A Letter To Our 16 Year Old Selves

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We think it’s fair to say, that the female stride is kicking up in a pace a beat or two – we’re raising fearless, audacious women and we’re challenging the status quo. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in what’s still to do, that we forget how far we’ve come.

Hindsight can be a smug old bitch, but she has her moments too. This week, we’re feeling all reflective and giving some advice to our former selves. The babies we were. A letter to our 16 year old selves.

Some advice kidda:

#1 – YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT

Ah, the greatest myth of adult hood. That somehow, you gain another year since your birth and suddenly, with singing angels and the works, you’re gifted with the knowledge of how to sort your shit out. Life’s path unfurls before you. You get it all sussed.

Nope. Just nope.

Life is messy. And complicated. And all the more fucking beautiful for it. Truth is, kid, you’ll likely never feel like you’ve got it all figured out … even when, for everybody watching, it looks like you’re winning at life. Nailing it. When it’s going good you’ll feel like a fraud, when it’s going bad you’ll work your way back to the good. Hard? Yes, fantastically so. But it is what you make it. Pre-planned and pretty? Never. Where would be the fun in that?

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#2 – STRONG FEMALES CELEBRATE STRONG FEMALES

It’s a crying shame but the utmost truth that society will hard wire you to pit yourself against your fellow females. You won’t even notice it until you’re a lot older, but it’s there. We’re raised to subconsciously see another woman succeed and somehow inwardly deem it as our own failure somehow. We judge and we compare and we look for the flaws. It’s sad when you write it out like that – really fucking sad. Like we said, a crying shame.

But it really doesn’t need to be that way. You can fix her crown without telling the world that you saw it slip. You can be the girl that shouts YASS QUEEN, tell her she looks smoking hot, applaud her wins and empathise with her stumbles. To be female is an innately powerful gift – a challenge, sure, but a gift nonetheless. Love it, share it, celebrate it.

#3 – NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY

Yes, you read that right. But no, we’re not saying that other people won’t bring you happiness, or that you’ll die old and alone. Shit, we hope not. What we are saying is that it’s nobody’s obligation to be responsible for your happiness. Your husband, your wife, your kids, your parents, your friends. It’s not their job.

Look at that sentence one more time.
MAKE you happy.
MAKE.
As in force, coerce.

Your happiness is your responsibility and yours alone. You have to enter your relationships – all of them – with the emotional strength to take charge of your own happiness, then the emotional generosity to share it with them. And share in theirs.

Let people bring you happiness. Share it with them. But never expect them to make you happy. That’s too much for anyone to do. 

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#4 – LIFE WILL BE FULL OF COMPROMISES, BUT LOVE SHOULD NEVER BE ONE OF THEM

Fairy tales will have you believe that it’s the knight on a shining white horse. The cynics and the trashy mags will have you believe that as long as they take a good selfie and can pay for a life that looks good on Instagram then you’re golden. But if you listen to nothing else, then listen to this.

Love, true love, should feel like a thunderous hurricane of a million different emotions and complete and utter peace all at the same time. You should feel that sense of complete and utter rightness wash over you, while your insides simultaneously contort into a frenzy. Does it come with singing birds and rainbows? Not usually. Does it feel any less fucking fantastic? Of course not.

It exists. It is real.
Please, for the love of God, never settle for anything less.

Life will be full of things that are never quite right. Hey, it comes with the reality of it all, but never let love be one of those things.

#5 – YOU ARE NOT FAT

I repeat.
YOU ARE NOT FUCKING FAT.

Oh, and while we’re at it, cellulite is a-okay too. Stretchmarks – they’re glitter stripes. Beautiful. Own them.

We get it, really … we do. You can’t win. She’s too fat and she’s too thin. She’s airbrushed to shit and deep down you know it but you can’t stop looking at the gap in-between her thighs and wondering why no amount of squats and lunges will do that for you.

We would love it if this letter could change the decade long battle you’ll go through with your own body before you come to love it just about as much as you can. But we know it won’t. It’s kind of a rite of passage we all have to traverse, right?

But know this … you don’t look like them because you’re not supposed to. For every set of thin legs you look at wishing they were yours is a girl looking at your bum and wishing it were hers. Figure out what makes you YOU and fucking work it.

Plus, ya know. Cake tastes really good.

OH AND #6 – ENJOY THE NO HANGOVERS WHILE YOU CAN.

Seriously.

 

Carter Gore