A Letter To My Younger Self

by Jennifer Richards

Dear 11-year-old-me,

Most people pen letters to their future selves, saying who they want to be and what they’re hoping for. But I thought it was you, my younger self, who deserved to hear from me.  I’m not the person you thought I would be, and I wanted to explain why.

The bravest decision I ever made might shock you since it is when I chose to leave university. I didn’t decide to leave because I couldn’t handle my course or because I didn’t like the independence. I just realised I had been pressured into going to university when it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Don’t worry, I still love learning – I promise you I won’t give that up. My choice to pursue a different path to all my friends means I’m not what you expected. The person you thought I’d be. I’m a lot braver and bolder, and surer of my own mind than I ever imagined I’d be. I hope you’d be proud of that.

I know that you think that I’d have been in plenty of relationships by now, having probably met the person I will spend the rest of my life with. No such luck I’m afraid. I’ve dated, but I’m yet to fall in love. But I’m okay with that. I’ve learnt that friendships are the best kind of love, and in that department you’ve been very lucky. The people you’ve met are incredible, whether that’s from school, work, or my brief stint at university. I can’t tell you I’m definitely going to fall in love, or get married, or anything like that; but I can promise you my love for my friends is greater than any romantic love will ever be. Trust me, you’ll understand one day.

I know you want to have a life like those characters on 90210; but it’s better you didn’t. In hindsight, the fact that you had an actual childhood and grew up slowly, rather than life being about sex, drugs and scandal at only 15. You’ve done the parties and staying out all night; but you did them when you wanted to, and you still enjoy doing the more immature things. In fact, you’re currently rocking a My Little Pony temporary tattoo.

One final thing. You were always so anxious and scared about what people thought of you. You wanted to become popular and cool. Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s never going to happen. You still laugh at inappropriate moments, dance way too much, and do a killer tortoise impression. You’re a bit too weird to ever be cool I’m afraid. But normal’s boring. You’ve laughed way more doing fancy dress, making up quizzes, and dancing like a weirdo to Taylor Swift than you ever would have if you were cool. You’ve learnt not to care about what others think of you, and it’s the most liberating choice you’ve ever made.

So, dear year 11-year-old me

The person you thought I’d be? I’m not her and I hope you understand why. I’m happy- not as the popular girl you so craved, or a high flying university student but I’m happy… the happiest I’ve ever been in fact, and isn’t that the most important thing?

With love,

Jen x

P.S. one last thing: soon your friends will force you to read the Harry Potter books and watch the films. Don’t tell them they’re being stupid, it’s going to be amazing. I promise.

You may also like

Leave a Comment