Dear Teenage Me,
I wish that you could see where we ended up. Those days when the world was dark and broken, when you didn’t think you could make it, when you didn’t see the point in your existence; nothing is the way you thought it would be, it’s so much better.
Looking back there were two versions of you. The confident mask you showed the world and the lonely underneath. I remember the nights and days filled with panic, loneliness and heartbreak, the evenings filled with the fake drunken smiles you showed your friends and boyfriend, like nothing in the world was wrong, then going home and crying your heart out because no matter how many people were around you, you just felt alone. I wish you knew that even though the dark cloud didn’t go, you started handling it better, you learnt how to talk to people and express those feelings without being so destructive.
I know you stressed out because people laughed at you for your dress sense, your make up and the music you listened too. You thought about changing out the skinny jeans, band shirts, vans and snap backs because people mocked you and didn’t understand why you were dressed like that. That’s ok and it’s a good thing, your fashion sense is still shit but now you just don’t care as much (you still care a little). Continue to wear what makes you happy and what makes you feel confident because honestly, you’ll work out you’re the one wearing it so it needs to make you happy.
You were mocked in the town you lived in, you have no idea why. People would walk past you and make jokes and bully you. You never understood why and you still don’t know as an adult, but just know you see these people still in your adult life and they still give you awful anxiety, you will actively leave pubs or cafes if they are there. A group of people disliking you en masse, without ever having a reason is honestly vile, you can only guess it’s for the way you look and your weight, just be happy that you move out of that town so your anxiety is reduced significantly not having to see these people everyday. The funny thing is, young me, some of these people get to know you and realise you’re actually alright. So just be you, people will work out they are just being dicks.
You made some mistakes, young me. You really did and you hurt people, but remember that these mistakes don’t define you as a person. It was a learning curve and you certainly learnt and you haven’t repeated those mistakes. They have made you a different person and without making them you wouldn’t have the strong personality and compass you do now. Be thankful for the mistakes you did make because they taught you to be better and you’ll make your peace with the people you hurt and you’ll be forgiven.
Your first love was everything to you at the time, you did anything to make him happy and be his world. It may have not worked out but you learnt a lot from that broken heart. Loosing him taught you to be guarded and not so free with your love and devotion, looking back that was a lesson you needed to learn. He will give your some of your love of things, like certain music, gaming and drinking red wine next to a fire, which you’ll take into your adult life, so, be thankful for that. You gave up things to make him happy, things he didn’t even notice and you learnt not to give up the things you love for one person. You’ll actually grow up to be friends with him because he’s a decent person, you just weren’t meant to be a couple at that time and you’ll learn that friendship is more than enough with some people.
I know you wouldn’t of listened back then because I still don’t now, but stop caring so much what people think of you. You’re not here in this world to impress everyone, so just live for yourself and while everyone else stays in their lane, you continue working hard, achieving things that you didn’t think you would and make yourself proud of you because you don’t need the validation of others.
As a teen you were shit to your parent’s Beth. Seriously, could you of embodied only child syndrome more? Cut them some slack, they are pretty cool people who just became parent’s. They didn’t always know what they were doing but you’re damn skippy they gave you everything you wanted and never showed weakness. You’ll realise as you grow that your parent’s are not the immortal irritants that you once thought, but more two people who are just muddling along, just like you. Cut them some slack, they are trying!
You’ll invest a lot into friendships with the people in your life and you’ll be hurt when they leave or give up. You were pretty tough to handle at point’s Beth. You lost some of those people because you couldn’t handle yourself and your depression and you let it drop and spill. As you grow you’ll gain a core group of friends, the people who know you, how you deal with things and you’ll know friendship to a new level. You wont forget the people in your past who you were close with, but the bitterness of the drifting apart returns in a new form of fondness for them.
You don’t know what you want to do and that’s ok. You’ll hop around jobs for a few years, working out what you’re good at. You’ll fall in and out of love with hospitality and then you’ll fall in love with account management, you’ll find it’s your passion, you’ll start building your career in it. You’ll work in a big company where you meet some of the best people you’ve ever met and then you’ll move to a small company where you meet people who challenge you in ways you didn’t know were possible, but you do everything you can to better yourself for the career you adore.
At the end of the day younger Beth, you’re now 27 and you still make more mistakes than you should, but it’s ok, you’re fucking awesome!
The older version of you that can now do winged liner X