A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self | Updated

Saturday, 3 February 2018

With my 22nd birthday swiftly approaching, I have been feeling nostalgic and had a root through my old blog posts. I then came upon a post that I wrote just before my 20th birthday- a letter to my 18 year old self. Reading that letter made me emotional- I had just gotten out of a two year relationship and still had a whole lot of growing up to do (even though I know I still do). That's why I decided to write an update, a new letter to my eighteen year old self.

Dear Eighteen Year Old Michelle,

Enjoy your last few months of school- you were a quite kiddo but I'm glad you made the most of your time in that mad place. You'll grow to learn that your secondary school gave you a surreal experience, that many kids growing up didn't didn't have. From the funny to the heartbreaking- you'll be thankful that you went to that school. Between the funny moments of girls locking their teachers out of their classrooms, to the scary- a girl falling down three floors onto a marble floor (but still being a ok). Your home ec teacher- Mrs. Edgely, will have thought you more than just that subject. She inspired, motivated, encouraged and impacted her student's lives more than I think she'll ever know. School thought you so much more than just maths and geography. The deaths of two girls in your year and the year below puts life into perspective and shapes your mindset into one of appreciation. You learn the true meaning of 'your health is your wealth' and you never know what is around the corner. St. Dominic's gave you an appreciation for the situation you are in, the opportunities you have in life and most importantly, to value everybody around you that you love.

You will find your voice in college. I'm not sure why you were painfully quiet in school but don't worry, you grow out of it. I think it was a mixture of being insecure, not knowing who you were or what you want to do but don't worry it'll pass pretty quickly. A little switch will flick and all of a sudden you will find your voice, believe in yourself and you'll be like a new person. You'll be so proud to know that you have gotten to the stage of confidence that moving thousands of miles away from home where you don't know anyone didn't even take a second thought.

College wasn't only great for that- you're going to have so much fun, learn so much from it and finally get to be yourself. I truely believe that it was some of the best years of your life. You discover that media is the place you want to be (despite so much negativity about it in your course) and that the journey starts when you graduate. You'll have some mad nights out, end up in strange and testing situations but end up in McDonalds at the end of the semester and it is all ok. That J1 you always wanted helped you grow up and although you went in not having a clue what to expect, it exceeded all expectations.

If I have any advice for you- know your worth. Diving into starting your career will be daunting but don't sell yourself short. Know your abilities and if you have a bad gut feeling- it is worth listening to. This doesn't just apply to your career however- people will hurt and mistreat you and you should have more self worth than to take any crap or to forgive when they didn't deserve to be forgiven. You need to surround yourself more with people who build you up rather than pull you down.

Time and timing is everything- you'll figure that out over the years. Between meeting a boy in San Diego when the last thing on your mind was a relationship to when the decision to finally move to the US came about. Everything happens for a reason and timing plays a huge part in that. Accept that we do not always have control on things and trust that everything will work out. Time gives you an amazing perspective about the mistakes that you have made and how things really were at the time- but that is all one learning experience for you. Just keep living your life for yourself and only yourself. The rest will fall into place. 

Stop giving out about Ireland and enjoy the country a bit more. After you have spent the summer living in California you get the opportunity to explore Ireland so much more. Thanks to a boy you'll get to experience life outside your Dublin bubble, get to see parts of the country that you never did, act the tourist and really appreciate the rolling hills, mad drinking culture and the history. Although it is small, the people are welcoming, the atmosphere is amazing and the healthcare system is quite good too (in comparison to the states haha). It is one of the best countries in the world however you just know while you are young it is just not the place you're meant to be in. You'll grow to love every inch of your Emerald Isle and know in your heart that this will always be where you call home.

Dun Laoghaire will fast become your favourite place. Between the sea, beautiful houses and Scrumdiddlys, it has i
t all. The place is one that both calms and inspires you. It will become a place initially where if you need space or a little cry, you can go, look out at the sea and just breathe and talk with your best friend Lizzy. Although holds that quality as the years go on, it begins to hold really special memories with friends that you will always remember no matter where we all are in the world.

Your nearest and dearest are absolutely amazing. The support of your parents is insane and they have so much love for you. They gave you an amazing childhood and allowed me to take every opportunity that arose. They can be overprotective but you're their one and only so don't get too bothered by it.

As for your friends, you keep a close few but they are all absolutely amazing people. You know that although you don't talk everyday, as soon as we needed each other, we'd drop everything and go. We all have our flaws, some of my friends can be absolutely insane, but I love each and every one.

I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns, having a good perspective on things and being there for your best friends when they needed you throughout the years. Keep doing that, keep the head up and you'll be fine.

Love from your older, and a whole lot wiser 22 year old self x

Writing this letter took so much thought, editing and tears and I'm so happy I could share it with you all. I truly recommend writing a letter to your younger self, it is such an emotional experience but so worth it in the end. When I reflect on my last 'letter to my 18 year old self', I almost find it funny about how much I thought I knew when I actually didn't. 

Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful weekend x