To the 15 year old me.
There are so many big decisions ahead right now. School is coming to an end. and although you have always known what you want to do with your life, people are making you doubt yourself, pushing you into courses and jobs that just aren’t you. Don’t take that part time job in the solicitors that people tell you will ‘open doors’ for you – it will be the wrong doors. Follow your heart, stick with what you have always known, and stand up for how much you love it, how you it really is. If you don’t, you will end up rubbing along nicely at college but always knowing that tis isn’t the right place for you right now – and trust me, in a few months you will end up doing what you should have done all along. But you wasted a few months doing something you didn’t love. Life’s too short – go for it now.
To the 20 year old me.
It’s fantastic that you have found the love of your life already, it really is. You’re one of the lucky ones. Treasure it. Don’t rush it. You don’t have to get married and buy a house right now. Sit back, go with the flow and enjoy the freedom of being with that special person. Suck it and see for a while – and if it’s still as fantastic next year, or the year after that, then jump in with both feet, grab it and don’t let go. If he’s the one, he will still be there, by your side.
To the 21 year old me.
21 feels so grown up, right? But in reality, you are still so young. You have a tiny baby in your arms, and it’s the best feeling in the world, but the birth was horrific, traumatic, devestating. Am I right? Get some help now. Please don’t let it fester. Time isn’t agreat healer, and this will come back to bite you on the bum later in life. It might be next week, next month, when you have another child, all of those times. But it isn’t ever going away until you deal with it, push for the help you need. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and the sooner you are healed, the sooner you can enjoy every second with that precious little bundle in your arms.
To the mum of 2.
2 beautiful children – how blessed do you feel right now? It’s amazing. There is nothing better. Don’t let it be tarnished by that cloud hanging over you again. Call it what you will – postnatal depression, post traumatic stress, it doesn’t matter. Reach out again, get the help, don’t be rushed back to work and putting the babies in childcare if you can’t handle that right now. Money is important, but it’s not everything. Cut back, watch every penny and you can do it. Look at other avenues – what do you love doing? Writing maybe? Think outside the box, stop caring what others think and jump. You will never, ever regret trying. You will only regret the things you didn’t do.
To the mum of 3.
Another bundle of joy, another one who fought hard to be here. Focus on that, and not the days spent watching the machines beeping, helping him breathe and feed. They seemed like long days then, but in the long run, those days are short. The rest of his life is what matters. Look around you. At 30 years old you have a home, a wonderful husband, 3 amazing, incredible children and a job you love. That’s all you have ever wanted, and maybe sometimes you need to stop rushing around, cuddle those babies and kiss their little heads. They are small for such a short time, and you are missing it. You’re missing it.
This is me now. When I look back at some of the decisions I made, I know that I was reckless and foolish, but show me a young person who isn’t. The decisions I made, no matter how silly they seem now, led me to where I am today. And for that, I am thankful. Everyone wonders where they would be if they took a different path, it’s human nature. There are things I still need to take my own advice on, and as a very good friend told me last week ‘Chase that up – some demons still need laying to rest’.
If you had the chance, what would you say to your younger self?
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