Dear 11-year-old Holly,
Mistakes are part of humanity and we learn from them in order to better ourselves as we grow. However, some of the mistakes you will make in the next ten (ish) years will continue to haunt you well into your twenties, so I’m here to warn you against them. You’re about to start secondary school, which I know you’re excited about, but I need to lay down some truths for you before you get carried away.
DO. NOT. CUT. YOUR. HAIR. SHORT. Keep it long. Stop brushing it, please, please, stop brushing it. Let it curl naturally, wear your hair in plaits at night, sleep on a silk pillow and use oils after you wash it. KEEP IT LONG. Also, don’t get a fringe. Ever. Promise me that, Holly.
Don’t stop with your swimming, or dancing. Keep going until you’re fit. You love doing it and your future self will thank you for the lack of puppy fat, which never really goes away otherwise. Keep exercising and start eating better food. The fact that you’re bigger than everyone else at school (that’s what it feels like) will slowly kill you from the inside and you’ll end up very sad because of it for the rest of your life.
Uniqueness should be something that’s celebrated and is part of why the human race is so amazing, but at high school there is NO room for anything ‘out of the norm’. Keep on trend, don’t say weird stuff and wear however much makeup you can get away with. Watch tutorials – actually, it’s 2006 and you won’t have broadband for another 3 or 4 years. Use your phone to watch – oh, no, wait. It’s 2006 and no one uses the internet on their phone. Okay. Just put some mascara and some powder on, then finish it with some gloss. There you go. That will do.
Don’t bother with boys. If you have a crush, ignore it. For your own sake. Nothing will happen and it’ll just end up in embarrassment. Actually, don’t act on any crushes until university. You end up in a very semi-abusive relationship when you’re 15/16 which ends really badly. Wait until you’re 18 – at university, go wild. Have fun. You deserve it and it changes your entire life by giving you so much confidence.
Save as much money as you can. Don’t spend your inheritance and savings when you get it on crappy clothes and a bad holiday to Lanzarote. In 10 years time you’ll be cursing yourself and begging the stars for a small lottery win so you can put down a deposit on a nice house.
Keep writing and keep a diary. Write down all your ideas and memories and take photos of everything. Your future self will thank you for the nostalgia. Keep your DS games safe in their boxes (it’s heartbreaking when you lose them). Keep your Tamagotchi. Above all, when you change your room around in the summer of 2010, KEEP YOUR TEDDY WITH YOU. Boing gets lost amongst the junk and you never see him again. It still affects your 23 year old self.
Start a YouTube channel about your life. And a blog. Film fun videos and build up a social media following when you get the internet and when social media sites are invented… Instagram is the best one. Be one of the first because it just gets more and more difficult to be seen in the future on these platforms.
Mostly, just continue being a nice person to everyone. Work hard at school, but try and have fun and make friends as well. Don’t let these five very short years define you. Don’t self-sabotage your friendships and future relationships. Also, don’t double or triple text. Be cool. You will achieve so much more than this and even if my warnings mean nothing and you still make the same mistakes, know that school means nothing to anyone once they leave it. You’ll be okay.
Holly (the older one)