If you’ve been following my blog from the early days, you’ll know it’s somewhat of a tradition of mine to share my year’s lessons in a post each birthday.
24 was an incredible year – I travelled the world, I ran a marathon, I moved in with a boy and I became an editor at one of my dream companies. As I turn 25, the list of lessons is only getting longer, so this year I’ve decided to mix things up with a letter to my 15 year old self.
So here goes, and thanks for all of you who have been following my journey.
At 15 you can’t imagine being ten years older, as right now, sixth form seems to be the biggest worry in your world. You’re going to stress about the subjects you choose, but you’ll end up knowing what you want to do by your next birthday – you’ll decide you want to write, and you’ll spend the next ten years following that dream.
You’re starting to worry about your weight and you’re soon going to take this a bit far. You’ll go to Italy, you’ll lose weight and everyone will tell you how great you look. You’ll start hiding food, pushing everyone away and giving into that voice in your mind. You’ll get really ill, you’ll hit rock bottom and your life will be consumed by a terrifying illness that you probably haven’t really heard about yet. Have faith, you will wake up one morning and decide to change, and with everyone behind you, you’ll start to get better.
You’ll go to one of the sportiest universities in the U.K. and it will help you realise being strong is far more important than being thin. Of course, it’s not that simple and you’ll have moments when you fall back into old habits, but when you graduate, your eating disorder will only be a tiny part of your story. (And yes, you’ll be wearing your gym kit all the time like you vowed you never would).
At 25 you still hate running, but somehow you’ll have run a marathon. You’ll cry the whole way round the 26.2 miles and make your family and boyfriend proud. You’ll become hooked and carry on running, but more importantly, you’ll prove to yourself how far you’ve come.
You’ll make a fashion mistake or two; I wish I could tell you not to wear those white heels, or not to get that spray tan. Whilst we’re on the subject, by 25, you’ll know facial piercings are definitely not a good idea.
You’re going to meet someone who makes you want to see more of the world and you’ll fall in love with him and the idea of travelling. You’ll see orangutans in Borneo, do yoga in Bali and sit outside the Taj Mahal at sunrise. It will be the most amazing six months of your life, and although you’ll spend a long time deliberating over whether it’s the right thing to do, you’ll be so glad you did.
Right now, you’ll think by 25 you’ll have it all figured out. You won’t, but you’ll be sat on the underground back to your own flat miles away from Essex and you’ll be pretty happy with the way things have turned out.