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A letter to my 13 year old self

Dear little me,

The year for you now is 2011, you are in year 9, and you've got soooo much good stuff to come in life.

The most important thing you are going to do is actually going to happen in about 6 months, when you turn 14 and join the Explorer Scouts group in Haslingden. You say it's to meet boys but you know you need to find some friends closer to home, I see that now. There, you are going to meet someone who ends up changing your life. Now you aren't friends with this person anymore, BUT this friend is going to show you a whole other world, he's going to inspire you to move schools, and through that you're going to meet some of the most important people in your life now.

If my maths serves me correctly, you've already met quite a few people who turn out to be very very important (and dare I say deadly) to your life. You're going to want to change who you are to fit in with some of these people, admittedly mainly boys, and that's going to chip away at the part of yourself that makes you so weird and wonderful, and you aren't really going to know how to deal with that. You're going to feel that way for years to come, and the only way to minimise that feeling is speaking to people, and being validated for feeling all kinds of ways about all sorts of things that have gone down.

School at this point for you is weird, and I can tell you for a fact that feeling you get in your chest when your Dad drives you down the road that leads to school does not go away, and it's actually quite common and got a pretty big name beginning with A. That feeling finds it way into more areas of your life the older your get. But you figure out what this is through various conversations with friends, and you figure out how to help yourself. Maybe one day that won't be enough, and don't you think it's an easy thing to do...but in 10 years you feel together and happy and you're looking after yourself for the first time ever - nice job.

This boy obsession has to stop by the way - it is going to happen, you will find a boyfriend, you'll have that first kiss, that first date, everything you've ever dreamed of and more. It's going to get you into quite a bit of trouble too, most of which is caused by you because you're flighty and anxious about commitment actually, can you believe that! After wanting a boyfriend for so long, and having this idea of what a boyfriend should be, you'll break a lot of hearts, go through highs and lows, and many many boyfriends. You're in a relationship now, about 9 years on from your first, and this is the best relationship of your life, but bloody hell it's been a journey - 9 years of heart-breaking and heartbreak, snogs, texts, all sorts of stuff... I don't want to give too much away because I don't want to embarrass you but you're going to have a lot of fun.

You've got a crazy family time coming your way too, and honestly it's not all happy. There's some mad stuff about to happen in your closest family, stuff you won't understand, and looking back you're going to be quite selfish about it all. You're young, you're confused, and although you'll feel that guilt in the years to come, you need to forgive yourself. You're young and don't fully understand what is happening, and most importantly it is not your fault. You're also super scared of people dying - we're 10 years on and nobody in your family has which is a miracle so stop wasting sleeping hours upset about the possibility of someone dying, it's silly. Although, saying that, you will deal with your Nana's dementia, and that's going to break your soul more than her death ever could've, and honestly there's no way to prepare for that.

Please don't worry about what you want to be when your older, because you have never even heard or thought about the job you're in now and you love it. You're going to dabble in a fair few areas and careers, and I am not saying you've found what you will do forever in 2021...but it works for now and you're happy and confident where you are now. You are also very proud to be self-sufficient, and you just bought a BMW convertible on finance with no financial help from anyone - if that's not something to be proud of then I don't know what is.

I'm so jealous that you've got all this crazy stuff to come - the next 10 years are monumental. You'll move out, work, find love, find friendships - everything is coming your way. Keep going.

Lots of love and hugs,

You, at 23


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