I’ve seen a few bloggers do something similar, and it’s got me inspired to do the same. I’ve been wanting to write a letter to myself, with the things that I would have appreciated hearing over recent years. I think it will be somewhat therapeutic too. Warning: this will probably get deep!
“Dear old me,
You have spent your life feeling not good enough, like the outsider, like you didn’t fit in, like the black sheep of the family (as Dad kindly once told you..). I’m writing to tell you how all of the challenges you’ve been facing will eventually make you the person you need to be.
I know that right now, you can’t imagine being truly happy. You can’t remember feeling one hundred percent content. There’s nothing wrong with the life that you are living, but you know that it’s not where you want to be. The frustrating part is that you don’t know where you want to get to. You’re in a job that you like, but you don’t love it. You’re settled, you’ve been there for years. You are just ‘fine’. Soon you will be brave enough to take a leap out of your comfort zone and try something new.
First of all, know that it is ok to not have followed the ‘normal’ path. It is ok you hated school, it is ok you didn’t have a plan, that you didn’t go to uni and that you still don’t know what you want to do when you ‘grow up’. It is ok that you haven’t had the same group of friends since you were a kid. Friendships come and go and that’s just a part of life. Just wait, know that different people will come along.
Know that people don’t care as much as you think they do. In the sense that they don’t care if you aren’t on the same path as them. They don’t care if your goals are different or if you are at a different stage of your life. They don’t care if you aren’t wearing makeup today and they don’t care if you don’t keep up with the latest fashion trend. They are too busy with their own worries to worry about yours.
You should stop comparing yourself to others. So what if your older brother graduated from uni with a first, or that your younger brother got higher GCSE’s than you did. Remember that you are talented in ways that they aren’t. So what if you suck at maths, just challenge them to look after a horse, or work a DSLR! They will soon see how much they don’t know. You need to learn to have confidence in yourself, and know that you don’t need to be academic to be successful.
Know that you will feel anxious. A lot. And that is ok. Because, speaking as your future self, you will conquer it. You will struggle to go to new places on your own, or ask for help from a stranger. Sometimes you may cancel plans or find an excuse to not go somewhere. But know that you don’t give up, and it gets better. A word of advice: if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. I know you find it incredibly hard to open up to people, but you need to let people in. If you don’t, it will ruin your relationships.
Your new job will throw all kinds of struggles your way. You will go from working with five people, to fifty. It’s a completely new environment, one that you’re not used to. Your anxiety raises its ugly head again, but you learn and you adapt, and you will find that the people you meet will have a huge impact on your life. You will learn to let new people in, people that you would have otherwise never met before. Your social circle will change and that is one of the best things that will happen.
Over the next year, you will find something that you have never had before. You will find courage. You will learn more about yourself this year than you have in a long time, and you become a much better person for it. You will learn that it’s ok to not be ok and you will embrace the good days. Know that you can fall down and lose your spark, so long as you rise again as the whole damn fire.
The people that you now surround yourself with will inspire you, motivate you and cheer you on. These are the kind of people you need in your life and you will find that these friendships are different to what you have had before. These people genuinely care, they want you to be ok and to do well. You will appreciate this because it’s something you’ve never really had. ‘Your people’ will mean a hell of a lot to you.
Know that with your new-found courage, you will learn to listen to your gut. Your job will drain you mentally and emotionally for many different reasons and it will leave you feeling completely broken and this will affect other aspects of your life. But remember that it is only temporary. You will tire of feeling broken and you will quit that job, despite having no where else to go. It will empower you to do something you previously would have been too terrified to do.
Know that you are about to have the best summer of your life. Leaving the security of a full time job is scary, and leaving behind the best support network that you’ve ever had is pretty tough too. But it quickly gets better. You are about to spend your summer doing exactly what you need to be doing right now. You have given yourself the chance to do what you truly love for 3 months. You will travel, make new friendships and connect with new people. You will recharge, you will repair yourself and you will remember who you are.
You can now look back at your struggles and know that without them, you wouldn’t be where you are right now. You have gone from feeling completely broken, to completely whole. You now know that you don’t need to feel like you should be fitting in with other people’s lives, because you are just living yours. For the first time in what feels like forever, your heart is happy.
So remember, you can do it. You just need to focus on the good and leave a little sparkle wherever you go.
You will face more challenges, but for now, you got this. xx”