Yeah, this may seem like it’s been completely nicked from Radio 1 who were doing this over lockdown, and yeah that maybe what inspired me recently. However! The whole ‘letter to your younger self’ thing isn’t new by any means and I remember about 15 years ago being given a booked called ‘Dear Me‘ which had celebs writing letters to their 16 year old selves. So radio 1 didn’t invent it.
I did, however, choose to write a letter to my 10 year old self though rather than my 16 year old self because in all honesty I’m not sure that whiney pain in the arse would listen anyway. So what would I say a letter to my 10 year old self? (who looked like this btw):
Why, I’d say this…
You’ve just moved to a new country and a what feels like may well as be Grange Hill compared to what you’re used to. You have a funny accent and everyone around you seems to have known each other since they were little. Something you’ve never been able to say about anyone. You don’t like feeling different and just want to be like everyone else. You need to forget this. Don’t ever lose sight of how lucky you are to have the childhood you’ve had. And ironically, the thing you feel is your biggest hindrance right now will end up being one of your greatest strengths and you’ll even make a career out of being able to adapt to change and make friends easily. Keep writing stories. That will come in handy later in life too, when thousands of people a month will read what you have to say.
Don’t give up singing and acting so quickly, you’ll go on to regret it and sticking with it will serve you better and make you happier than horse riding and German.
You’re not ugly, you’re not fat, so ignore anyone who say you are. When the nasty girls in middle school invited you to a sleepover with the sole purpose of picking on you all night, you were right to trust your instinct and not go, and when they send you a friend request on Facebook 20 years later because they want a neb around your wedding photos, decline it. It will feel so divinely fair.
You won’t believe me right now, but Mum, Dad, and Gary really are some of your best friends, perhaps not in the way you would traditionally define a best friend but thanks to the unique experiences you’ve shared courtesy of the British Army, you have a closeness that will only grow stronger as you all get older. Apart from perhaps a period when you’re 15 when absolutely nothing is fair on you. One day, you’ll fiercely and proudly describe them as your friends as well and your family.
Don’t worry about boys. You’ll soon realise that quality is much more important than quantity. Pay more than a passing glance to the boy with the blonde curtains who walks to school with your brother every morning. Mark Owen and Nick Carter aren’t the only boys in the world, there’s another floppy haired cutie much closer to home who will make you his world, and him yours.
Your journey with depression is going to knock you for six and seemingly come out of nowhere. It hasn’t come out of nowhere; it’s built very slowly over time starting with things that were out of your control in your 20s and staying in an environment where behaviours challenged your core values on a daily basis in your 30s. I urge you to speak to Dave about how you’re feeling as soon as you begin to not feel like yourself. You will think he won’t understand but he does, and it will be the first step to getting the help you need. Believe me it will feel like a long road back to being happy again, and it’s something you will need to work on every single day. But you will be happy again, so keep the faith, because things always get better.
Just calm down, learn to control that excitement of yours, breath deeply, and stand up for yourself. You’re going to be absolutely fine. Boybands forever.