Dear Me

I’ve been so incredibly busy over the past few days (thus, lack of posts… sorry!), no time for any breathing space. Today, I’m finally giving myself some.

As you may know, International Women’s Day is coming up very soon, and I’ve been noticing more of those #DearMe videos on YouTube, where you ‘write’ (or film?) a letter to your younger self, giving any advice, insights or words of inspiration you’ve accumulated over the years.

So here’s mine, written to my 12-year-old self.

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Dear me,

You’re a few weeks into high school, and already, you find yourself struggling. Struggling to remake yourself. Struggling with that foreign, incomprehensible word.

Friendship.

You’re surrounded by a whole group of these so-called ‘friends’… friends who don’t talk to you, who don’t ask for your opinion on anything, who don’t even share a single inside joke with you?

You’re afraid. You think they choose you as a last resort because of who you are – this boring, serious, overly shy girl whom no one will ever cast a second glance towards, who doesn’t even deserve the attention to be laughed at. You’re afraid of being invisible. And alone. You’re afraid to get out of bed every morning because you know it’s just going to be another day of fake smiles and words left unspoken.

I won’t tell you that real soon, the universe will miraculously answer your prayers and change your life for the better. That would be false hope. What I will tell you, however, is this: Nothing will ever really change until you be that change yourself.

It’s okay to be afraid. What’s not okay is if you let those fears overcome and define you. Remember: fearlessness isn’t about having zero fears; it’s about pushing forward despite those fears. So… just hang in there, okay?

Because down the road, you will meet these amazing people. They will embrace everything that is weird and special about you. They will know you better than you know yourself. All you’ll have to do is make eye contact with them, and they will understand exactly what you are trying to tell them. And then, there’ll be those days and nights when you’ll be walking and talking and laughing, and suddenly, you’ll understand.

Everything will make sense. That foreign, incomprehensible word will become your lifeline, your saviour.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that it’s going to be all rainbows and sunshine after that. You’ll still be faced with moments of doubt and loneliness; you’ll still be caught in messy dilemmas you can’t seem to escape.

You’ll still be struggling. Struggling to figure yourself out. Struggling to pursue your dreams in a practical manner. The truth is, one struggle will always be replaced by another – but you will have your friends, your family, yourself… and one day, you will realise that just because life’s a struggle, doesn’t mean you can’t dance your way through it. Life will never be perfect, but if you keep focusing on the bad, you will miss all the good.

And happiness? You may think that those people you hang out with are the ones who dictate your happiness. I’m telling you now: They aren’t. You are.

Stay brilliant. Stay brilliantly you.

x Katherine

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What it means to be rebellious

Rebellious. It’s a word shunned by parents, embraced by teenagers. It’s sneaking out at midnight and sneaking along a couple of beers and sneaking past that sign which clearly reads ‘Keep out’. It’s breaking rules just for the thrill of it, just because it makes you feel freer and more alive than ever before.

But being rebellious, it’s more than that. It’s disproving assumptions made about you. It’s showing people that your good results came from hard work and dedication, not from natural talent. It’s becoming a writer, even when others thought you to be far better as a doctor or lawyer. It’s smiling at your tormentors; it’s refusing to ever flinch or cower before them and kiss their sorry asses; it’s choosing to live your life boldly and beautifully despite their attempts to bring you down.

People think that being rebellious is about being disobedient, but it’s not. It’s about being defiant. Defiant of expectations, defiant of stereotypes, defiant of clichés. It’s about having that unwavering spirit to be purely unconventional, to be purely you.