Day 307 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

This morning I was reading the Australian Woman’s Weekly while having my cup of tea and I began reading one of their regular columns called “A letter to my 16-year-old self” in which they have celebraties write a letter to their 16-year-old self. 

As I read the letter that Antonia Kidman wrote to herself it brought back memories of myself at that age. Have you ever looked back on how you were at 16 years old and remembered the insecurities you had then, right on the brink of growing up? No longer a child, but not quite an adult either.

This was a very difficult period for me as I wanted so many things that collided with what my parents wanted for me. I was also very shy (can you believe this??)

So today folks, I have written a letter to MY 16-year-old self. In it I give some advice to the naive young thing that I was then. Oh, if only we could go back and see things as clearly as we can see them now.  It may have saved us a lot of heartache. Here is my letter:

Dear 16 year old Theresa

You know it is not the end of the world that your mother won’t let you go back and study so that you can become a teacher! It may seem that way at the moment, but don’t let it send you down into the depth of despair as it is doing now.

You will learn that sometimes, things happen for a reason and that you will become a teacher one day, but not in the way that you would expect; not in a classroom. Life is far broader than that.  And one day, you will find your desire to complete further education will come your way and no one will be more surprised than YOU when you do it!

Here I am at the beach, almost 16 years of ago

Now Theresa, about this name of yours. I know your mother will not abide anyone calling you any of the derivatives of Theresa (such as Terri or Tess) but believe me – and I know you find this hard to believe right now – but one day what your mother thinks you should be called will not matter one iota to you any more. 

In fact, as time come by you will realise that the choice is yours and that you can be called whatever you want to be called … although you will always think of the formal ‘Theresa’ as your REAL name.

I know you are terribly shy and you find it hard to speak out when you are in groups, but it is only because you are young and have had little experience in public speaking. Don’t fret about it because one day, you will wonder how on earth you were ever shy! The fact is, you are quite a reserved young thing, prone to far too much thinking and you are also far too sensitive for your own good.

Now another thing Theresa, you let your two older brothers upset you too easily even at 16. You will have to learn to let what they say go over your head and pay them no heed. In fact, you are feeding your brother’s torments by your constant reaction to everything they do or say.

So your brothers called you “Usty” when you were younger and they said it meant “bad eggs?” And they were going to write to the Oxford Dictionary to have the word “Usty” included, were they? This was quite ridiculous yet you seemed to believe them and I’m not sure why!

Even at this age, they continue to be tormenting bullies and what’s more, they think it is all very funny into the bargain. Typical boys picking on little sisters. At least your father was a great support to you, appreciate him.

As you grow older, you will need to forgive them for their ‘crimes’ even though one of them at least may want to keep you pinned down to being a child and reacting accordingly. However, you will have enough maturity by then to know how to handle the situation and they will be surprised at how well you deal with them. So, don’t fret about them now.

My mother and father when I was 16

Also Theresa, your relationship with your mother isn’t very good at present and you resent her controlling every part of your life. You see her as not allowing you to do the things that you want to do, even simple things like plucking your eyebrows or shaving your legs!

She was brought up in another era and cannot understand why a girl like you with thick black  hairs on her legs, would be ashamed of letting them be seen through your fine stockings! Honour her.

But, I tell you solemnly, there will come a day when you will mourn the loss of your mother and laugh about those black hairs on your legs. And you will miss her more than you ever thought possible. It will be the biggest regret of your life that you did not appreciate her while she was still alive.

She will not live to a great old age and you will feel cheated about that. In fact, you will find that the older you get, the less it matters how little or how much you had in common.

All you will remember is this: SHE WAS MY MOTHER AND I LOVED HER! Keep that in mind when you find her unbearable. It will help.

Love always

Theresa  x x

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