Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A Letter to my 16-year-old self

This post is in response to a writing workshop suggestion by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak

Dear Liz,

The New Romantic look is Not A Good Look. Ditto the Princess Di. Try to find your own style and remember that photos last a lifetime, so be very careful about what you wear to weddings.
Your sister can be a pain, but she looks up to you so try to be a bit nicer to her, you never know when you might need each other. And when you go on holiday to Germany with her and your cousin, don't get in the car with the boys you meet at the disco and go back to their flat. It will all be OK, but it could so easily not have been.
The Jane Fonda workout is a waste of time and money because you will do it once or twice and then lose interest. Ditto the Peter Powell, the Felicity Kendall and any other celebrity-endorsed workout album, video (or in a few years) DVD that follows. Although you're not remotely sporty it would be good if you could get into running and keep doing it for the rest of your life. Heart disease runs in your family.
You haven't been in love before, but try not to fall for the American boy who joins your 6th Form for three months, because when he leaves to return home it will break your heart. And try not to get too involved with boyfriends at university. None of them are your soulmate and the thought of them will eventually make you cringe.
I know you want to buy lots of lovely clothes and albums and go to as many parties as possible but try not to spend all your holidays and Saturdays working in WHSmiths to pay for it. You need to do more revision. You're bright but if you don't work a bit harder you won't do nearly as well in your exams as everyone expects.
Cider and black is a horrible drink and if you have more than a pint of it you will end up in hospital. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
Try to see your grandmother often because you will miss her so much when she's gone.
And finally, spend as much time as you can with your dad, getting to know him as well as you possibly can. Ask him about his childhood and try to find out about your half brother and sister. In a year, he will leave home. In five years, he will be dead, and all the answers will be lost forever.

Love Liz


  1. Oh Liz, that's such a powerfully written letter, and stopped me in my tracks at the end. But really, Peter Powell exercise video, no way, what's that about? xx

  2. Oh liz, so happy to start, but ending on such a sad tone.

  3. I didn't know about this blog Liz!

    Your letter was so poignant, I'm so sad that so many of these speak of future loss. Love your opener about finding a personal style - I STILL haven't found mine!!


  4. Poignant stuff, Liz. I actually remember you talking about that American lad back at University. I was a boyfriend back then, though the term 'boyfriend' might be stretching the truth somewhat as we were way too young and our time was short. Fair play though, I too would cringe openly at the thought of an 18-year-old me. I remember your father passing away though, and we'd stopped talking long before then so I never had chance to pass on my condolences.