A letter to my sixteen year old self

I’m sure you feel boxed in, I remember it- that yearning. I’m sure you feel like the good days don’t matter, trust me the sooner you learn to be present the lighter you’ll feel. There’s higher highs than this, you always knew there was more to come. What you can’t possibly imagine is the pain you learn to carry, the strength you have to find.

Everything must seem so big. The boys you fuss over, the friends you lose, the assignments you refuse to address. Slowly- as if watching a rose unravel- you learn what it means to be a good friend. We’ve not yet blossomed, i’m still learning. The girls that leave you behind won’t ever rise with you, give it time. Find yourself, that’s how you find your people.

Your friends now, they know you, even in the darkest corners of yourself they understand. Deep down you know all about those boys, and you end up making the right decisions- I’m thankful for that. Don’t stray too far from home for what you think you need.

A good man is not determined by the degree he holds, or the money in his account. It’s the decision he makes every day to learn what it means to love and be loved. Those assignments, there’s more- plenty of them. Use the drive you have to learn and turn it into a passion to execute. Sooner, rather than later please.

At the moment you’re still mourning Momo Joe’s passing, I wish you’d open up. There are people willing to listen, don’t ever be too proud to ask for help. That anger that you feel about dad leaving, that’s mourning too. Tap into how loss makes you feel, it makes it easier to appreciate the love you get given everyday. You lost two father figures at once, and I’m so sorry but neither of them come back.

You do have Junior, hold onto him tightly. Squeeze him when you hug, apologise even when you know he’s in the wrong. Agree to the Brandi and Ray J joke. Give him the bloody south Sydney jersey on Christmas day, he steals it anyway. Tell him how much he means to you and thank him for stepping up when others stepped out.

Hold onto all of your siblings, as the family grows and endures it gets hard to check in. As you all grow up and mum gets older, the things that you have to face, it changes you all and you miss them.

Even if you hate being wrong, even if you don’t see it- listen to mum. She knows what she’s talking about. Unfortunately the heartache and adversity you endure, she’s been there before. Listen, watch, respond to what plays out before you.

If I could advise anything, it would be to stay true to yourself. Authenticity is freedom, you meet so many parts of yourself very soon. It’s exciting and scary and sometimes its heartbreaking. The relationships you forge however are so special, you find those people- the ones that love you or hate you- through being that authentic self. Nothing and no one is worth compromising her.

I read a quote from Solange Knowles a few months ago that explains you and the woman you’re becoming perfectly. “You will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love.”

I don’t want to spoil too much for you, the magic of the next few years is in the fact that you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s your 21st year now, you’re in an airport waiting to go home. You’re going home to some new editions to the family, with some old ones on your mind- but you’re doing alright.

3 Replies to “A letter to my sixteen year old self”

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