A Letter To My Young Self, Aged 17 & a Half

A Letter To My Young Self

If you could go back to a moment in your life and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Legal & General, our home insurance provider, asked me to write a letter to my young self and invite you all to do the same.

So if The Doctor parked his Tardis in my bathroom (this is not a euphemism!) and asked me on an adventure, I’d be right there beside him. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to go back and greet younger me, but mostly my bathroom is pretty small and I imagine he’d block the door with his big blue box.

I’d ask the Doctor to take me back to the when I fell into a perpetual routine of working in retail. To the weeks I spent waiting to hear from the University that rejected me, the dream that never came true. In fact I’d go back to before then, not even to art college, but way back to 6th form.

I wouldn’t tell the Doctor of course, because he reckons meeting yourself would create some kind of crazy paradox so I’d leave him at my mum’s with the telly on and a cup of tea. Then I’d hop off to school and stop myself from making the mistake of even bothering applying to University.

I’d tell myself that it was OK to take your own path. That just because everyone else is applying to University it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right thing for everyone. Art college will be a bust and you’ll spend way too much money on train fare.

New York Skyline

Instead, see some of the world. Go on that trip to New York that you eventually take and fall in love with your favourite city, visit London alone to meet some people from the internet, fly to Rome and talk about TV shows and learn about other people’s culture. Do everything you did, but do it sooner.

Then learn: Learn everything you learned over the next 10 years out of pure frustration, but learn it all earlier and stop wasting time feeling like you made a mistake by not getting a degree. Once you’ve learned some, start a business. Any business. Then learn some more. Learn every day for the rest of your life – you don’t need no University courses for that.

With any luck by the time I get back to my present day life will be pretty much the same, full of the same awesome people, but we won’t have lost those years feeling inadequate, instead we’ll feel like a God damn renegade. If it really came down to it, there’s not much in my life that I’d change. I actually made the right choices… eventually. So I’d just do it all again, but sooner, with more urgency.

So watch TV & play video games; sleep for 12 hours; go to parties and get drunk; do all of the things that might seem like a waste of time now, that’s not important, just promise me you’ll spend less time feeling like a failure. To fail is to stop trying and as long as you’re packing as many dreams and lessons as you can into your life, you’re doing pretty good.

Write your younger self your own piece of advice by visiting Legal & General’s What Would You Say To Your Younger Self?

Loves x xx

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