I turn 23 this weekend and I wanted to do a blog post on some of achievements and lessons I have learned over the years. I was always intrigued with the concept of writing a letter to your younger self. While the past cannot be changed, it interested me to reflect on how I have grown and how life has changed for me. I chose to write to my 15 year old self, who was struggling through school and also in trying to find her place in the world. These are the words of advice and faith I would speak to her.
You are struggling a lot with school, self-worth and how you see the world. I know that you have decided to pursue your faith now, it is not going to be easy but I will promise you that you will not regret having your faith; growing in your knowledge and love of Jesus. Your faith will give you your identity more than anything else you will try to pursue in the next few years. You will find your self-worth in your faith and will help others to find theirs too. Faith will get you through some of your darkest times and the love of Jesus will hold you through your greatest losses. The Bible verse that will hang above your bed when you reach this age will be Ecclesiastes 3v11 ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from beginning to end.’ God holds every aspect of your life, you will learn to trust that more and more. To God you are so dear and loved so keep the faith.
Your acne is controlling your emotions, I want to say it gets better with time. At 22 I still have flare ups of acne but it no longer holds the power that it use too. You are going to try some weird and wonderful lotions and potions on your face. I am not going to lie, some of them will leave scars. You will learn that letting it heal on its own is beneficial and that the less products used the better. There will be many amazing people throughout the years that will love you and will enable you to see beyond the acne. You will learn that you will be able to smile at yourself in the mirror and laugh. Your self-worth was never meant to be in the spots in your face but rather the beauty in your heart.
Also, stop worrying about your weight. Get out of this mindset as quickly as possible. Truthfully, you spend so many years worrying about food and fitting into small clothing. There is so much more to life. At 22 you are a size 12 and you look wonderful in clothing, ( don’t worry you still wear a load of black). Yes, sometimes you still worry about your weight because of that horrible mindset you were in for so long. You do have wonderful people who speak life and truth into you and give you a kick up an arse when you speak rubbish.
Fantastic news, you are smarter and more capable than you think. You will achieve your GCSE’s, A-Levels and a Bachelors Honours degree. The tears and the hard work is truly worth it. Throughout these years, make sure that you cherish all the good times that go along with it. Make sure you laugh and find joy in each day. Always remember to try new things, it is best to do it afraid than not at all.
Make sure you allow good people into your life. There will be a couple of years where you will believe that you are undeserving of love. You will befriend people who will treat you they way you believe you should be and you will push away the people who love you most. Thank you Jesus for his grace because those bonds will be mended. The horrible people will be removed from your life. You will learn that friendship is about quality and not quantity. Your life will be blessed with incredible people, love and cherish them as much as they do you.
An update from where your life is now. You still love reading and have your own Instagram page where you obsess over how good they are. You love writing so much that you have your own blog. Do not fret, your language and punctuation has improved. You are more confident and happy in your skin. You are still single but you are not lonely, you know that you do not need a man on your arm to have worth. You no longer eat meat or dairy so enjoy all that chocolate now. You work in retail but you have aspirations for this year. You are about to turn 23. You are an amazing individual, keep working hard in everything.
Love Tori xx
(P.S by the time you leave school, you allow no one to call you Vicky)