I think it was in year 10 or maybe even year 11, we had retreat and we had to write a letter to our future-self. We then got to open it in year 12 at graduation. I can’t remember what I wrote, I would love to find it and read it now. That was over 9 years ago now. I was 16 in year 10. As much as I still feel that young, I only remember bits and pieces from that time in my life.
I had a falling out with the group of girls I sat with for most my high school life. Two of the girls in that group were my closest friends from primary school. That hit me pretty hard when they pretty much turned their backs on me. I got taken in by my now best friend and another four girls. As much as I felt protected by them and am forever grateful for them being there for me when those friends turned away from me, I still felt like a loner deep down inside, I felt sad.
I had a friend that really helped me through this tough time. I feel that I have learnt and changed a lot because of this person. They gave me a different perspective on life and how to approach hurdles that came my way. I learnt from them what was always obvious by people around me, and that ‘always easier said than done’-saying of: ‘to stay and think positive’, except he put that into perspective for me.
I guess I would say to my 16 year old self that people will unfortunately, let you down. Even those that you think care about you the most. Things like this that are out of your control, don’t beat yourself up over, as hard as it may be and to continue with that mentality.
Stay humble. Say things like “hi, how are you?” when you are being served by the checkout chick at Maccas, or “have a nice day”, not only will it make the complete stranger feel appreciated, but you will feel good within yourself, caring about others outside of those you already care for most.
Be a good listener. As much as you may be going through what seems like the end of the world for you, there is always, always someone worse off than you are. Take the time to listen to their worries and problems. You don’t always have to have the right things to say in response, but being there to listen makes all the difference in the world.
Don’t gossip. It’s something that comes naturally and of course you need to vent every now and then, but don’t do it to the point of bitching about someone, putting someone down or giving that person a bad name. And with that;
Don’t judge. Whatever that person is going through, we only see one side to, and we don’t know what they have been through until we have walked in their shoes. And sometimes, even though we may not agree with the way they tackle a situation, you need to respect that with the thought of ‘each to their own’. You can only be there, listen and offer advice as to how you would deal with things, but it’s up to that person on how they want to deal with it in the end and no matter what the outcome may be, you can have your opinion, but don’t ever judge.
Be open minded. Be a sponge and embrace the thinking processes of others around you. The way I see it now is, you surround yourself around people that make you feel good as a person. Pick bits and pieces off them that you like most and incorporate them into your way of living, but at the same time, be yourself. No one likes a copy cat. Stay unique. Don’t let the negative thoughts of those whose opinions you value most, cloud your judgement with anything.
Live your life. It’s your life, you only get one, live it how you want to live it, think it the way you want to think it, embrace it and live it to the full. No regrets.