Notes to My Teenage Self 


Dear teenage Java


  • You will be loved. I know you are sat in your bedroom worrying that no one will ever love you, but you are already so deeply loved and there are so many people you are yet to meet who will be overjoyed to meet you, and you them. That beautiful boy who doesn’t love you back will one day become a fond memory, I promise you.


  • Keep drawing, keep writing, keep taking photos. It may not work out in the linear way you expect of yourself, but your creativity is the most valuable thing you have.


  • You will not understand the bloom in your cheek and the light in your eyes until it starts to fade, but it is there and I wish you could love your reflection. You will eventually grow into yourself, and one day you won’t mind your reflection quite so much.


  • Despite what your teachers think, you are making the right decision to cut gym class and go to the cinema on your own, you are learning far more in the dark, watching those stories than you will ever learn in a sweaty gym hall.


  • Please don’t burn your diaries on new year’s eve 2000, you will live to deeply regret losing the hundreds of embarrassing poems you wrote every day.


  • Ignore that bit in Lost in Translation where Scarlett Johanssen says ‘Every girl goes through a photography phase’. Keep taking photos, one day they will be part of your job, and if you keep on taking photos it might speed the journey up.


  • I am sorry to break it to you but you will not be the next Kate Winslet or Claire Danes. I know, this is crushing, but you will very quickly realise that the business is not suited to your tender heart and thin skin. But it’s ok, I promise, you will find a journey that will feel be far more fulfilling.


  • Be kinder to your brother, just because he isn’t exactly like you, doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the greatest people you will ever meet. Learn to love your differences, you will miss him when you’re far apart and he is the only one who understands your past.


  • You don’t need to read that terrible book book about how to be funny that you find on your uncle’s shelf. Keep being honest with yourself and others and you will find humour in unexpected times and places. Even in the death of your first child. Yes, life will be cruel, but it will also be full of love.


  • All the turmoil you’re feeling and the tears you’re shedding, I know it hurts, but it is a necessary passage for you. It will teach you empathy.


  • And again. You will be loved, you are loved and you have so much love to give. You will experience life affirming friendships, romances that make your heart soar, and the unique love of having children. There is someone waiting for you, and yes, he does look like Taylor Hanson, only better.


In the meantime, keep drawing, writing and reading. 


All my love, your 38 year old self xx


P.S: We need to have a serious chat about you wearing bindis.


1 Comment
  • Louise
    Posted at 19:20h, 10 October

    Truly Beautiful Java! We all need to write to our younger selvesXx