(Claire (second from left) as a teenager)
I’ve been taking part in the ‘Butterfly Club‘ recently, which is a self -reflection and health group. Some of the questions that are asked of me are quite thought-provoking, so I decided to write my teenage self a letter about the things I have learned as a nearly-40-year-old woman.
My letter to my teenage self
- Life can be hard, but you have to work for it and you will be rewarded.
- Take every opportunity that you can.
- Sometimes life just isn’t fair. When you get knocked down, get up again.
- You can also always so no to things if you think it’s going to conflict you or compromise your relationships and those who are important to you.
- Not everyone is going to be your friend or like you, and you won’t necessarily like everyone. That’ life.
- Don’t gossip. And don’t care what other people think; be true to yourself.
- Change is good.
- Life can be magic, if you let it.
- Be grateful, always, for what you have.
- You are going to be great at some things and not very good at others. Try with those things you aren’t so good at, and relish and enjoy those things that you are.
- Success and happiness are about finding peace and joy through and with the people and things that you love.
- Don’t rely on other people to make you happy. Find the happiness within.
- Be grateful for your health.
- Have fun and find the joy in things that you do, always.
- Be open to new people and experiences.
- Be non-judgmental and find the positive, and not the negative in people, places and experiences.
- It’s okay to feel sad, but, when you can, deal with the sadness and then channel that sadness into good energy and find your happiness in other things.
- It’s good to be alone and at ease with yourself.
- Use your anxieties about things to benefit and ask yourself what you can do to feel better and then do this.
- Make people laugh.
- Make people smile.
- Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- Understand that we all different and those differences are to be embraced.
- Live in the moment when times are good, and when times are bad, take a deep breath and remember that it won’t last.
- Nature is therapy.
- Animals reach into your soul.
- Your children are who they are and love them because of that, not despite that.
- Making other people happy feels good.
- Praise more often, criticize less.
- Everyone lives their lives in different ways; this is good and one way of living is not better than the other.
- It’s great to give.
- Don’t always try to please your parents; remember to be yourself and be proud of who you can be.
- Respond calmly and without anger. The response and reward will be bountiful.
- Be prepared for repercussions of your actions.
- Express yourself and nurture yourself and others around you.
- Make the most of your talents and skills and don’t let them lie dormant.
- Take advice and heed warning, but always go with your gut instinct. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.
- Know your own mind.
- It’s OK to want to hide your pain and emotions on occasion, but if often feels better to express and share them and find a positive outlet for them.
- Be patient and be kind always, and try to understand that behind other people’s masks they may have some inner turmoil you don’t know about.
- Lastly, live your life and be free.
Love ‘Me’ x
Claire Bolden McGill is a British expat who lived in Maryland for three years and moved back to the UK in August 2015. Claire wrote about her life as a British expat on the East Coast and now works in travel and hospitality PR in the UK. She still finds time to blog about her repatriation and the reverse culture shock that ensued – and she still hasn’t finished that novel, but she’s working on it. You can contact Claire via twitter on @clairebmcgill or via her blog From America to England.