you’ve been on a journey of self-discovery, it’s important to look back at how far
you’ve come. Loving yourself isn’t easy, and as women it just doesn’t come
naturally to most of us. The media play a big part in making us question our
worth based on how we look, making us compare ourselves to other women every
day and never feeling like we’ll be good enough. Now more than ever, it’s become so much more important to be aware of how we’re teaching our kids to feel about themselves. So I wanted to reflect on my journey and think about what I
would advise my younger self based on what I know now.
There is no one else like you
In high school I was a grade-A student
and a grade-A people pleaser. I was terrified of people in school not liking
me, especially boys. I wanted girls to think I was nice, I wanted boys to think
I was pretty. And that seemed like the most important part of my whole
experience, that everyone liked me. I would tell my younger self that you are
the only person in the world like you, and you should never be ashamed to be
yourself. Everyone has quirks, everyone has strengths and weaknesses and this
is what sets us apart. When you get older you will find what your strengths are
and it will become your superpower. You are smart, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You will go on to get a degree, you will work hard and your strength will lie in helping others.
Look after your skin
I didn’t start having a proper
skincare routine until I was about 24. When I was a teenager it was a weekly
occurrence to fall asleep spooning a pizza with a full face of makeup after a
night out and it didn’t faze me. The extent of my routine was taking off my
makeup with a face wipe and maybe some moisturiser. I was lucky enough to not
suffer from bad skin as a teenager, but now I know the importance of a thorough
skincare routine I would advise my younger self to start looking after it as
soon as possible because, you’ll thank me later. Oh and stop putting tanning oil
on your face yeah? Or you’ll look 50 when you’re 30.
Don’t be so hard on your mum
My mum is Wonder Woman. She was a
housewife and raised 7 kids and kept an impeccable home and always had dinner
on the table on time. But unsurprisingly there were times when she got
stressed, and would shut herself away or lose her temper with us. And at the
time I thought she was crazy and would be stubborn and constantly wanted to
rebel against what she wanted me to do. Now I have my own home and I’m a mum myself, I would tell my younger self to give your mum a break. When
you become an adult with responsibilities, with bills to pay and a house to
keep clean you realise how hard it is and I can’t even imagine doing all of
that with 7 kids to raise when I can barely stay sane raising one. Mum
always had my best interests at heart and wanted to protect us. She’s now my
best friend and the first person I go to for advice. Your mum is always right.
Listen to her, he’s no good for you and your face really is too orange.
Explore as many options as possible
I went to Uni
after school to do a History degree, because I loved History. And I loved doing
my degree and would never regret it. But I don’t think kids are really
encouraged to explore as many options as possible before making their decision.
I was asked what I was good at and what subject I enjoyed most and that was the
extent of it really, no discussions about what job opportunities it could offer
me. It was no surprise that I finished Uni and went straight into a minimum
wage job for 2 years that I hated and my degree meant nothing. My advice to
my younger self would be to do as much exploring as you can. Explore yourself and
what you’re good at, what you have to offer the world, try every hobby and find
something you love. If I would have done this as a teenager, maybe I would have discovered my love of fitness sooner. Find your voice and speak it loud, find what you like and
try new things. Don’t put yourself under pressure to know what you want to do
with your life, no one knows how their life will plan out. I still don’t at 28, but I’m getting closer. Get to know
yourself and what you want and always dream big because you really can do
anything you dream of if you work hard for it.
Always be kind to others- including yourself
‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind.’ The younger generation are under so much pressure now to look a certain way, to aspire to be a certain way and compare themselves to what they see on social media. Growing up in this type of environment, with the focus on the way we look, how much money we have and how ‘perfect’ our life is creates a society full of self-doubt, jealousy and always wanting what we don’t have. I would tell my younger self that if you’re going to aspire to be anything, aspire to be kind. No matter what you look like, or how much money you earn, if you are kind to everyone around you, including yourself every day, then you will live a life that you can be proud of.