A Letter To My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Self,

Please don’t wear that bright pink dress to prom – you look like a flamingo. You might think you’re in with a chance to win the ‘best dressed’ award but eight years later and you’ll still have regrets about what you wore. Put on something black, it’ll be your signature in years to come so you might as well start now.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about love. This might be tough to hear, but we’re still single – and not the kind of single you see in Cameron Diaz films. The good news is that you do develop some human emotion over the years and fall in love, it’s just unfortunate that you fall in love alone.

It’s okay, listen carefully – I’m going to give you some advice on how to deal with the pain of unrequited love so when it happens, you’re prepared.

  1. Cry. It’s okay to be self-involved, it’s okay to mourn the loss of a relationship that was never meant to be: if you want to cry in the shower whilst drinking a glass of wine, do it. You don’t want to stay at your own pity party for too long so whilst you’re there you might as well make the most of it.
  2. Delete them from your life. This is key – you’ll be tempted to text them whilst drunk and hope that this time they’ll reply and tell you exactly what you want to hear. No matter how charming and nonchalant you think you seem, the next day you’ll find yourself crying in the shower again. Delete their number, text messages and anything that keeps you holding onto the past.
  3. Accept that they will never feel the same way. You aren’t Carrie Bradshaw.  Your life isn’t the season finale of a TV show where Big flies to Paris to win your heart after 6 years of repeatedly stomping on it. The sooner you realise that every moment in the relationship you considered poignant and special was probably as important to them as grabbing a KFC, the better. Don’t waste your time desperately clinging onto hope – this isn’t a romantic comedy with a happy ending.
  4. Distract yourself. You might be tempted to stay at home eating Ben and Jerry’s in your sweatpants, but this leaves a lot of room for self-pity to come back with a vengeance. There’s only a certain amount of complaining and self-hatred that those around you will be able to take, so get over yourself already. Whether you enjoy reading, writing or salsa dancing, I recommend trying to further your happiness in areas of your life that don’t involve the opposite sex.
  5. Time and space. What everyone says is true, there’s no easy way to lose weight, make money or get over someone, but in time you will.

This might be a lot of information to take in at once, but here’s a few final tips: in a few months’ time you’ll be tempted to bleach your hair – please don’t. I’ll let you make a few mistakes along the way but that’s one I’d rather you avoid.

Try not to worry so much. You’re  never going to be the smartest or the prettiest, but there’s a lot of people who think you’re damn cool. Stop taking life so seriously and have more fun: you’ll thank me for it.

See you on the flip side.

Helen Fisher – aged 24.


17 responses to “A Letter To My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

  1. deepbluesandseafoamgreens

    Helen; you’re awesome.
    Flamingo dress O.O sounds special, though! 🙂


  2. I would love to see a photo of the flamingo dress. There are many things I would like to tell me 16 year old self, hell there are things I would like to be able to tell my 26 year old self, but I guess plodding along without the benefit of hindsight is how we learn.


    • I’ll try and dig one out 🙂
      You’re right, you really do learn from your mistakes. There’s a lot of things I wish I could take back but everything I’ve done has led me here, and here is pretty good!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really wouldn’t tell your 16 year old self any of those things. If she was like my 16 year old self she wouldn’t have listened anyway. And do leave a little time for self-pity and misery, it makes a person complete – probably.


  4. This letter could have been to my 16-year old self as well :’D I also had a pink (or rather fuchsia) dress for prom. And I often suffered from unrequited love as well.


  5. I looovvveee this!!! I wrote a letter to my 18 year old self, and it was so nice. It kind of was cathartic! this was amazing and sooooo true. I definitely had a boogie prom dress that kind of hurts my feelings now, and is it so terrible I have to keep reminding myself that I am NOT a more southern Carrie Bradshaw??? wups.


    • Glad you liked it, I’ll definitely have to check out the letter you wrote to your 18 year old self!

      I’m going to make a huge generalization here but I think that most people regret their choice of prom dress now? I’d love to see a picture of your boogie one!

      Unfortunately, I too have to remind myself that I am not Carrie Bradshaw. Maybe one day? 🙂


      • Oh girl, I can make that happen. Gotta go back to like myspace days though!!! (Why yes, my
        MySpace is still chillin) seriously, she makes life look so easy. I am pretty sure the closest thing I have to big is a one eyed dog. Wups.


      • Aw – in some ways a dog is better than a man! They’re loyal at least 😉

        Yes, cough it up! I think I still have myspace too if I can remember my passwords! The glory days.


  6. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/2/?ui=2&ik=7a485cfa7c&view=att&th=1461594ddd640fe8&attid=0.1&disp=safe&zw
    Soooo… Let’s be honest, I am no techie! I hope this works!
    bahahahha wouldn’t want everyone to miss out on that over the top PINK.


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