My evil assistant and I have discussions all the time on if we could go back to tell our teenage selves anything if we actually would. Aside from the Butterfly Effect, changing the course of our history and all of that, what would we say to our younger selves? How much would we give away? It seemed like a too big of a question, so we usually brought up health tips, which included a lot of makeup and skincare advice.
I was pretty much the same chick, year after year; my circumstances are what kept changing. At thirteen I was in private schooling at a Christian college (no hair dying whatsoever) then a year later I was in public schooling, back to experimenting with my hair but still the same dork with a camera attached to her hand. What year would I go to then? I was tossing up between 14 and 16, so 15 is a nice medium. Fifteen is that teetering age of being not-quite. You’re apparently ‘not-quite’ old enough to be exploring your sexuality, but ‘not-quite’ a young kid anymore. You’re ‘not-quite’ of working or driving age (back then in my case anyway). It’s the year of almost but.. not-quite, so it seemed like a good year to travel back to
~~ que Wayne and Garth flashback sequence ~~
Well hiiii, little Elle!
Turn down your Rob Zombie or Linkin Park and listen to what I’ve got to say. I’m writing to you.. us… you.. from the future. 2016. I know, we’re still alive!
Look, I can’t give too much away, but yeah, you’re going through some crap right now – and some more of it is around the corner – but I just want to help you – us – along. So here are some droplets of advice I wanted to give you.
Cut That Hair. Have That Mohawk! GO BLACK!
You’re pretty attached to your long, blonde hair. We’ve dyed it almost every colour except black. So.. do it black! We only get short hair when you don’t listen to mum and dye it too much in a week, making it all jelly-like. Yep, the only time you don’t listen to her, our hair goes really, really bad and it’s all gotta come off. Just cut it, do the mohawk (fauxhawk is a term that is/will be used by a lot of your peers, sadly), hell, even dye it black then! It’s the only outrageous thing we haven’t done to our hair, so complete the set and just do it. There is no reason you shouldn’t.
Wash Your Face Properly.
You know this one, yet sometimes you’re just too damn lazy. We still fricken do it sometimes. If you’re going to put something on your face, you gotta be prepared to take it off! Don’t skip the damn moisturiser! I know our face can be oily, but you need to put that crap on. Your stepdad might use straight acetone to clean his face of dirt or use it to clean cuts but DO. NOT. PUT IT. NEAR. YOUR FACE. Cleanse. Use a toner. Moisturise. Don’t just slap it on either, give it a nice massage in. It only takes a bloody minute.
A Happy Tummy Is A Happy You.
Put down that Four’N Twenty sausage roll and that bottle of Coke because this is really important. Read everything you can find on hormones, enzymes, everything you can physically find in your time about gut health and gut flora. It will change your life and the lives of the loved ones around you. Get more nutrients by colouring up meals to assure you get a lot of different foods, don’t skip meals, don’t skIP MEALS DO NOT SKIP MEALS. Throw the table salt out at home and get sea salt, that salt is okay. I know, you avoid salt while our family are Mediterranean Salt Monsters but you need salt. Learn about Magnesium and Selenium. Research until your eyeballs fall out and be proactive about what you decide to do.
Up The Slip, Slop And Slap.
We’re pretty good at this. While all the other girls are tanning themselves up at school, the beach or in a solarium, we’ve embraced our paleness with the peace of mind that we won’t be a leather clutch soon. Or worse. Yes, the message of skin cancer has already hit home for us. Sadly, we will know people close to us who will develop skin cancer. While we do cover up as much as we can with clothing, sunglasses and a hat, it wouldn’t hurt to use an SPF moisturiser or something for the day. A tube of sunscreen in your bag is a massive bonus!
Pursue What You Secretly Love.
I know what you’re thinking. I know what you think about constantly that no one else knows about that you’re too scared to tell anyone. I know what you dream about and it’s the same thing you’ve been dreaming about since we were tiny and could dream. Do it. Just research about it and do it. Forget what you think your loved ones will say and think and do it.
Oh, the other thing? Do that too. Invest yourself in what you think you’ll truly love in life and do it.
Calm Your Damn Farm. Get Professional Help.
Stress is a huge part of our life, unfortunately. It debilitates us in every way and yes, does interfere with our health – including our skin too. The thing is that’s robbed us of some great opportunities and moments we could have really asserted or encouraged y/ourself. We still don’t have our driver’s license. Yes. Still. Spacial difference crap aside, our anxiety is huge when it comes to driving and, yes, it’s still the butt of a lot of jokes and garners a lot of surprised looks when people find out. Anxiety and long bouts of depression will bring some really horrible events.
The great thing is you can go for help. Ask mum, she’s an encyclopedia mumica. Between her and figuring out you can get possibly 10 free psych sessions, go for it. There’s some other stuff you should bring up with mum and any psych you see, you’d be surprised where it would lead. So, what could go wrong? It’s not like you care what anyone thinks!
Which leads me to our last but most important point..
Keep Being You.
Sure, we could have weekly spray-tans. We could aim to get our boobs done at 18. We could start dating anyone we wanted to right now.. but we don’t. We don’t want to do anything anyone else is doing right now (particularly the girls). It’s just not us. We don’t take too many risks, we’re not big on drinking, we don’t smoke.. and that’s really good! It’s completely fine and very normal (I know we don’t like ‘normal’ but it’s fine in this case). Like mum and dad, we rebel against what is expected of us, and if teenagers are expected to be extreme risk-taking people, we rebel against that too. Keep your focus on you being the real you and don’t jeopardise the current or future you for anyone. A n y o n e. Close friends, acquaintances and boyfriends will come and go but, honey, you’re stuck with me and I’m stuck you and we won’t be separating any time soon so we gotta stick together do what’s right by us.