Sunday, October 14, 2012

What advice would you give yourself?

It was International Day of the Girl on October 11, and CNN, to celebrate and honour the day, asked different celebrities what would be the one piece of advice they would give their fifteen-year-old selves.

Food for thought.  When I was fifteen, I had just moved from Edinburgh, Scotland to London, England.  Now this may sound exciting, it was the time of Twiggy and Mary Quant, and London was a hot place to live.  But as a teenager with friends, and more to the point, my first boyfriend, the move was traumatic.  I remember very dramatically, as only a teenager can do, telling my parents that my life was over!

Recognizing I was homesick for my friends, my parents very wisely let me go back for a visit about three months after we’d moved, and I learned a hard life lesson. When you’re gone, you’re gone.  Nothing was the same. My friends had moved on and I was history.

It took me some time to settle into my new school.  I had this broad Scottish accent, so no one could understand me and wanting to be accepted by and sound like my peers, I worked hard to get rid of it. 

It was hard too coming mid-year into the school as friendships were already established, cliques formed and so making new friends took time. For months, I felt very much the outsider.

That said, what advice would I now give my fifteen- year old self?

1.              Be yourself.  Don’t change who you are just to fit in.

2.              Be proud of your heritage, don’t hide it.

3.              Nothing lasts forever.  People change. Relationships change.

4.              Don’t take stuff too personally. 

5.              Be flexible and open to new opportunities.

Not bad advice for any age really.  What would you tell yourself?

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