As my 22nd birthday approaches, I feel as though I’m coming up to an important age. Typically, turning 22 isn’t that significant but over the past year I’ve done a lot of growing up and I’ve come to peace with a lot of things. I wish I could have told my younger self a lot of things. I grew up in a less conventional way and some guidance dealing with a lot of subjects would have been nice haha! Here is what I would tell my younger self, if i had the chance:
You are not fat.
As long as I can remember I have had body issues. I remember weighing around 55kg when I was 12. At 5’4, that is well within the normal weight range. I had a lot more curves that many girls my age, so I saw that as being ‘fat’. In intermediate, I was compared to my very slim sister and called the “fat sister”. Around the same age, one of my mums (former) friends told me I looked pregnant and needed to stop eating so much. I remember knowing what she said was wrong, but it still stuck with me. From then on, I have had body issues. Being self-conscious holds you back so much. You do less with your friends, act differently and basically shy away from fun things because your conscious of the way you look. Growing up with that on my mind has shaped me very much into a very anxious adult, whereas how I look is on my mind most days. I wish I had dealt with my body conscious issues when I was young.
You deserve good friends.
I have been bullied since I was younger than 10. I have had ‘friends’ that treated me like shit that I stuck with for fear of having no one around me. I didn’t know that by leaving the people who were awful to me, I may find better friends. I learnt this towards the end of high-school, and re-learnt it again this past year. I wish I had worried less about being alone, and valued myself more when I was a teenager. Being walked all over has made me build a lot of walls when it comes to new people.
Take care of your body.
I wish desperately that I had taken better care of my body when I was younger. I wish I had drunk more water and exercised more. I played a lot of sport, but after high school when that ended I stopped doing any sort of exercise at all. Nowadays, I enjoy exercising now but never feel as though I have time for it. I wish I had gotten into better habits in terms of healthy eating and exercising when I was younger, it would be so much easier than trying to do that now!
Take school more seriously.
As a teen, I was very smart. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I am very academic and enjoy studying and learning. I did well in school, but I never studied, or even took notice in class. I still got great grades, but I always wonder what I could have achieved if I’d taken school more seriously.
Be nicer to people.
Let’s be honest here. My personality is a lot for some people. Which is fine! I am very sarcastic, and jokey and sometimes people don’t click with that very well. Sometimes in high school, I’d find myself telling jokes at someone’s expense, not expecting them to get offended because I knew i was kidding. That’s not always how it goes though, and I did upset some people. If that’s you, I’m sorry. I was going through an awful time and being bullied for about 90% of my school years, my loud personality was my only weapon!
Stop hanging out in parks with people you don’t know.
It was the cool thing in year 9 & 10, to hang out at night in some random park with some random people. I absolutely hated it. It made me so anxious and half the time I was begging inside my own head to just go home. I think a lot of my social anxiety developed around this time. I wish I could have had the balls to just get up, and go home instead of trying to impress people. P.s. if you’re reading this and we used to hang out in parks at night together, it’s not you! It’s me, seriously.
I hope you enjoyed reading this! I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope it helps someone, anyone! What would you like to tell your younger self?
As always, love Lyd x