I turned 26 on Tuesday so in honour of that I decided to write post on three things I wish I’d known when I was 16.
Do you know what’s sad? I’ve scoured the internet and my bedroom and I can’t find one photograph from when I was sixteen. Sure there’s probably one somewhere (I imagine my sister will be able to dig one out) but at this moment in time I can’t find one. Facebook is a no go – I deleted and untagged all photos from my school years a long time ago – and I binned all my old photos when we moved out of Jody’s parents house.
Which leads me on nicely to my point – Being sixteen sucked, so much so that I got rid of any evidence that I was ever 16. I know that I’m not the only one who felt that way. Ten years on and I’m a totally different person. I still have the odd moment where I doubt myself and everything I’ve achieved in the last decade but most of the time I feel pretty good about myself and how things have turned out.
I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years but if I could go back and tell 16 year old Jess only three things they would be the following:
Mum is always right.
When I was younger I thought my mum was an evil witch intent on sucking the fun out of everything and ruining my life but nope, she was just trying to look out for me. Over the last ten years I’ve come to learn that my Mum is right about pretty much everything – Questionable fashion choices, boys, drinking alcohol, careers…You name it and she’s probably been right about it. Luckily this seems to be a trait I have picked up from her and 97.5% of the time I’m always correct too (It’s taken husband 8 years to realise this but he’s getting there).
Education isn’t the be all and end all.
When I turned 16 I stressed myself out big time over my GCSE’s and ended up doing alright (9A-C’s I’ll have you know). Unfortunately I made a lot of wrong decisions when it came to my further education and I dropped out of A Levels, a BTec and an NVQ, deducing that education wasn’t for me – Thank God I didn’t go to uni, get myself in debt THEN realise this eh? It’s all worked out for me in the end though – I’m on a decent wage, have good knowledge of various industries and roles AND I have the years of experience to back it up. Education is great sure, but if you feel that it isn’t right for you then explore your other options…it’s always going to be there if you change your mind.
That you should always be yourself, fuck being a sheep.
All through school I used to get picked on for my weird sense of humour, my spots, my braces, my make up, my music taste and my all round emo-ness. My mum (another example of when she was right is coming up) used to tell me to ignore them, that being a shepherd was much better than being a sheep and that you know, school eventually ends. Obviously at the time I thought she was a bellend cos it wasn’t her getting called pizza face every time she walked into the girls toilets but HEY! It all worked out in the end as she said she would. I have friends that like me because I’m a bit different, I get on well with my work colleagues and I have a great family who support me no matter what. Standing out has definitely worked out well for me as an adult.
Like Dr Seuss said ‘Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You’
How have things changed for you since you were sixteen?