A Letter To My Teen Self On My Birthday

Dear Anushka (or as everyone now calls you, Nush),

Happy Birthday from the future! You’re 28 today and were meant to be celebrating your birthday in Turkey, but things didn’t quite work out as planned at the last minute. The good news is, every single one of your birthdays leading up to this one has been amazing, and the plan you’ve come up with in place of the original one is pretty special, too!

Without giving too much away, I’d like you to know that the life you’re living in your late twenties will be totally, completely and radically different to the one you’re living now. Different, good. Although your life right now is pretty sweet, too.

The most important lesson you’ve ever taught me, and you’re still putting it into practice years from now, is that nobody knows what’s best for you except yourself. Not your mom or your friends or the guy you’re with at the time. Not because they don’t have your best intentions at heart – you’re smart enough to know that they do. Its just because you are very different people and what may seem like a good decision to them may not be one for you. You know exactly who you are, what you want and what you like. You don’t settle for anything less and you follow your gut and do exactly what feels right for you, even if it means challenging the norm. And that, little me, is very brave.

You make a few mistakes, but none that you really regret, and if nothing else, those mistakes have made for some of the funniest, most interesting stories you tell even today. Without those mistakes and without those stories to tell, your life would be vanilla and you’d have no experiences to speak of, so go forth with reckless abandon and make as many as you can. Your inate ability to know your limits and when you’re crossing a line will always be your safety net.

 

You grow up to be responsible, dependable, conscientious, loyal, moral and well-liked. You stand up for what is right and for the people that are most important to you and you never care about what people / society thinks of you. What matters most to you is that you believe you are doing what’s right by your own little moral code and can live with yourself, have a clear conscience and no regrets.

You have strong opinions, carefully pick and choose what you believe in and what you believe is the right choice for your life and, as always, you’d rather lose anything or anyone who gets in the way of your happiness and what you believe is right for you, rather than lose yourself to a life you’re not 100% happy living.

You’re incredibly independent and self-sufficient (although you have your moments), but thanks to being raised by two fiercely independent women role models, you’re not afraid to go it on your own.

You’re one of the very lucky ones who has never truly been hurt in love, which is why you never have your walls up and are able to love wholly and fiercely with everything you’ve got. Trust me when I say that this will go a long way when it comes to finding ‘the one’, and just for the record, he ticks every box on the ‘list’ you keep hidden away in your furry hot pink journal. He’s a dream come true and he loves you exactly the way you are, so go ahead and eat that pizza, girl! Honestly though, love him with every pore and cell in your body, he deserves it and is so worth it.

Another admirable quality you’ve had, which is a bit contrary to the last paragraph, is that you never give anyone too much of yourself. Self respect always has been and always will be a top prioroty for you. With you, the boundaries are always very clear and nobody gets to cross them because you’re very aware of your own limitations and never let anybody take you for granted.

Oh but you know how it irks you that you’re ALWAYS the bigger person or the first person to apoligize in an argument? Yeah, that’s still happening years later with everyone you know! You’ll soon learn that being the bigger person is hard, but without people who apologized first, the world would be full of people at war all the time. In the meantime, however, pride yourself in the fact that nobody delivers a more sincere apology than you. That is a rare gift.

You’re so confused when it comes to your career right now, and nobody can blame you. Its a confusing time. You find your calling when you get to 20, but then you lose it again temporarily because of everything you have going on in your personal life. I know that 25 is your ‘scary age’, but you need to let go of that because guess what? You still don’t have it all figured out. You’ll get there. Remember, slow and steady wins the race and you don’t need to achieve everything in your twenties – you have a whole lifetime ahead of you to get to where you think you need to be.

The girls you now hang out with and eat lunch with on the steps everyday, were so worth being bullied through school with no real friends until ninth grade for. Invest in these friendships because they will continue to be your best friends years from now and you do end up taking an epic girls trip just like in the movies! You’ll continue to make more friends from around the world and travel to exotic destinations with your friends and husband, just like you always used to dream of when you’d open the giant cardboard atlas in your room that was bigger than you when you were four.

Your mum is still amazing as ever, although after twenty eight years, she still hasn’t realized that ‘tough love’ isn’t an approach that works with you, so you’d be best amending your own behavior and not moaning to her about issues you don’t want tough love on. You two still remain very close – just not in proximity as *spoiler alert* you now live on a different continent! Crazy, right? Especially since you never wanted to ever leave home! Speaking of home, mum doesn’t live in the same home you grew up in either! Let’s just say her dream came true and it was very well deserved.

If I could ask you to change anything now that would make a significant difference to your life in the future, it would be to learn how to curb that hot temper (your now husband calls it your ‘Latin blood’) you inherited from 90% of your family. It gets you into trouble more than you’d like. Oh, and also, get rid of the monobrow but keep your brows thick – they’re having a major moment in 2017.

{PHOTOGRAPHY} Chloe Natalie Knott

{OUTFIT DETAILS}

Top: Romwe | Jacket, Sunnies and Trousers: Primark | Shoes: Missguided | Bag: Michael Kors

I wish that I could say that you at 28 is as secure, self confident and brave as you at 18. But when you grow up and gain more worldly experience, you tend to know more and as a result, tread with caution. But I’m going to actively work on being more like you, the old me, who threw caution to the wind and thought she was all that! *flips hair*

I’m going to get back to sipping my birthday cocktail now (just WAIT until you try alcohol – its amazing!) but know that despite your fair share of hardship, you’re on the right track and everything works out just fine.  Your future is exciting and enriching and everything you’ve always dreamed of, so run towards it and embrace it with everything you’ve got.  Be humble and grateful every single day for everything you’ve been given and every person who is in your life because they make it all so worthwhile.

Shine on, you sparkly unicorn, you.

Nush

PS your hair gets better and your skin clears up! Yay!

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3 Comments

  1. July 24, 2017 / 4:17 am

    Its very thoughtful. I always enjoy reading your posts. 🙂

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