Dear young Hannah,
You’re probably looking at this thinking the older you is the same person you are now so there is no point in reading it because she’s only going to tell you stuff that you already know. So there is the first thing you’re wrong about….the old you is a very different person to the 12 year old that is reading this. The 19 year old you is writing this and she may only be a few years older, and she doesn’t have a lot of life experience, but she has a lot more than you right now….so sit down, grab a cup of coffee (that will become your favourite thing so you may as well start now because you’re missing out) and just give this a little read.
I’ll start by giving you the cold, honest truth, the next few years will be pretty hard. That feeling of everything being unknown and losing your way won’t go anywhere. In fact it’ll only hang around for the next couple of years, and at times will feel much worse than it does now. But I’m telling you this because after that, it does go away, and it will get easier. But that’s thanks to having a plan B, so make one now, for everything, because you never know when you might need it – infact now plan B is making you happier than plan A ever would have done!
One day you’ll realise that self-belief and determination will get you a long way. It is very easy to just close your eyes and hope the world around you goes away, but it won’t, and it doesn’t need to, life’s little challenges will turn you into a person you should be very proud of – the older you is.
Without realising it, you say no to too many opportunities. Don’t be afraid to say yes. It will become you’re favourite word. Life isn’t about allowing regrets to get in the way, there are so many people that would kill for some of the opportunites you’ve had thrown your way that you’ve let slip through your fingers. Not big chances, you’ve grabbed hold of them and never let them go…but just little things, don’t be afraid of something that might never happen.
Right now, your friendships are going through a pretty tough time. I’ll tell you why that is, because I know you spend hours sat in bed at night trying to figure it out. You’re all changing, becoming the future you (just to let you know, your future you is ace!) and it’s good to do that. But that means the people you became friends with a year ago, five years ago, right back in primary school, may have changed, and it’s not that they’re changing into the wrong type of people, they’re just changing. If you met them now, would you want to be friends with them? Yes? No? That’s for you to decide. But whatever you do, make the decision for you and not for anyone else.
Now…boys! They suck. That one guy right now, you know who I’m talking about, is pretty useless. Ditch him now. He doesn’t really give up but if you make yourself clear he’s got too eventually. Honestly though, at some point, love will come to you. You’ll be waiting a while because even the older you is still waiting, but be patient. Anyway, boys are overrated! Having said that some of your most loyal and trusted friendships will end up being with guys, and that’s fine, because I know people say at the moment that it’s impossible for guys and girls to just be friends, well it’s not, and it seems to work pretty well for you.
Talking of trust and loyalty, make sure you’re that friend that people can trust. I’d like to think that the older you is managing it OK. Don’t let yourself be the girl people don’t want to open up to, when people talk to you in confidence, don’t betray that. Having said that, don’t trust to easily, people are more than a first impression. You’ll soon come to realise that when it comes down to friends it’s quality not quantity.
And finally, don’t let life’s big moments define who are you – it’s as much about the little achievements as it is anything else. Stay true to yourself, don't try to be someone else, stand by your decisions, don’t be afraid to be wrong, forgive but don't forget, and wake up every morning with a smile on your face, because life is good and there is so much to smile about!