He’s not all that, you know….

Strange kind of week really. It started when the game I was meant to be going to last Saturday was called off due to the weather…. waterlogged pitch. It left me at a bit of a loose end… a Saturday at home with ‘nothing’ to do. Whilst I thought all my match prep was wasted, I can hear little voices on my shoulder telling me all prep is good practice, so it’s never really a waste of time! Somehow, we filled the weekend and it leaves you wondering how you ever fit everything in!

Monday was a great day, my day in Oxford – it’s fast become my favourite day of the week. Lots of feedback, things to work on, little tweaks here and there that I am told make a huge difference. But I do need to ‘tighten up my writing’….. using unnecessary words, not being clear in opening sentences etc… apparently, ‘however’ is an unnecessary word (!) and not something we would normally include in spoken English. That might be right, I’ve never really thought about it – but it did lead to a discussion where the conclusion was that my using it made me ‘posh’…. clearly I need to signpost to my camping post – the one where our neighbours from hell declared ‘hilaire’ at every given moment, where I wanted to shove the surplus camping pole up Mr Home Counties arse! Who’s posh now….?!!

The rest of the week has been spent trying to tie up a few loose ends – with varied amounts of success. The weather is pants and the while it’s wet outside, the words have been a little on the dry side – but we keep plodding. While I was doing some online research, I came across a quote – can’t remember it, couldn’t find it again, but the essence was asking what advice you would give to your teenage self… Quite timely as we’ve just had our first GCSE progress reports for Child No1 and it’s led to some serious discussions about how the next 18 months are going to shape up… And it got me thinking – what would I tell the 15-year-old me. Have a I really anything profound to tell her – or was she sorted?

That perm… when you were 14… might have been all the rage, and you might have thought you looked great… but it will come back to haunt you!

teen laugh

I asked friends a similar question – what advice would they give themselves if they had the chance and the responses were really interesting. For some it would have meant going back only a few years – for others, it was a little longer. But I don’t think the ages made a difference – it was the responses I found telling. Many of them were personal to themselves and no doubt shaped by their life experiences. Some were simple in their message:

AH: Don’t care so much about what people think of you… If you’re happy with who you are then that’s all that matters!!!!

LY:  I would tell me to reach for the stars and not do what I thought was expected of me!!

SS:  Follow your heart and your dreams

Anon: I’d suggest not rushing into things and trying to grow up too quick. You have your whole life ahead of you and believe in who you are.

EH: Don’t rush into anything, life isn’t a race. Relax & enjoy the ride, what is meant to be will be.

GS:  I wish I’d realised at 16 my body/figure/weight was great…..I wish I’d had confidence…..sigh!!

ML: Think long and hard before you make a decision that is likely to affect the rest of your life

Others gave advice which seemed quite specific to themselves and to particular things in their lives:

NW: 1. Everything will be ok.                                                                                                                      2. Stop panicking, stop rushing and enjoy the process of life rather than rushing to get end results.
3. To do what you love rather than pursue a career that you think might please your parents.
4. Everyone else is weird too. And everyone else is also trying to fit in. Don’t worry about fitting in. Stand out!

 5. Love endlessly – it doesn’t have a limit.

TDT: Just because you’re not academic doesn’t mean you won’t succeed. Just enjoy life, its ups and downs. Laugh and cry at yourself. It will all be OK in the end. Close Friends and family mean the world – love them dearly. PS: maybe, if your going to get drunk make sure your mates look after you:) you’ll kiss a lot of frogs before you meet the right one. Don’t settle down too soon!!

MJ: Don’t decide what you want to do right now. But choose something that, should all else fail in you achieving your goals, you have to fallback on. And follow it through and complete it so that you will never struggle with work, you will always have a career no matter what.

ET: Register all of those great ideas you have. Many of them become products that someone else makes a shed load of cash from.

JC: 1) Celebrate how good you look when you are young, it’s always better than you think!
2) Learn to say no & don’t always apologise
3) A real friend is worth more than gold

4) Realise you are brave everyday but you only realise it when it goes wrong and going wrong is fine
5) Stay out late, drink lots and live life to the max before the kids take over!! He he! 

MN:  I would say don’t try to be like everyone else but be true to yourself. I would say why did you always think you needed to lose weight when you were fine the way you are. I would also say be more confident and know that you are more capable than you think you are and that you can do anything you are prepared to work hard for.

AG: All those people who thought they were the cool dudes at school and made others lives miserable for working hard, are the ones who have not achieved anything. So work hard and follow your dreams as life is not about being the coolest but getting out what you put in. 

Others felt there was little they would do and therefore little they would say – I think this first contribution sums up perfectly what these guys want to say:

CHM: Nothing. I firmly believe all our experiences, positive and negative, frame who we are.

CW:  I wouldn’t want to say anything! In fact everything has worked out so well for me in last ten years I wouldn’t even want to meet the former me!
We’ve all seen back to the future!

KS:  Believe it or not…… I really know better!

And then there are those heartfelt pieces of advice, while important, bought a smile to my face for their humour and honesty!

AG: … duck when you see the cricket bat coming as it will solve a lot of future sinus issues

GS:  I’d whisper gently in my ear ‘listen to your mum, seriously, she’s right and in time you’ll understand’. I’d possibly follow-up with ‘and you WILL repeat those comments and phrases in due course when you’re a mum….yup, you will…..’ 

SP: Don’t spend every Saturday night in Gold-diggers …the hangover just isn’t worth it!!!!

As for me…. apart from the perm disaster?

Be selfish with your education – very few of those people who you think matter in your life will be around in 10 years time.

Everything that happens to you happens for a reason and work hard to find the positives in every negative situation – it will help to keep you sane.

And finally – that guy… the one who dumped you on Valentine’s Day. He wasn’t ‘all that’ – he just wasn’t the one. The one was just round the corner!

I’m going to leave the last word to Dame Helen Mirren… courtesy of a lovely friend… I don’t know if this quote is factually accurate, but I love the sentiment and make no apologies for the language!

Let me know what advice you would give to your teenage self!

Helen Mirren

Best wishes for a happy and dry weekend.

MJ xx

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