Recently I came across some blog posts about a book that features letters from celebrities to their 16 year old selves and I thought I’d join in.

Dear 16 year old me,

We both know that you worry too much, both in general and about what other people think. There aren’t many people you need to keep happy in this world and Mum isn’t as hard to please as you imagine she is right now. Stop letting other people’s opinions affect you so much, you are a good person and some people need to be shocked or contradicted every now and then.

There is a reason you are trying so hard to please Mr Kay the P.E. teacher. You may not work it out for another 9 years but compared to others, that little realisation will be a weight off your shoulders and a relatively easy process because most people worked it out for you way before you will. Mum won’t like it at all but she’ll come to terms with it eventually. She’ll even be able to joke about it in time. Don’t rush her so much. She loves you.

You are skinny now, and you can eat what ever you want, but stop taking it for granted. Everyone will tell you that you’ll get fat at 30. Thankfully you won’t, but at 37 you won’t like your body slowing down so try and develop better eating habits will you? Please? I don’t like the measurement on my new jeans.

In a year or two, you might want to also develop a good gym routine. It will save you all those years of feeling scrawny. Yes I know I just told you that you might get fat, but until then, skin and bone isn’t exactly a hot look and it might stop you getting so grumpy when you look at Men’s Health covers.

In 2006 you will be involved with an American, I won’t mention their name because that will ruin the surprise of the first paragraph, but I would suggest not getting involved at all. They will leave you battered and bruised emotionally and for some reason you won’t let that go for way too long. You are worth more than this person will lead you to believe.

You are painfully shy and prudish now about your body and people seeing it. Believe me, that will pass. There will come a time in your life that people will be wishing you’d put some bloody clothes on for a change. Don’t be so paranoid. It’s your body, don’t waste these years being so uptight.

Lastly, you really do know how to have fun. Let that out a bit more and do things that please you. A tip for you in one word. Circus.

Yours sincerely,
You at 38.