Grief has sent me on a journey over the past year. A rollercoaster of emotions and a hell of a lot of reflection on my life so far. Hard lessons in facing realities and learning where negative habits have come from. Part of this has lead me to thinking about what I could tell my younger self to maybe make life a little easier.
Dear little Hannah
You won’t like being told what to do and I don’t blame you. Keep that attitude. If you’re interested though here are a few tips your older self wishes she’d kept tighter hold of.
Don’t forget to have fun.
Your imagination is an absolute treat. Treasure it. Nurture it. Let it grow wild. Fear can very easily take over and can zap the life out of everything if you let it. Fear of failure, fear of change, fear of loss and fear of the general unknown. All these things may seem scary but remember pretty much everything can be made into a game and you can have fun with it.
Enjoy every day.
Stop waiting for the perfect tomorrow, you’ll be waiting forever. You’ll hear your mum talk a lot about how good things are going to be in the future. You’ll also see how bad things get what that future disappears. Don’t fall into the same trap. It’s good to have a plan but the journey is a huge part of the process. So much fun and new adventures can be found if you ignore the fear monster.
Trust your Instincts.
You’re a cool little lady. The best at being you and it would be a very good idea to embrace that. No one else in the world thinks like you, problem solves like you, or creates like you. That’s a good thing. Trying to be like everyone else will only dull your shine. Know your worth and don’t accept anything less. At the same time, criticism isn’t your worst enemy, sometime other people do know better. Shocker, I know. You can learn from comments without taking them as a personal attack. Finding the balance is key. Sounds impossible but you can do it.
Mum knows best.
You are loved. Hearing this all the time might make your little eyes roll but it is the most important thing to remember. There’s nothing you’ll crave more when she’s gone. Your mum has given you all the tools you need in life, trust in the positives and throw away the negatives. You know the difference. Working at a desk is also a very good shout. Your back and focus will definitely appreciate this gem.
You are not responsible for everything.
Making everyone happy isn’t your job. Fixing problems and controlling everything around you is far too big a task for your little hands. Concentrate on keeping yourself happy and healthy. You’ll be a much better friend/sister/aunty that way. You are only responsible for the way you act, the rest will fall into place.
Don’t worry about being gay
No one cares. In the best way possible. You have an amazing family. They just want you to be happy. There is literally no pressure to live up to the hetro stereotype, you’ll let your nanna down no matter what but she’ll still love you.
Also, you won’t always hate your name, just trust me on that one.
This has been quite a difficult but very useful exercise for me. What advice would you give to your younger self?