I read a letter that Stephen Fry had written to his 16 year old self in the Guardian this week. I thought about the advice I would give myself knowing how things would unfold. Even with hindsight I am not sure I would change much.
Boy are you in for a surprise. Let's just say that things don't turn out as planned but before you panic there is not that much you need to do differently.
I know that right now you are a lanky, slightly swotty, very uncool girl with hideous blue glasses longing for something else out of life but not sure what. Ditch the glasses asap - it's a cliche but it will make all the difference. Stick with the books though kid - you will soon escape "Smallgrimtown-upon-Slagheap" (as you now affectionately think of it) to the place that you will know immediately is your spiritual home.
Don't worry if the first wedding doesn't go as planned. You get a chance to put the mistakes right at wedding no. 2. The two marriages thing might come as a bit of a surprise but you will understand when you get here. And listen up - it all works out with Husband No 1 after you split up. You will both become the best of friends and he will agree that you did the best thing by leaving. So don't carry the guilt of leaving around with you for so long.
It's tempting to say avoid Husband No. 2 (he whom you will come to know as the Prince of Darkness) like the plague but actually you will have some of the best times of your life with him and you won't want to miss out on them.
And the following are very, very important:
- Don't have that perm in your first year at university. It will look dreadful and do something very odd to your scalp.
- Spend more time with your father - he isn't going to be around for ever.
- All that stuff about high factor suncream is right - use it so that you don't end up with sun damaged skin.
- When your parents give you a car after you pass your driving test try not to crash it the second time you take it out. Its going to knock your confidence behind the wheel for years otherwise.
If all of this sounds a bit scary you need to remember that even if you change nothing you will be ok and you are in for a hell of a ride.
Your Older Self"