Letter To My Teenage Self

April 4th, 2010

Dear Paula,

First things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are 13 today, right? The start of your teenage years; wow that feels like a lifetime ago now. I have written this letter just to give you a little heads up for what is to come, some advice from the one person who is experienced enough to give it to you; yourself. 
Now, I am not going to sit here and tell you to avoid someone or something because those people and experiences are all part of what made you who you are today and one small blip that I create could mean that someone or something great doesn’t become a part of your life. I will however, set you up for what is to come as best as I can, so listen up. 
You may think you have heard this all before, but your school years are the best years of your life. Yes, I know that they pile on the homework and there seems to be assessment after assessment, but comparing that to running a store when you are waiting on two important visits….it doesn’t even come close. So, embrace the next few years, go out, have fun, meet people, because there isn’t always going to be time for it.
Go in and spend some time with Grandad. Play a game of draughts or cards or let him tell you stories of when he was a child. Cherish these moments Paula; there aren’t many of them left. 
You are picking up Sammy this summer right? She is still going strong; our smart, funny, goofy ball of fur haha. Just prepare yourself for the first year or so, she isn’t well and you have a lot of long nights to look forward to! Also, be careful where you leave your shoes and clothes, when she is young she makes a game out of tearing them to shreds. She is the last one standing now though. We just lost Blue (years after he gets a growth that the vet says is cancer so wanted to put him to sleep - don’t listen to her!), and so now it is just Sammy.
A little word on boys. Don’t get too hung up over them. You may feel like it is the end of the world now, but when you get a bit older you meet one of the good ones literally in the last place you would expect it, and it’s amazing. You’ll know who I mean. So, until then, just get over it, move on, he isn’t worth it. 
When you are 18 you will FINALLY pass your driving test. It will take you 5 attempts, not because you are a bad driver but because you have so much self doubt and you work yourself up so much that you make silly mistakes; particularly on roundabouts. So discover Kalms and chill out. 
Now just a few little bits that you should know. At the end of your teenage years you will experience the most agonising pain that you have ever felt, yes, even worse than the appendix. The doctors will say it is muscular or stress. It isn’t. Tell them to do an ultrasound; it’s an ovarian cyst. Trust me, you want to get that sorted out early. Okay, this may come as a bit of a shock to you, but your makeup skills are awful. Some of the photos I have from back then are just……please, watch some youtube tutorials or something because you do not have a clue what you are doing.
You are strong, independent and you have a thick skin. This will all be important throughout your teenage years so don’t let it fade away; you still utilise all of it now. The good thing is, you are 21 now and you survived. So those nights where you are lying awake worrying, just know that it isn’t the end of the world. There is nothing that you will do that has a massively negative impact as you grow up, so just face everything head on and then forget about it. 
Take care of yourself. You are quirky, a bit ditzy (but in a charming and admirable kind of way haha), you haven’t quite got life worked out yet, but you are doing just fine.

Love, Paula


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