What Would You Tell Your 16 Year Old Self?

I don’t know about you, but as the end of a year approaches I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve achieved over the past twelve months.  I guess it’s the non-fiction writer in me, but I do like to check in with myself occasionally and ensure I’m on track with what I hoped to achieve.

2015 was a mixed bag for me, there were plenty of amazing opportunities but also a massive life changing event and health issue.  I’ll be glad when this year is done if I’m honest.

All this pondering got me thinking about what I would tell my 16-year-old self, about life, love and the future.  This is what I came up with:-

img043 On my 16th birthday!

  1. Stay true to who you are, don’t let anyone steal your sparkle.
  2. Boys come and go – the heartbreak ends and the sun comes up again.
  3. Enjoy being skinny, it doesn’t last!
  4. Make lots of wrong decisions because you’ll learn so much.  Regret nothing.
  5. College is great so enjoy yourself but watch out for student night (Southern Comfort is not as nice second time around!)
  6. Learn a foreign language.
  7. Your obsession with books will never end.
  8. They’re going to make you re-sit your maths exam – that’s an extra year of night school and you’ll still never use Pythagoras Theorem.
  9. Never let anyone tell you what to think.
  10. Things might get really bad for a while but stay strong and life will deliver amazing opportunities.
  11. Never give up on your dreams.
  12. Keep writing and everything will fall into place.
  13. Cherish your family.
  14. Embrace the changes in technology as they arrive – you’re going to LOVE social media!
  15. An 18-30 Ibiza holiday is okay once, but travel as far and wide as you can because the world is an amazing place.
  16. Johnny Depp will always be gorgeous.

Johnny Depp
17.  Fear is just false evidence appearing real.  Don’t let it control you.
18.  Your love of pizza isn’t just a teen thing.
19.  You’ve got the gift of the gab for a reason – use what you say to help others.
20.  Be a leader, not a sheep.
21.  Chocolate cures EVERYTHING.
22.  Dream It, Live It, Become It.
23.  Keep smiling.
24.  Friends will come and go, that’s okay.
25.  You’ll never be able to sing a note, but don’t let that stop you!

I’d love to hear what you would tell your 16-year-old self, let me know in the comments below.

28 comments

  1. Hmmmm. Ok.
    1. Your current girlfriend? Ditch her. Really.
    2. You need to write a zillion words before anything good comes out. Start now.
    3. The formula is *not* YOU + THE GIRL = HAPPINESS, the formula is YOU + HAPPINESS = THE GIRL
    4. You are ok.
    5. Qualifications are a complete and utter waste of time
    6. Take a full time job at boots. You’ll love it.
    7. Move out now. Never go back.
    8. Save up. Buy shares in a company called Google
    9. You are ok.
    10. Long hair is fine.
    11. …But cut it off long before you’re thirty.
    12. You are ok.
    13. There aren’t different ‘types’ of love.
    14. Have you started those zillion words yet?
    15. You are ok.
    16. Trust your instincts. They’re right 99.9999% of the time.
    17. Forget how you’d like the world to work – figure out how it ACTUALLY works.
    18. Beware the word ‘should’
    19. Business people are only interested in making money
    20. You are ok.
    21. Most ‘how to get published’ advice is utter BS. Publishers are business people like any other.
    22. Hearts break. They also mend.
    23. You are ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great! Makes me want to do one – for my 14 year old niece, perhaps!!! I think I will, for the new year 🙂

    Such a pretty 16 year old, I can see where your three get their looks from! x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. Everything will work out. Hold that thought when life is throwing shit at you.
    2. It is impossible to be happy all the time. Go with the flow.
    3. Life will make more sense once you’ve discovered feminism. You will then have a way to explain injustice.
    4. Integrity matters. Just because other people lie doesn’t mean that you have to.
    5. I’m not going to give you advice because you’ll never stop doing things your own way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A list to think about Shelley – thank you. Sure there must be many things but there is really only one thing that comes to mind instantly at the moment – ‘Don’t be so afraid’ – sixteen was a bad time for me. Later I got married It was all upwards and onwards after that – has been ever since! Hooray Jx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gawd, can’t even bear to think of being sixteen again, Shelley – but love your photo … and you’ve hardly changed at all!
    And not only non-fiction writers who like to do the review of the year, currently garnering the energy for mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Look at you!!
    You were a stunner. Tried to do this ..but as my 16 yr old self was having such a bad time, emotionally abused, beaten by my father and often not fed, it seemed the only thing I could say was: it will get better. Might have to wait until you’re a lot lot lot older, but it will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand how that would be painful to revisit, Carol. When I look at you, I see a strong, confident woman with a fantastic sense of humour and amazing family values. I think your younger self would be damn proud of you! Xxx

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  7. My list:

    1. Trust the process
    2. Not all boys just like big breasts, you do not need to spend any more time wishing yours were bigger.
    3. It’s worth doing Latin O level just to make people laugh when you are 50, declining the verb,’ mititis,mititis, mitunt’
    4. Your learning will never stop
    5.you will still be head banging to AC DC many years from now, you will just be able to play it at the volume you really want.
    6. Your Nan will need you in a few years, give her all that you can.
    7. You will be able to laugh and joke with you Mum more than you would ever think possible now, she will be your rock all her life.
    8. Your Dad, you will be able to twist round your little finger all his life and if you listen, he will teach you so much.
    9. You have unimaginable gifts, so use them.
    10. You will always love purple
    11. Learn to say ‘no’ when you need to and to collaborate rather than accommodate.
    12. Stay close to Nature
    13. Dance like a lunatic all your life
    14. The path to loving yourself will be the most important one you take.
    15. Always do your best, whatever the challenge.
    16. Get a decent pair of jeans that you haven’t made yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks Shelley, I am going to write this list in my journal. It’s a very powerful tool. Also, you don’t want the jeans info. They were truly ghastly with a zip up the side and a 10 inch waistband! For some reason my Mum wouldn’t let me buy jeans ( probably horribly pagan to her at the time) so I resorted to making my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a lovely post Shelley and all the replies too, you have a great blog and followers.
    My list would include,
    1. Study all you can and make sure you get the right qualifications for what you’d like to do.
    2 Let your family know how much you love them.
    3 Don’t be afraid to let them know you are unsure of yourself
    4 Cherish your elderly relatives and look after the younger ones.
    5 Learn how to make basic good food.
    6 take as many classes as you can, dancing, playing instruments, singing whatever, and don’t worry about not being very good.

    I really like your list

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Angela. I love your number 5, so simple yet necessary! My mum was such a great cook that I didn’t bother to learn. Then, for some unknown reason I went to catering college!!! I wasn’t very good ha ha 😉

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  10. Brilliant post, Shelley. I love it! I must confess to having been a very shy and withdrawn 16 year old, so most of these would not have applied to me. That 16 year old person doesn’t bear any relation to today’s me, so I’d be hard put to give her advice. Probably explains why I was rubbish at advising my own daughters. I just used to sympathise and cuddle them when things went wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

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