15 year old Clare McAuley

What would your 15 old self think of your life if they could see you now?

The other day I was sorting through some old cards and letters I’ve received over the years. I stumbled across a letter I had written to myself when I 15. In very bossy language I commanded that the letter was only to be opened when I was 22.

Admittedly I was a rather unusual teenager. At first I thought this letter might be great to put on my blog. After re-reading my scribbles, I realised I’d forgotten in the last five years the content of this odd letter. It was whimsical, personal and in some places very strange. I could never put it online. The letter wears its heart on its sleeve, and I still feel my teenage self still deserves some privacy.

Amongst the dramatic statements I did give myself some good advice. I told myself to go for walks, go to the cricket and re-read Charles Dickens. In particular, I should read Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens.

In one place I tell my future self to stay friends with certain people. My choice of people was in places a little puzzling. The first three are still some of my closest friends. However later in the list I included someone who I’m sure at the time I really disliked. From memory she a bit of a bully. Dear 15 year old self, what was that all about?

Half way through the letter I write:

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt its don’t be a flattering fool – be honest with yourself. Always smile and think, why should little things ruin your day? Love people and don’t judge. Never think you know someone. Don’t classify humans.

Don’t grow out of the Narnia series.

Good advice there Miss 15 year old Clare McAuley.

At the end I demand a return letter. So here’s a little of what I’d say.

Dear 15 year old me,

I like the advice you gave me. Sometimes even you have a sensible streak. Try and listen to it.

Never be afraid. Don’t be afraid if I guy doesn’t like you – they are never worth your tears. Don’t be afraid of bullies – they still exist after school, just appearing in all sorts of disguises. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong or to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to do the things your love, even if they are horribly uncool. You’ll love murder mysteries, reading anything from tge 19th century, cooking cheesecakes, dancing in pubs, playing tetris and singing anything from a musical. The sooner you face up to this the better.

You’ll even love teaching. I know – bit of a shock that one. Life is surprising and when you say yes to the adventure wonderful things can happen. (Yep you’re still full of dramatic statements.)

And I absolutely agree that you should never grow out of the Narnia series.

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