Isn't hind sight the most amazing thing? The most amazing, annoying thing!
I've been thinking lately, and I often wonder what I would have done differently in life had I known all of the things that I know now that I am 23 years old. I often think, "Damn, I wish I had known that before" or "If only I had thought of that before I did this!" Yep, hindsight is a beautiful thing.
I've learnt a few things in my life so far, and if I had the chance to go back as something like the "Ghost of Christmas Spirit" (lol) to my childhood and explain a few things to a younger version of myself I wonder how differently I would have handled life.
If I could go back, here are few things I would say...
Sometimes life gets really tough. There are bad days and sometimes there are even worse days, but having good friends and family around will always, always make it easier. And even though as a kid you might think that a bully at school who is teasing you about having braces or a funny haircut seems like the worst thing in the world, just know that it isn't. Most of the time, if the bully is a boy, he is only teasing you because he either likes you, or he is just jealous at how amazing you are!
When you find yourself wishing that your school days were over, stop! School is the one place where you can make amazing friends, spend time with them all day, learn together, laugh together, play together (with little responsibility) and go home at 3.30pm. No real job lets you do these things!
Never count the days away. Once you hit your "adult years" time goes so fast you might not even remember what day of the week it is because everything flies by so fast!
When you find a good friend, hold onto them! Like good jeans or good shoes! They are hard to find and keeping them close will only help you out in life when you have those "tough" days.
Always wear sunblock! Especially you, Ellie. You have the most pale skin, even if your friends don't wear sunblock, wear it!!!! A bad sunburn is the worst thing!
Don't worry too much about money, but don't over spend on pointless knick knack-y crap or funny trends that might go out of fashion after one season. You'll find that one day you will just end up throwing away a heap of junk that once upon a time you thought was pretty and ended up being utterly useless, then you are just throwing away good money.
Try not to pay attention to what people think about you and your choices. Your family and friends mightn't always agree with your decisions, if you don't agree with them its OK. Value their opinions, they are only trying to help.
Fall in love when you can. Be honest, kind and stay true to yourself no matter how hard the person you are with may try to change you. If something doesn't feel right in your relationship, it usually isn't. Stick with your gut instinct. Don't bend over backwards to please this person, a relationship is a two way street and things should be equal.
Break-ups hurt. Good friends and family will help you get through it. As much as you don't want to hear it, it really is true that only time will make you feel better. Travel also helps!! Just remember that no matter how bad you feel, don't blame yourself! You didn't break, the relationship did. Don't let anybody make you feel bad for that!
Don't be afraid to dream big. Don't let anybody make you feel bad for being a "dreamer" or don't feel silly if people tell you that you are off with the fairies! Your imagination is a great thing! Enjoy it, use it and dream about as much stuff as you want! No dream is too small! If you think you can do it, you can!!
Lastly, enjoy life! Have fun! Don't stress so much. Things really aren't as bad as they seem. Find someone, (or several people) who make you feel good about yourself, and who genuinely enjoy your company and all that you have to offer as a person. Don't take yourself too seriously, find a job that you enjoy and enjoy doing it! Study hard, laugh lots and make the most of your "free" time - it doesn't come around all that often!
(Photo credit to my Aunty Barb - she took this pic when my sisters and I stayed with her in Sydney years ago! I'm the one on the right at the back!)
If you could write a letter to your younger self what would you say? I think I could go on and on forever!