Everything I Wish I Could Tell My 18 Year Old Self
Earlier in the year, I turned 28. Now, I may not feel like I'm at that point in my life but here I am and there is one thing for certain and that is I'm far more secure in myself than ever before. Although it's all just part of growing up and getting older I really do wish that I could go back to 18-year-old Rebecca and tell her a few things that would have probably made her early adult years way easier to handle. And here is what I would tell her...
do not live for other people's approval
When I was younger, I was seriously insecure and was always so worried that what I was doing was wrong or it wasn't what other people were doing so it made me weird. When others approve of your choices, it does feel good and there is no denying that as we all have the urge to appease others. It's ingrained into us from a young age so it's all we know. Living in the hope that other people might approve of your choices isn't easy, infact it's really difficult and it quickly results in resentment and heartache. Of course, nobody should be living a life with the sole mission to anger people but living only to appease others is just as hard. No matter what we do we cannot possibly make everybody happy and the most important thing in life is that we feel happy with our choices.
you're an introvert and that's ok
It wasn't until I was well into my twenties did I hear that there such a thing as being an introvert and an extrovert. As a teenager and when I got into university, I always preferred staying in rather than going out and always felt content in my own company and whenever I spent a lot of time with others I'd feel completely drained. And it's never a case of not liking the company I'm in but it's not how I get my energy and that's absolutely fine. Thankfully in 2018, there is a lot more of a conversation surrounding different personalities which makes it a lot easier for people to understand themselves.
it's better to have one good friend than lots of crappy friends
At school I had a somewhat large friend group, they weren't always the nicest people to be around but who can say they were always a nice human when going through the teenage years? I certainly can't. As I got older and that friend group slowly broke apart it made me feel really downtrodden, I didn't keep many friends through university either. Even though everybody always says you meet your best friends in those years. As a female too, going through those early adult years and watching Sex & The City and F.R.I.E.N.D.S, I thought that is how my friend group would pan out and it didn't. I can count on one hand my true friends that I know I can depend on and that's totally fine, it's always better to have a few friends or even just one person who you know will support and be there for you. It's a topic that isn't discussed enough, probably out of pride but it needs to be talked about more to break down stigma.
wash your face with a flannel
It almost feels like a right of passage for a teenager to have spots and not know what on earth you're doing with your face. We all have makeup mishaps that we look back on later on in life and cringe but also remember that time of our lives fondly [well, sometimes]. If there is one thing that I certainly do not look back fondly on is knowing that all I used to do is clean my face with a wipe and then the most drying foamy face wash I could find. Although my mum always taught me the importance of washing my face I do wish she'd prepared me with a gentle cream cleanser and a flannel that's for sure. It's a good job I discovered beauty blogging really...
you don't need a boyfriend
Having someone to share your life with is lovely, it really is but it isn't a necessary part of life and it certainly doesn't make you less of a person. I was insecure and scared as a young adult and thought I needed to be with a boy to feel validated and whole. During that time of my life, I hated the thought of being alone or not having anybody to text. And it wasn't until I had possibly the worst breakup of my life did I come to understand that actually, I didn't need a boyfriend. I was just fine on my own, the only person who was going to save me was me, not a man. I am so glad that we're getting away from the time where we teach girls from the start that they need a man to rescue them. That way of thinking needs to stay in ancient fairytales.
IT'S NOT BORING TO SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY
I come from a very small family, as of right now I only have two family members left and when I was 18 I had three. Being from such a small family we've always spent a lot of time together and as a stroppy teenager who just wanted to sit at home posting things on MySpace I didn't think it was very cool. But now I'm older I love spending time with my family, more than anything really. Dog walks are usually are favourite thing to do with them, it's always what we choose to do for a special occasion. For some reason, we seem to have this weird stigma attached to hanging out with your parents or sibling but personally, I cannot think of a better way to spend my time.
shopping will not make you happy
Ironically, one of my favourite book series, when I was a teenager, was the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic series. I guess I related a little too much to the main character who was also called Rebecca and had a serious addiction to shopping. Much like myself, when I got my first job in retail I spent my wages like water and truly never understood the value of it. That was until I didn't have any money and was so into my overdraft I didn't look at my bank balance for months it scared me so much. Material items are really nice, they are and they are still something that I get a lot of joy from now. But they are certainly not my only source of happiness and I don't need to go shopping to feel good which is something that I relied on heavily for years.