Advice to my younger self....

Lend me your ears mini Missy V
This started off as a post about holiday camps, but as I began writing it just developed in to something else completely. This story sent me off on a total tangent -

 I remember visiting Butlin's a few times myself as a child. I was forced by a pushy mother to enter the weekly Miss Butlin's or whatever it was called, where you stood on the dance floor being looked at, feeling that that you'd rather be watching than taking part. I remember taking some comfort in the fact that the young ladies who weren't loving their moment in the spot light, looked just like me - awkward, uncomfortable and frankly a bit miserable. That said, I was still a bit sad not to win! 

So, the holiday camp post has evolved in to something completely different. Funny how those childhood memories that are just faint recollections trigger other ponderings........I've never been a 'look at me' person. Yes, yes I know I now write a blog, pose for pictures etc BUT I still prefer to be behind the camera, and I can assure you that whilst I'm confident and love engaging with new people (AKA talking for England) , inside that little kid who was awkward and a bit overwhelmed with some of the events life brings, is still there. I'm not really competitive, so I HATE it when people feel they need to compete with me. Entering a competition to be judged - you expect competition, but when it's forced up on you in your every day life, by friends, colleagues etc, it's tiresome, and the fact that they seem to feel that they want to be better than me to make themselves feel better.....well it makes me annoyed, but it also makes me feel glad that despite that awkward, dorky kid inside me, I'm still confident enough in myself to not have to make others feel less, so I feel more.

One of my fave blogs Betty Bee Towers had a thought provoking post recently. I've mentioned it, to a few people in one of those ' God I read something that has really made me think' kind of way. It was a post about what Betty Bee would tell her younger self and it really played on my mind. In my head pieces of advice I'd give myself started to evolve. Looking back, what would you tell your younger self? I used to use the phrase 'hindsight is a wonderful thing' until someone whose opinion I truly value, argued that often it wasn't that wonderful at all! So looking back with reflection not regret is key here!

There's a few that aren't unlike Betty Bee's actually, I guess one thing that's fairly universal is teenage heartbreak!

So to begin.................

That boy who sends his best friend to dump you (completely out of the blue!) will never ever give you a reason why.
He also won't care that you go to his house and stand crying in the snow. So no, he's not a nice guy!  (I'm sure he is now, but at 15, no he isn't) Don't worry, one day you will be able to watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air without being reminded of him.

Don't get so hung up on the fact that there are people at school who seem to think it's cool to make your life miserable. 
It's a sorry fact, that whatever age you are you will encounter people like this. It's a reflection on them not you. I felt at the time is seemed almost cool not to like me at school. I had my core group of brilliant friends (if you read this you know who you are) but walking down the corridors, or in and out of the school gates became a constant 'omg' time for me. I always felt like a glare or a bitchy remark was just round the corner. When you've been made to feel rubbish like that, it can stay with you - but you're in control of how you harness that emotion. Weirdly now that I'm older and have talked it over with some people I went to school with, they inform me that whilst I considered that  ''it was cool not to like me at school '' they considered me AS cool, which is frankly bloody odd to hear when you're in your thirties. It doesn't give it closure but it does perhaps give a reason as to why me? I wonder if any of the people who made mine and other peoples school days unpleasant read this...... I never wanted to be one of the popular girls, I just wanted to have an easy life.

When you visit the school career adviser, be confident that you want to be a photographer. Push for it!
To this day I wish I'd had enough sense and confidence to just arrange my own work experience. In hindsight (there it is.........) the options arranged by the school were always going to be limited. Shop, office, school and anything  in between that was a bit vanilla. I felt like I was asking too much (maybe expecting too much of myself also....) so I gave in filled and out the form of vanilla options, and ended up at a primary school. Which I have to say was fun and I liked it, but from a career option point of view I gained nothing from it. I did ponder becoming a high school teacher a while later, but this was down to my love of English and a brilliant English teacher, not at all due to the work experience. Speaking of teachers...

When your maths teacher makes you stand up in class along with a few selected others, and asks you all if you actually think you're good enough to take the higher GCSE papers, take this as an opportunity to publicly challenge his teaching abilities. You've never spoken back to a teacher, if you don't on this occasion you will wish you had FOREVER.
Did I say don't look back with regret? This one is an exception to the rule.

A little out take picture..... I didn't think this would end up on the blog, but it seems appropriate.

Don't think you're hilarious when you read that boys palm at school, think before you speak of the type of woman he'll end up marrying................
Life is very strange and I weirdly ended up marrying that boy from school. Which NO-ONE could have predicted. Especially not me, obviously. A-hem. Awkward......

When you have your first hangover, don't try and pull a polo neck over your head.
It will be so painful, that you'll get to a point where you can't pull it up and you can't pull it down, you will lay there trapped in the darkness of that polo neck wondering if this is what death feels like.

Don't throw away that old man's blazer that you bought, you will end up hugely regretting it!
Yes, I threw away my first piece of vintage. *sigh*

DO NOT watch American Psycho. 
One of films I regret watching the most, ever.

Start writing again sooner!
Stop thinking about blogging, or worrying that no-one will read it and just do it. I pondered blogging about two years before I actually just did it. I love writing, I always have.

And finally................

You'll work hard to achieve the skills you have. Be proud.

Has this made you want to make your own list?



  1. What a thought provoking post! I can relate to those school ones soooo much. I could definitely do a list and it would most likely be a long one. Number one on the list would be not to spend so much time worrying about what people think about us. In the end, the people that I worried about the most - I don't even know where they are now and they wouldn't know me if they saw me. When I think of all the time I wasted worrying and being a shrinking violet...it's just sad.

    My movie would be Helter Skelter. Oh my god.

  2. Hey,it's okay - I married the boy from school too. Albeit after a 20 year absence... x Kate

  3. Oh yeah... I remember that 'it's cool not to like me' thing at school. Well, I still see my circle of school friends regularly and we've all turned out pretty cool haha!

    I also regret not taking my maths teacher to task... he literally did not teach us (and didn't even take the register) for months at a time! LUCKILY someone noticed a few months before our GCSE, I had to go to extra maths to cover the whole syllabus in 6 months grrr... luckily you can't get away with such shoddy teaching behaviour now.


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