If I knew then what I know now….

So on Friday night I raced home from work and literally threw myself into the shower, forgetting to take my socks of, thus almost sliding to a shocking yet comedic death. The reason for my hysterical rushing I hear you ask, well I will tell you what, a party and not just any party but an 18th Birthday party for a rather wonderful girl who it saddens me to say I have known since she was about 5!

As I stepped into my floor length dress and amazing jewelry I was reminded of how excited I was before my 18th birthday party. The thrill of the new outfit, the call of the bar and all of my wonderful friends, because lets face it I was at my most popular during 2004.

Once home following one of the most unexpectedly fun nights I’d had in forever I sat on the sofa with a slightly wobbly head and got to thinking about all the things I know now compared to then and what I would have said to my 18-year-old self, if I knew then what I know now, if i had the chance this is what I would have said….

For the love of god Emma be kinder to people, in years to come you will need your friends more than you have any realisation of at the moment and if you continue the way you are then you will wake up one day and realise they are no longer a part of your life. Although you go on to have the most incredible friends,  who are hilarious, supportive and make your life inexplicably better, you will miss the friends you had as an 18-year-old.

Appreciate your body, stop moaning about your thighs, you have no idea how much you will put yourself through 8 years from now to try to get those thighs back. And all that long dark curly hair, leave it alone, stop dyeing it please or when you are 26 you will curse yourself the years of dying and straightening. You know those boobs of yours that get you all kinds of attention from boys, try to be a little more discreet about just how much you love the attention as it will get you a nasty reputation that 5 years later will really ruin a friendship. Oh and finally stop biting your nails, its grim, you look gross doing it and you will save a fortune on acrylic ones!

Boys, now this is a big one, cherish them, all of them. The dates, the sex, the heartache the butterflies, all of it. Love never feels the same as it does when you are in your teens, it never has that all consuming can’t breathe feeling. Oh and the heartbreak, god Emma the heart-break, I know you think its awful now. Those awful break ups, the hours spent crying about love, listening to Westlife and hating your life. Appreciate the heartache as a teenager because once kids, homes and money all get included in the mix it all gets so much harder to deal with.

Forgive yourself, that thing you did, that you think now looking back on may have ruined your life, it hasn’t I promise, it does alter your whole outlook on life and marriage and kids but you did the right thing, you made the right choice. You were way too young. And please forgive him too, he was young too, he didn’t know any better than to go out and get drunk with his friends and ignore your texts. He didn’t mean to break your heart.

Appreciate your parents, you have no idea what a small amount of time you have with your dad, those arguments about whose right or wrong don’t matter, pick your bloody shit up off the floor when he asks you too, its his house and his rules, be respectful of him, he’s earned it. Do ever belittle the love that he has for you, there will come a point when you will feel your heart-break into a million pieces as you realise that you can’t talk to him anymore, ask his advice or have a proper Geordie hug.

But most of all 18-year-old me, I beg of you do not regret anything that you chose to do, at the time it was exactly what you wanted to happen. You wanted those tattoos, you wanted to go home with the guy from the band, you wanted to dance on the piano in just a shirt and heels and all those nights you don’t remember all that well, definitely don’t regret them.

On the flip side there are some things that you at 18 could really teach 26-year-old you

1 – Believe that love will happen again, believe it with almost entire abandonment

2 – Have faith in yourself that you are as great as people say that you are

3 – Throw yourself into things without worrying what anyone else thinks about it

4 – Tell your friends how much you love them as often as possible.

So that’s it, that’s all.

18-year-old me really thought she knew it all……

If you could tell your 18-year-old self what would you tell yourself

E x