To my 17 year old self,
Happy (almost) 18th birthday! You just sat your last school exam. Wowza. And congrats. But truth be told - the hardest tests still lay in front of you. The test of life (oh god, yes you still use clichés in your writing - sorry Ms Wright). Don't worry - this test "of life" is not a pass or fail. You can't even study for it (but I guess this is kind of a cheat sheet). And best of all you're not sitting this test alone - although, some days it sure does feel like it.
I'm here to give you a (virtual, back in time, upside down - wait no, there's no real upside down. That's just on a Netflix show. OMG. Netflix - I can't even explain) hug. To prepare you for what you're about to learn. To tell you that it's going to be a rollercoaster and let you in on a secret - despite what you think no one has it all figured out.
Remember to celebrate. Celebrate your "failures", knowing that I wouldn't change any of it. Celebrate reaching your milestones, knowing that there is no arrogance in being proud of whatever you deem to constitute success. Celebrate questioning what that success actually is for you. Celebrate uncertainty, knowing that you still have many tests before you and lessons to be learnt. Many challenges, many achievements, many experiences, many connections. Embrace the uncertainty. Embrace the funk*. Embrace the journey. Okay I'll stop with the cliche's. Oh and invest in some BitCoin. K, thanks bye.
Test preparation: Sabine's cheat sheet for HER
"Late Teens/Early Twenties"
- University will be less about getting a degree and more about self discovery
- The world is asking to be explored - self discovery continues on your travels
- There's something about moving your body, listening to your gut and taking the time to breathe
- Expect epic heartbreak. Like, snotty, ugly crying for days, heartbreak
- Even better, expect an epic love. Like, yin to your yang, perfect for you, surprise you out of nowhere, kind of love
- Self doubt will be the seed of a seemingly never ending battle
- Thanks in part to society's questionable ideals, you will enjoy, nay - you will revel, receiving compliments about your exterior
- This fuels part of a complex unhealthy obsession
- Which over time provides a chance to find a strength you never knew existed
- There will be times when the weight of the world will be on your shoulders and you will see no light in sight
- Your family will always be your number one supporters
- Learn to ask for help
- Old and new friends will always have your back (in more ways than could ever be explained in a late-night-I-might-delete-this-in-the-morning thought vomit) even if they don't always completely understand
- Through love and learning, the light will once again shine bright
- You will get better at speaking out about what you believe in, even if this means going against aforementioned societal ideals
- Terrifyingly, this opens you up to a wave of judgement
- Learn to listen to and respond with Love instead of Fear
- Kindness is the key
- Stop worrying about that pass or fail - remember what I said, this test doesn't work like that.
- PLEASE don't forget the BitCoin
Most importantly, know that you've got this.
I'll check-in in another 10 years to let you know how we're going with the "late twenties/early thirties". There. I said it. Late twenties. Bring it on**.
With love always,
*Phrase courtesy of GH (had to use it - thanks pal!)
**Still the best cheerleading movie of all time
This is an edited version of a journal entry. Try it for yourself - what words of wisdom would you share with your younger self? Imagine writing to a little sister...
Lets create some mental head space for 2018 and the decade ahead. Join us for the ultimate end of year Celebration - the Celebration of You! A Movement & Mindfulness event for Girls. For more info and to book head to our Workshops page or feel free to send a friendly email to firstname.lastname@example.org