I’ve decided to write down some of the things I wish I had known when I was in my young teens, or at least had a bigger sister to tell me about. So here I am, at the ripe old age of 19, putting on the “big sister” shoes for everyone who reads this, and maybe it helps you out a little bit.
Dear Young Teen Courtney,
Firstly, it is ok not to fit in! You’re going to spend so much time, energy and emotion fighting against who you really are, just let that go. You do not need to be anyone but yourself, you are you for a reason. As soon as you are true to yourself, real, honest and genuine friends will find their way to you. Friends who love you for who you are and not for who you are trying so desperately to be.
Second, accept your physical flaws, you have flaws and so does everyone else. Love the body you have because it’s never going to change, no matter how much you wish it would. Everyone is beautiful in their own, unique ways and that’s what makes us all special. You have massive feet, a gangly looking body and a few years down the line, you still don’t have any curves, but that does not need to make you feel insecure or ugly.
You also refuse to show your legs or your arms because people make comments about how pale and slender you are, you are only spiting yourself by sweating away in summer with long pants and long sleeve shirts on, silly! Who cares what other people think, embrace your glow-in-the-dark skin tone and be happy with it. Self tanner isn’t going to work well for you, you’ll end up a weird orange colour, and that’s even worse.
Remember that everyone has good days and bad days, and you won’t love yourself, or your body every day, but work on trying to accept it, flaws and all, you’ll be much happier for it. I know it’s difficult at first, but try to remember the things you get compliments on and focus on those parts first.
Love , 19 year-old Courtney.