I was supposed to write an elevator pitch for a business idea today but I’ve decided to sack that off in favour of a writing prompt that’s going to be a lot more interesting: write a letter to your 15 year old self. Whoa, nelly, here we go…
Dear 15 year old Penny,
Firstly, I hate to be the one to tell you but you do not look good in hats. Photographic evidence suggests it’s going to take you until you’re nearly 21 to figure this out, but you’d be doing me a big favour if you could at least stop wearing them indoors. You will not want to hear this, but Mrs Carr was right when she made a joke about you wearing them all the time. Don’t worry, I still don’t think she was right to give you an E on your French coursework. No, I’m not old enough to have got over that grudge. Don’t be rude.
You won’t get off with David from youth theatre. You will however exchange a series of bizarre texts in about two years’ time in which you both pretend he’s going to come round your house and give you a massage. I’d love to say that this is the only awkward encounter you’ll have with the opposite sex, but I’m afraid you’re in for a bit of a rough ride there. At least you’re going to get some great anecdotes out of it.
You’ve had a few crushes on girls and are finding that fact quite scary. As it happens these feelings will pass, but you’ll also be okay with the fact that one day you might like girls again, and that anyone who has a problem with that is kind of a douche.
I know that right now you desperately want to move to America, as that’s the only place where anything cool ever happens. Believe me when I tell you that there will be a time in the future when you are terribly glad you don’t live there.
In a year’s time you’ll head off to sixth form college. I won’t lie to you, it’s going to be a shit year, but it will teach you a valuable lesson about not letting fear stand in your way. It will be part of the reason you decide to apply to drama school. You’ll spend three years there doing what you love, and whilst it won’t be easy, you will cherish it forever.
You will still be great friends with some of the people you know now. There will also be wonderful new ones. Stop thinking you’re weird and unpopular.
You won’t become a popstar, and you won’t win an Oscar. I know Avril Lavigne had a recording contract by the age of 15, but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. People don’t even really listen to Avril Lavigne anymore. I know. Shocking.
Lastly, at your first job in a few years’ time, a male colleague will squeeze your bum at the Christmas party as a ‘joke’. You will turn around and slap him. Don’t believe the people that tell you that you’re uptight and overreacting. The tide will turn.
Love, 29 year old Penny x
P.s loads of famous people will turn out to be paedophiles.