Dear Young Steph,
- External circumstances don't make people happy. Nobody ever reaches a particular weight or gets a book published or some other goal and instantaneously has inner peace. There's always something else.
- Octopus ink jelly is really awful. Just don't go there. (Source: An unfortunate yum-cha experience.)
- Everything you fear - apart from rational things, like fear of the zombie apocalypse - is not half as scary as you might expect. Get on public transport, kid.
- Everything will be worthwhile. Everybody has a different path in life. Feel free to rebel against norms and be yourself, and never feel regretful or as if you're missing out.
- Being a vegetarian is not as crazy and difficult as everyone makes out. You'll feel better about yourself.
- Happiness and family and love and being a good person are all far more important than money, though it helps if you have a roof over your head and food in the fridge.
- It isn't the end of the world, ever. It doesn't matter what it is, or how big and impossible it feels, everything keeps going and it'll get better. But 2012 might be the end of the world. I'll keep you posted on that.
- I know you like thinking about stuff. And that's okay. But sometimes you have to actually go out in the world and live life. You can only do so much living in your head before you start getting a bit stir-crazy in there.
- Treat other people the way you want to be treated. And treat yourself the way you treat the people you care about - with love and kindness. You're kind of stuck with yourself for life, and you're better off thinking good things about yourself. There's more than enough people in the world who'll tear you down without you helping out.
- Don't be so sarcastic. Laugh more, even when people say 'You laugh too much' (and they will, because people are no fun!). Give everybody a hug. Be yourself, but a bit more confident. It helps.
Slightly Less Young Steph
x's and o's to infinity and beyond
What advice would you give your slightly younger self (or dramatically younger!), if you care to share?
(I wrote another post called 'Advice for my 12-year-old self' in April, but the advice here is different. I've got lots of advice for myself, obviously!)