Today, I’m going to recycle an old post of mine that I wrote in July 2010. I’d just read a book called Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen Year Old Self, a collection of letters written by celebrities for charity. They are incredibly personal, sometimes hilarious, sometimes deeply moving. You may see that a post inspired by the book was Freshly Pressed today, which is awesome. I don’t normally recycle posts but I love this project, and it’s amazing how powerful hindsight can be. So I thought I’d share my own letter with you.

This is me at 16. The arm belongs to my high school best friend, who was very kind to me. I don’t look very different, but my hair was much longer and I didn’t have glasses yet. You can’t see my plaits. I’d like to say that my fashion sense has improved, but probably not. I don’t own the loudshirt any more, though.

Dear, darling you,

So, you are, or I am, now 24 and a bit. Almost 25, which is unimaginable. I was hesitating about writing this as it’s only been eight years, but I still think there are a lot of things you really, really need to know.

1. You are full of love, you deserve love, and you deserve to live. Things are incredibly dark, and unfortunately will get worse before they get better. But you are strong, much stronger than you know. You will be okay.
2. I’ll get the bad news out of the way: you’re still fat. But it’s okay. You’re relatively fit and incredibly healthy and still the loved person you are. You’re even… sexy. Don’t think that your life will begin only when you’re skinny. Live it now.
3. Don’t talk to that fucking loser. Cut all contact with him. Don’t waste two years of your life, your energy, your love, your tears. It will never happen. You will never meet. And you know what? You won’t give a shit because what happens afterwards will be so much better.
4. Be nice to that girl called Silver. She will change your life.
5. School doesn’t matter. Your HSC will be crap but it won’t matter because you are incredibly capable and smart. Failing it doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Trust me, there are extenuating circumstances. And don’t take maths, take business admin. It’ll help.
6. Get rid of that so-called best friend. She is a sociopath who only puts you down to make herself feel better. Bitch is crazy. Your blonde twin is awesome, though. Talk to her more.
7. You will get out of that town. You’ll live in the city. It’s so much fun.
8. Mum and Dad will split up, but don’t worry. They’re both happier.
9. You will get to England. It will only be for a while, and it will be incredibly difficult but it will be worth it. London is so, so, so much better than you remember. Cardiff is home. And don’t take the cats.
10. Here is the really important one, and it might come as a bit of a shock: you will fall in love. You will find the one in a couple of years. You’ll know as soon as you meet him. You’re going to buy a house and get married. He is perfect. You are blissfully happy. And, before you ask: yes, sex is as fun as everyone makes it out to be.
11. In a year or so, you’ll need glasses. Don’t worry, they suit you. Just get chunkier frames. It’s amazing how everyone takes you more seriously.
12. Learn to say no. To your friends, to the people in school who try to copy you, and most importantly, to your family. Saying yes all the time isn’t going to make people like you more, and you’ll just get screwed over in the end.
13. Don’t stop writing. And painting and creating. Buy a camera: you have a good eye. Remember, you are an artist and don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.
14. Take risks. One day you’ll throw in your series of safe but soul-destroying office jobs to go back to school and retrain for the arts industry. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Try not to worry about money, you’ll be fine.
15. Music will become your big love. Look for the sexy redhead, he’ll show you the way. One day you’ll have a guitar – don’t be afraid, just play it. And for god’s sake, find those CDs by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and play them – it’ll save a lot of time.

You will be loved. You will be safe. You will be happy. I know you don’t ask for much, and things will work themselves out in the end. You deserve it. You really, really do.

Good luck. I love you.

PS Adulthood is overrated.