9 March 2017

A letter to my 18-year-old self.

I did a straw poll (read: asked a couple of friends over a glass of wine) and asked them what they would tell their 18-year-old self. Most people I asked generally answered ranging from finish your qualifications to moisturize generously.


Honestly, I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I wouldn’t change much at all about my journey so far. Ok, there are a few situations that were completely out of my control and I would change them for all of the money in the world, but I can’t.

It has taught me a few things that I would tell my 18-year-old self though (well, ok, I’d probably make up a Pinnable infographic now for my wall, but you know what I mean) So where exactly am I going with all of this this blathering? (Actually, perhaps that’s something I should tell my younger self – tone down the chatter and giggling. If it’s even possible.)

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Dear 18-Year-Old Emma,

I have a few catchphrases of wisdom for you. Feel free to forget about buying the slogan T-shirts though, that's probably a little far even if you think you're being clever.

Follow Your Heart & Dream Big
You'll start your latter teenage years in the usual fashion – finishing high school and meandering to university. Unfortunately you won't settle on quite right degree (architecture) and after a year you'll feel too burnt out to continue much further. What will be born is an unchanging passion for architecture and an unending curiosity for the stories behind ancient walls. Just remember that if you don’t dream big you may not get anywhere. You’ll just be curled up on your couch, resenting everyone living their dreams via the medium of facebook.


Take Up A Sport.
Do this while you are young, energetic and competitive. Avoid Twitter at all costs in order to practice that sport. What's Twitter? Don't worry.

Know That You’re Different And That's Good.
Actually, this goes for you, but I wish I could also tell my 8, 12 and 29 year-old self this. One of the reasons that you'll hop on a plane to the other side of the world is that feeling of just not quite belonging, but it's actually your USP.

You Will Find Your Tribe, Don't Stress.
Eventually wittering online will lasso you a London and internationally based crew of passionate comrades, expat and locals alike that share your passions,

Eat Well.
Take the time to try everything. Even blue cheese and liquorice – at least once anyway!

Karma Is Real And Can Be A Real Biatch. Don't Be A D*ck.

Appreciate.


It’s Down To You, Kid.
No-one is likely to make things happen for you – but if you’re brave enough to seize those seemingly unattainable possibilities and be a little bit cheeky you never know just what might happen.

Wear Comfortable Shoes
Actually, this should be at the top of the list.

Make Every Single Day Luxurious.
Do something every single day that makes you smile from your head to your toes. Order an amazing coffee, flavour up your breakfast porridge, shower sing at the top of your lungs, watch TV mindlessly for an hour and practise completely selfless acts of kindness whenever you can – rescuing a child’s teddy bear, offering a loving compliment, buy that stressed person behind you a coffee – little things that can entirely change someone’s day.

Northern Blokes and Tabby Cats Make For Lovely UK Family
This is just a little foreshadowing hint, don't worry.


Yours,
A much older, and not much wiser Emma

Ps. Faithfully is the sign off in a letter when the addressee is unknown. Remember that.
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Why does this post seem like an 80’s inspiration poster all of a sudden? (This means that I’m showing my age now I suspect…!)

What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

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