it will feel as though no time has passed. They are your sisters. Just appreciate seeing them every day while you can. You will miss them like hell.
As for boys – there is plenty of time for them. Don’t rush into anything too fast. You’ll meet some fantastic people along your way to becoming 21; some of them will be strictly platonic, some romantic. You will learn a lot from a relationship you’ll get into soon, but it’s okay because you’ll learn to avoid shit people like him. You actually do have good taste in men (except for that one prick), and your future boyfriends are all going to be really wonderful.
Push yourself to not be so shy. You’re awkward and feel out of place, but so does everyone. As I said above, it’s okay to feel a bit shit sometimes. Don’t dwell on it or you will feel worse. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off as you have done so many times before. You got this. People will be dickheads to you. Learn to say ‘fuck off’. You’re too shy and polite; people will take advantage of that. Exercise your middle finger muscle a little more (preferably in the general direction of these people).
Stop smoking. It’s not glamorous and it really is a total waste of money. It doesn’t make you cool. Cut them out before you start actually craving them.
Except from these main things, eat your greens and be nice to your family. Your teachers give you homework to help you, not because they’re all sadists. You have a dark sense of humour and a lot of people think you’re weird. They’re right.
Oh, and you’ll grow boobs. Sort of.
Later hater x