I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that I’m an avid reader of Vogue magazine (did anybody else catch the recent BBC documentary about life behind the scenes at British Vogue? I found it fascinating!) It’s my monthly indulgence and between family, work and life in general, it usually takes me a whole month to read each issue (if I’m lucky!)
October’s cover star, Victoria Beckham, has written a letter to her 18 year old self, offering her younger self advice on love, life and style. It got me to thinking about what advice I would give my younger self (and perhaps my daughter, when she’s old enough).
So for this week’s blog post here is my own letter to my 18 year old self.
Dear (18 year old) Anna,
So here we are, you’re 18 years old and about to embark on life at university in Bristol.
You don’t know it yet but in the next three years you will meet the man you eventually marry and make one of the best friends you will ever have in the whole world. You will also go through some tough times, but these times will make you stronger and help to shape you in ways you cannot imagine right now.
What words of advice can I offer you that may help you along the way? So much of our character is built by experiencing things first hand, but hopefully the contents of this note will allow you to navigate your path with a little more confidence than maybe you would have otherwise.
My first piece of advice… trust your instincts. Whether it’s a new friend, a potential love interest or a pair of shoes. Listen to your heart and do not waver. Also, listen to your parents, their instincts are pretty great too.
Always, always act with integrity. Stay true to who you are, don’t waver from what you believe to be right and good, ever.
You will come across people in life who seem to have your best interests at heart, when actually they don’t. They will hurt you, but never lose your optimistic outlook and your belief that there is good in everyone, there is, in some its just hidden very well.
No good will ever come of drinking tequila or sambuca. Trust me on this one.
You have a beautiful figure, don’t scrutinise it, just appreciate it! In 15 years time, after 2 babies you’ll miss that flat tummy and trim hips and you’ll wonder what you were ever worried about!
Throw away that misshapen green cardigan that you think looks really grungey and cool (it doesn’t and there is no way to ‘style it up’ I’m afraid).
Keep your Doc Martens, they make a comeback. You may not wear them again but they are your first ‘fashion’ purchase and should be kept for posterity.
Stop wearing black and grey and grey and black, all the time. There are other colours out there, you look good in lots of them. When it comes to style be more daring, be more creative and don’t worry what anybody else thinks. Just do you, and do it with confidence.
Embrace your not-quite-straight-not-quite-curly hair, just rock it. Never, ever get a perm, demi-wave or any of the above. Ever.
For the love of God, please leave your eyebrows alone (and tell your little sister to as well).
Follow your dreams, pursue that career in fashion writing straight out of uni (or sooner if you can), don’t wait! Hustle and work hard just like your parents taught you and you’ll go far.
And finally… trust me, all those people who look like they know where they’re going/what they’re doing in life, they don’t. So shine bright like a diamond, smile… and fake it till you make it (just like everyone else!)
I’d love to know what advice you would give your younger self, if you could!