“I can hear my 23-year-old self now saying: ‘look at all the things we’ve done! I can’t wait for the rest.'”

A lot can change in 5 years. I have since changed jobs 4 times (with the odd one in between), I have adopted a dog, moved in with a loving boyfriend, and completed/am continuing study in social welfare/counselling/psychology.

Through this study I have learned a lot, and my self awareness and awareness of others has grown considerably.

I have also become so accepting of myself. Of the things that caused me so much hate and anger. Sure, I still have bad days where I feel like my brain has reverted back to my 14-year-old self and it’s fighting against me but instead of counting the bad days and thinking how horrible it is, I now count the good days. I count the days where nothing fantastic happened other than I got to the end of the day without a negative thought. And I sit in my garden and light a cigarette and think “well this is fucking nice, isn’t it.”

I have also been in situations that have challenged me more than I ever knew were possible both physically/mentally, positive and negatively.

I have worked in an environment that had constant physical fights that posed me real physical risk and made me almost vomit when I got home from the sheer thought that some serious damage could have been done. And I realise how strong my body is and how powerful I can be. I have been in situations that required immediate action to prevent myself or someone else physical harm and trusted my body to handle it – and it did.

On the other hand, I have swum naked on one of the most remote beaches in the world, and realised how small and innocent I am in the grand scheme of things. I don’t have to be powerful or strong, I can be small and vulnerable and still feel beautiful.

If I could tell my 16-year-old self anything it would be: “don’t do it just because everyone else is, or that boy wants you to.”

If I could tell my 18-year-old self anything it would be: “you ain’t seen nothing yet, if you think this is good, just wait…”

If I could tell my 20-year-old self anything it would be: “trust me, he’s a good one, just give in and trust him, forget all the fuckboys of the past, you have no idea how well you are doing with your life.”

And I can hear my 23-year-old self now saying: “look at all the things we’ve done! I can’t wait for the rest.”

My 14-year-old self sits and can’t believe how good she will be and how far she would go, she only wishes she could have seen how powerful, sexy, vulnerable, strong, creative, and loved she is. But that’s ok because future me does, and that’s all that matters.

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