A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

It’s the 1st of March.  I’ve survived (I would say massively indulged) in yet another birthday month.  I’m sort of sad it’s over, but it’s time to look forwards.

And in doing so, I look back, 10 years older and wiser and wonder what I would tell my former self if I could.

1) Breathe.

I could probably do with telling my present self this sometimes also.  Stress is a big part of the modern day world.  But as a young ripe 18 year old, I don’t know why I felt the world’s problems had to be sorted and solved by myself.  Sometimes, it is ok to let things go.

Yes, I definitely need to tell my present self this too!

2) Be kind, always.

Because you never know what people are going through.

When I was younger, I went through a lot.  I do not mind acknowledging it, nor am I alone in this.  But as a child, and then a teenager I used to feel jealous of other people.  Why is my life so shit and theirs so perfect?  How can I laugh and joke and be merry and fake when all I want to do is scream?  How can they laugh and joke and be merry and have fun when all I want to do is scream?

Life has taught me otherwise, and I remember my dad telling me not to wish bad things on people.  I am sorry for being so juvenile.  Forgive me.  Forgive me.

Be kind, always.  Because you never know what secrets people hold.  Sometimes you are privy to them, and sometimes you are not.  But we all hold them.  Every single one of us.  No matter how much you laugh and joke and be merry, they probably just want to scream.  Let them.

3) Be kind to yourself.

Did you forget to do that too?

We are our own worst enemies.  We pound and pummel ourselves, and in many ways it makes us work harder and strive further, but often it is to our detriment.

Be kind to yourself, as you would to anybody else.  Why set the bar so low for your own internal voice?  You would never be so cruel to another person, so why not set the same standards for yourself?

4) Love.

Love indiscriminately.  There is no greater happiness in life.

5) Make Time.

Make time for the people who matter in your life.  Your friends, your family.  It will fill you up in ways you didn’t even know were empty.

And that time?  It will keep you going through the clockwork hours of life.

6) Be brutal in your friendships.

This is a tricky one.  And one that I’m still working on getting my head around.  As you grow, your friendships will change.  But I have found that the people who really matter in my life now are the people who have always mattered.  The ones who have lived your battles with you, held your hand for you and guided you to the other side.  Keep them.

7) Forgive.

I am not good at this one.

Forgive yourself and forgive others.  We are all, after all, only human.  And to err is human.

I’ll keep working on this one.

8) Be grateful.

This is something I have recently made a conscious effort to do.  Take the time to be grateful for something in my life.  And the more I started to do it, the more I realised how many ‘things’ I have to be grateful for.  It is like being blind and then gaining your sight – everywhere you look, you see colour.

Be grateful.  It will make you smile.  It will bring you peace.

9) Listen.

Listen.  Remember your grannies and granddads.  Remember their stories, their words and their voices.  Grannies and granddads come in all guises.  They don’t just have to be related by blood.  Mine weren’t.

And on that, thank you Mrs S for everything words cannot say.  I remember you in so many ways.

10) Lose the baggage.

A little something I picked up from family on my travels.  Family I hadn’t met for almost 10 years. Lose the baggage.

There’s just no point holding on to the past.  We all do it, trust me, I know I have.  But as you learn to let go, you open yourself up to new possibilities and new adventures in life.

Lose the baggage.  Everything will be all right, in the end.




  1. Love this post! So much great advice for your 18 year old self :). You should keep this and pass it on to your future daughter/son :). Love the photo as well, so stunning! Where is it??

  2. Thank you! I definitely will 🙂

    This photo is from the Himalayas. Making our way down from Pheriche. The real life version is truly spectacular!

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