Having just watched Graham Moore’s Oscar acceptance speech, where he dedicated the win to his 16 year old self, I felt inspired to address the young woman in my past, to let her know that it’s all gonna be OK.
I’m writing to you from the future. I won’t say how old I am now because you’ll think I’m ancient and therefore unable to give good advice, but listen up.
Firstly, you’re a great kid, but you’re going to have to believe in yourself if you want to go places. Stand up straight and look the world right in the eye. It’s really not as scary as you imagine!
Do what makes your heart sing and follow your dream of making a living from your writing and photography. Just because you couldn’t go to the Daily Examiner for work experience doesn’t mean you can’t have a writing career! Don’t believe the people who tell you that you can’t – they gave up on their dreams long ago.
Take the leap and go to college straight after school to study photography and/or writing, or you’ll be stuck in jobs you really dislike for a very long time. This will save you years of frustration, trust me!
Don’t sweat the small stuff … and remember, it’s all small stuff! Think about this – in 5 years’ time, when you’re 21 – will it REALLY matter to you? Nah… Let it go.
Value your true friends, keep them close and they will stay that way for the rest of your life. However, there will be others who may not have your best interests at heart. You just have to let those people go and move on. Don’t look back.
Travel as often as you can. You’ll really love it and will learn so much from your time in far off lands.
Be grateful for all the blessings you have in your life. Many people around you and out in the wider world have much less. You are NOT hard done by!
You are also blessed with a loving family. Appreciate them now, as they will be gone far too soon. Tell them you love them every day, even if you don’t really like how they are acting at the time.
Be yourself. OK, so you feel a bit different, like you don’t really fit in a lot of the time. You’re a bit shy and awkward around boys, but that’s alright. You’ll work it out eventually, there’s no rush. Oh, and save your love for the ones who love you back! Don’t worry – there’s a wonderful man waiting to share his love with you in the future, be patient.
Be proud of who you are. Hold onto your integrity – you’re gonna need it!
Your wise and wonderful older self xox
P.S. Buy a property in Sydney as soon as you can get a loan.
What advice would you give to your 16 year old self? Feel free to respond in the box below – I’d love to hear your story.