Welcome to the second half of my stop on the Wunderkids Blog Tour! Catch up on my review in the first half here. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just any old blog tour. Jacqueline had a vision that each of the posts would include an answer to a question. This post is all about connecting with our younger selves, which is very in keeping with the boarding school setting of the story. Keep reading for Jacqueline’s beautifully written letter, and mine which is a little less eloquent!
Question: If you could write a letter to your teenage self, what would it say?
A Letter to my Teenage Self
So first of all, I turned 23 a couple of weeks ago. 23! I know that as a teenager, 23 year olds seem like real adults, but let me tell you, I don’t feel any different than I did when I was your age. Scary!
I know that right now you’re worrying about the future: college, university, friends, boyfriends, all that jazz. But I want to let you know that things will be ok. It’s normal to worry – don’t worry about worrying too.
You’re a good kid, you revise, you listen and you learn, so don’t stress yourself out too much over your GCSEs. Just like our family has always said, you can only do your best. Don’t be afraid to split away from the crowd. People tend to push year 11 students towards A Levels, and don’t get me wrong, they’re great. But if they aren’t what you want to do, then that’s absolutely fine. You’ll go to a college that you’ll enjoy just as much as anyone can enjoy college, and your results will get you into the university that you wanted.
During your time at university, you’re going to go through a bit of a tough time. I’m not saying this to worry you (because I know that’s what you’re like) but to tell you that you are strong and you are resilient. You overcome a lot, you kick your mental health struggles in the arse, you banish some of those pesky compulsions, but you also develop as a person because of it.
You’re at that point where you can feel your relationships changing, and that’s totally normal for the situation you’re in right now. Over the coming years you’ll fall out with and lose touch with friends, but you’ll make lots of new friends and meet new people. I know it feels like the end of the world when relationships end, but right now I’m just about to celebrate a six year anniversary with my (our?) boyfriend George. Together you’ll help each other grow and learn, and I’m so excited for you that you get to experience that all for the first time.
Having always loved reading and writing (good news – this doesn’t go away as you get older!) you’ll find where your passions lie and turn your love into a hobby that will help you to gain lots of new and exciting opportunities. You get to work with some fab publishers and authors, in fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now!
Always be yourself. You’ve always been pretty good at this, not caring what others think when you wore your bright red eyeliner, or dyed your hair all the colours you could get your hands on, or listened to your favourite music at full blast or (my personal favourite) wearing fake septum piercings. This is a quality I have always loved about us, so just keep at it.
You’ve got so much awesome-ness (totally making that a word) ahead of you, and I’m so excited for you. Make sure to grab every opportunity with both hands, and just have fun. Don’t concern yourself with the thoughts of others, try not to get swept up in other’s negativity, just make sure that you’re living the best life that you can.
All my love xxx
A Letter from Jacqueline to Her Teenage Self
First of all, you stayed awesome- don’t even worry about it. Everything is good. You’re safe. And a shitload of people love you… I’ll repeat it, for emphasis, because I think I know which part you want to hear the most.
You are SAFE. Safe! Safe! Safe!
Oh, and you stayed with your first love. Oh, and you live in London. And you have a husky. And you finally wrote a book. Damn girl, GETTT ITTT.
Right about now you are living on your best friend’s couch and you just dropped out of high school. You have no family nearby. The world looks bleak. (PS: you will be turning this horrible year into a kickass book down the line, so don’t fret!) I’m here to tell you that you will get the things that you want. They won’t come at the time you want or in the exact shape that you want them. They won’t be untainted; they will come at a cost, they will hurt, they will take time and strength, and perseverance, and patience, but they will happen. A lot of people give up on their dreams because of technicalities, because of hurdles, because of time, but, if you push through, if you wait, it will happen.
Everything is hard. There is no cruise setting. Just keep going.
Try and face your fears. Because when you don’t, they fester. They stick and they develop and they will handicap you. Try to face them before they find a nice little part of your soul to nest in. Start things early. Keep in touch with everyone. Right now you think it’s cool to move on and forget people, you think it’s cool to rebel against social media, but it’s not. Staying in touch with everyone is mega cool.
You will learn, rather painfully and from a meme, that ‘you cannot save people, you can only love them.’ You will also learn that dreams are called dreams because they take a hell of a long time to attain. You will read the quote- “every overnight success is 15 years in the making” (also in a meme, memes are like free therapy by the way) and that will help you deal. Embrace humility because you always have more to learn, and humility is far better received in your industry than arrogance.
Right now, you think feminism is dumb, but it’s not. It’s beautiful and you will learn to love it. You will learn it the hard way; as a defense mechanism against the things that happen to you and the women around you.
At some point you will meet death. It’s a lot like in that poem you just wrote- black like a seal’s eyes, death came with no warning. It really is black and it hurts in a very unique strange way, but it’s also natural. STOP GIVING YOURSELF A HARD TIME. It’s cheesy but you really can ruin today by regretting yesterday, or worrying about tomorrow. You will also learn that the entire world is made of duality. There are no bad people and good people. Not really. There are just shades of rainbow and grey. You will find that the people you love can act like complete assholes and so can you, and it doesn’t mean any of you are bad or good. Life has a lot of shades, and everyone has their own reality and truth.
PS: You are like 50% social and cultural conditioning, and you’re going to unlearn a lot of it, but those lessons will lead to great things!
PSS: Writers write. That’s what you have to remember. Thousands of pages; hundreds of words every singles damn day. Don’t dwell on that one poem you got praised for in high school. Don’t baby yourself and your writing. Throw away entire chapters mercilessly, writers write!
PSSS: Don’t diet to be skinny. Eat healthy so that you can feel good forever.
PSSSS: Enjoy the ride!!!!!
– Jacks circa 2017
I had so much fun working with Jacqueline for this content, and we couldn’t help but throw in a couple of serious throwback pictures! I’m so thankful to have participated in the blog tour, and absolutely loved the book. Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour below.