‘Dear 16 year old me…’

In hindsight if you had the opportunity to have a conversation with your 16 year old self what would you say?  That was the question I was posed with this time two years ago along with several other women living in my home town of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.  So to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, I share my short reflective response with you… Happy reading and happy International Women’s Day!

If my 16 year old self was to meet me now, I’d hope that I wouldn’t recognise me. I’d hope the years of enduring many highs and lows, lessons and hard knocks would have made me unrecognisable to the younger me for it would mean that I have learned many valuable lessons.

So rather than converse my truths, I’d instead aim for the younger me to see them.

16 year old me would see that I have learnt that being happy IS my divine right. That fun and happiness should be found in every moment and not just saved for special occasions. I’d see that I’ve learnt to recognise and celebrate my own little successes alongside supporting others to achieve theirs.

I’d show me that I’ve learned to accept that I will never be everyone’s cup of tea but that there’s comfort to be found in knowing that not everyone will understand me because not everyone is meant to.

I would look at me and see that showing vulnerability but not surrendering to it is what will make me beautiful and that the Universe is to be trusted and will support me to fearlessly pursue what is mine.

16 year old me would observe that I’ve learnt to be humble, thoughtful and kind to others and when it seems that those qualities are being taken for granted by others, I would have the wisdom to peacefully walk away. I’d see that I have learnt to do this even if it means bearing the discomfort of standing alone or being judged unfairly for it.

I’d see that admiring and aspiring to emulate the positive attributes of others would be one of my prized qualities and accepting that it’s okay to mess up sometimes would teach me not to judge others.

Despite struggles, I would see that I’ve learned to practice an attitude of gratitude and teamed with the art of reflection I would have the ability to transform the harshest of experiences into the most magical life lessons. I’d show me that I am a work in progress and in no way ashamed of whom I’ve become.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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