A Letter to My Teenage Self – Be Strong

Writing a Letter to my teenage self

Write a Letter to Your Teenage Self

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 23

Hi me,

You are ready to make your way in the big, bad world.  You are 17-years-old.  You have finished school and about to leave home.  You lie on the grass outside your high school, listening to (Sittin’ on) The Dock Of the Bay by Otis Redding.   That song will always remind you of this day; I am listening to it now as I write this letter.

The sun shines down on you and you taste the freedom in the air.

At this point in your life, you can’t imagine anything different to living in this city.  You wonder what it will be like when you are 21, 30, 40.  But you can’t picture it.

My younger self, there are a few things you need to know.

You wouldn’t recognise me as you, almost 20 years older.  This is no bad thing. Experiences will change you.  People you meet will influence you.  People you love will support you.  I figure you can work that all out for yourself though.

The thing is, you will find it hard to imagine being back on that grass, listening to that song and feeling the way you felt that day.  You will find it difficult to recollect all the names of the people you went to school with, mainly because you have a terrible memory, this only gets worse!

So much is going to happen to you.  The thing I want you to know is that the good FAR outweighs the bad, thanks to some of the wonderful people you will meet along the way.

Let’s start with the tough stuff first.

What I need to tell you is that you are strong.  Stronger than you can ever imagine.  The 17-year-old you would never believe it.  You are timid and unsure.  But, I promise you, it is true.

I am sorry to say that over the  next 20 years you are going to lose people.  Some of those will be long and drawn out, others will be sudden and throw you completely.  You will get through it.  You won’t feel like you will ever be whole again at the time, but time is a funny thing.  It might never fully heal but it does become easier.  Don’t worry, you will never forget them.  I know you will be concerned about that.  Time doesn’t fade your memories for those whom you love and you will miss them dreadfully.  You will be able to keep going though.  You will be able to be happy.

The inner strength you need is not just for this though.  You are going to need to be strong again and again.

One time in particular, you are going to need to physically fight back.  And, you will fight back.  You will surprise yourself.  Bad people are out there in this world and you never expect them to come to your door.  Unfortunately, they do.  That’s life; I know that now.  At the time, you will wonder: why me?  You will beat yourself up about it and it will get you down.

It will have an effect on your mental health.  My advice to you, if I could change anything, is get help sooner.  Those dark shadows that loom over you in your restless sleep won’t go away on their own.  The anxiety is going to remain until you speak to someone about it.

At this point in your life, you don’t want to admit defeat. You are too stubborn for your own good.  Determined to get by on your own (some things never change).  I want to tell you it is okay.  Counselling is going to save you; please go sooner.  It will turn your world around.  You are lucky, you have an incredible support network around you, you have people who care and help you. As terrible as this ordeal is and as difficult as it is to get over, you will get through it.  I know this is a cliché, but it does make you stronger.

At the end of your recovery, I hate to tell you, you are going to lose a much wanted baby. You have a feeling something isn’t right from the time you see those two lines on the pregnancy test.  Your instincts are right, I’m afraid.  This will hurt in a way you have never felt before.   But rest assured there is light at the end of this tunnel.  It feels like you are in constant darkness at that moment.  It will change.  I promise you that.  You are about to enter into the happiest time of your life.

A subsequent pregnancy test is going to change everything forever.  You wonder if it is twins; you joke about it and, my friend, it turns out you are right.  They are a beacon of light for you and your husband.  They are going to change your world.

You are going to need to be strong again though, I am sorry to tell you.

You, my 17-year-old-self, have a fear of childbirth.  You have always felt like it is never going to be straight forward.  Something inside you, a nagging feeling, that you have  always worried about.  I don’t know how you know.  I am afraid you are right.

Birth is going to be the most amazing and difficult time for you.  You are going to be ill afterwards.  Extremely ill.  From an illness you have never heard of.  Your loved ones are going to be sitting by your bedside wondering if you will make it.  You will need to be strong again.  Don’t worry, you will be.  As I said before, you are far stronger than you think.  And afterwards, you walk out of that hospital with twins, whom you love with all your heart.

Moving on.  I have another thing we need to chat about.  Spare time.  You have no idea what this means at 17.  All your time is ‘spare’.  It will remain that way for a long time yet.  Please don’t waste it.  Endless days in the pub or watching back-to-back boxsets is great but why not use some of that time to start your blog. Imagine what you could do with it if you actually had spare hours in the day.  Get out there and see more of the world.

The time will come, old friend, when spare time will be a distant memory. The time will come when 8am is a lie in, I kid you not. When you stay up past ten, you start to panic that it is getting too late. When you fall asleep on the sofa most nights… hold on, you do that anyway… never mind.

I know you want to hear the good stuff.  Well, my friend, there are so many good things I don’t know where to start.  So many lovely experiences that will make you smile whenever you think about it.  I don’t want to spoil them and ruin the surprise.

What I will say to you is this: I mentioned above you have people who care for you.  That is an understatement.

You have such a great family, they are truly amazing and you are so lucky to have them in your life.  You will grow up and move away to new adventures.  But, they will always be there for you, loving you and talking to you on FaceTime (I am not going to try to explain what FaceTime is – it will blow your mind – but it’s a little like Back to the Future II).

You are going to meet an amazing man, actually you will meet him for the first time in a few months time.  You are not going to know this at the time, but you will marry him.  His family will become your family.  I don’t mean just on paper, I mean in your heart.  He will be such a support to you through the toughest moments, loving you and winding you up with his terrible jokes.  Unfortunately, he is going to pass this sense of humour onto your boys… sorry about that.

As I have mentioned already, you have twins.  Crazy or what?!  They are your life.  They are a beacon of light when you need it most, just as you imagined.  They are cheeky, funny and sometimes naughty.  There will be times when you will be delirious with sleep deprivation.  That first year is hard.  It gets easier though.  When you see their eyes sparkle as they laugh, they will make life worth living.  One peace of advice though: never let them watch Topsy and Tim.  Please don’t do it to yourself.  That theme tune will stick in your head.

Last, but  by no means least, your friends are amazing.  Some friends you have had for many years; some who will come into your life later.  Either way, you are lucky.  They are there for you.  You may be miles away but they are there for you at the drop of a hat.  Always appreciate that.

Oh, and see when you meet that girl when you first move to Bristol?  You plan to meet up for a drink but never do?  A long while later your paths will cross again and you will be best friends.  Please meet up for that drink a little sooner, you need her in your life.

Goodbye, good luck and enjoy the ride!

Like this post?  Then check out Leaving Home.




  1. 23rd January 2017 / 10:22 am

    Such a great, honest post. I love the idea of writing a letter to my younger self! My favourite saying is ‘you live and learn’ and it’s so true. Your article is so well written I kept getting goose bumps on my arms. Will enjoy revisitingg your blog again x

  2. 2nd May 2016 / 8:29 pm

    I’m so sorry your younger self had some dark days, but it’s so beautiful to reflect on things we have gotten through. I love your perspective and honesty! Thanks so much for joining the Open Letters Link-up (and for displaying the button!!) 🙂

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:05 pm

      I love the idea of your open letters link up, so nice to read through the posts that were submitted x

  3. 1st May 2016 / 10:58 pm

    I love this! I wrote a letter to my younger self last year and it was such a lovely exercise. You’ve done well! 🙂

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:11 pm

      Thank you 🙂 x

  4. 12th April 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I love this idea for a post and have often thought about writing one to myself. You have been through so much since the young age of 17 and have survived to write all about it. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink! Hope to see you this week!

  5. 7th April 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Love this post Definitely one that is on my to-write list…although I am somewhat scared to do so if I’m honest. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    • 9th April 2016 / 7:54 am

      It was good to write. I didn’t know where to start then when I started writing I struggled to stop. I could have wrote an essay 🙂 x

  6. 6th April 2016 / 11:30 pm

    I love this post, I often wonder what I would say to my younger self, so much of it would be similar. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

  7. nikkifrankhamilton
    4th April 2016 / 11:09 pm

    I really, really love this. I like that you didn’t spoil the good parts for yourself, but that you forewarned of the bad, so that you could learn faster, quicker and become stronger and more aware in your life. I think we all need that whether we’re talking to ourselves now or our past self. I really like what you emphasize it shows what’s important to you and it was the BIG things. Really cool to get to know you a bit better. Congratulations on making it through the bad and savoring the good.

  8. 3rd April 2016 / 12:04 am

    I love this post, and what a wonderful idea (: Isn’t it funny how we are so much stronger than we actually think! There are times that I wish I could go back to my teenage self, but hindsight is 20/20. #FabFridayPost

  9. 2nd April 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Such a lovely letter to yourself! It funny isn’t it when you are 17 – you think you know the world. This letter is so good – the high and lows – I am so sorry about your horrible labour. But yes, you are stronger than you think you are. Congratulations on the twins and that you have become older and wiser to remind yourself of such events in the past. Thank you so much for linking up your lovely post with us. #FabFridayPost

  10. 2nd April 2016 / 1:55 am

    I did this and it was very therapeutic. It’s too bad we could actually share the letter with our younger self to save some of the hurt. Thanks for sharing your letter at the Over the Moon Link Party.

  11. 1st April 2016 / 1:17 pm

    I felt really moved reading this post. Thank you for sharing your story, with your 17 year old self and with us! I’m so pleased that your adventure so far has had more highs than lows and long may that continue.

    Dawn x

    • 1st April 2016 / 6:23 pm

      Definitely more highlights! I had always thought about doing this type of post, so I was glad when I saw it on the blogging challenge list 🙂 x

  12. 1st April 2016 / 9:16 am

    Great to write a letter for yourself. It will help us to do reflection. Glad you are happy now. Wish you all the best.

  13. 30th March 2016 / 8:19 pm

    I love this, I wrote one the other month that I have not yet posted, but I found it so therapeutic! If only we knew back then what we know now? #BloggerClubUK

  14. 30th March 2016 / 9:58 am

    This is just amazing. I wrote a similar letter to my 19 year old self last year. I will read over it today I think, off the back of reading yours. #bigpinklink

  15. 28th March 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Oh this is lovely. You really have been through the mill. I am so glad you have happiness now. The amazing benefit of hindsight. I always think it is better not to know as you will be unable to truly enjoy the freedom of youth if you are aware of the future. Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

  16. 28th March 2016 / 4:48 pm

    A very interesting insight into your past, thank you for sharing 🙂 You are so right about the spare time! If only we had known 😉
    x Alice

  17. 28th March 2016 / 1:56 pm

    I love this letter! I found it so moving reading all the things you’ve been through in the last 20 years. If we knew then what we know now… Great post xx

  18. 28th March 2016 / 1:35 pm

    What a great post, you have been through a lot of of heartache, I’m glad you have your happy times and boys now. If I was to write to my younger self, it would be a lot of don’t do thats x

    • 1st April 2016 / 6:37 pm

      I probably have quite a few of them too, but I had fun along the way so didn’t want to spoil it ha ha !

  19. 28th March 2016 / 11:30 am

    This is the first time ive read one of these kinds of posts, and i really enjoyed it, it took me back to my teenage self and life since, i can definalty relate, but im not sure if i would be brave enough to write about it. Marie ☺ x

  20. 28th March 2016 / 10:47 am

    Oh this is so lovely, it made me want to cry! It’s mad how much we take for granted when we are younger – I see my 20 year old and I sometimes wish I could just transplant some of my wisdom into her head 🙂 You’ve had so many experiences, thank you for sharing, xx

    • 1st April 2016 / 6:38 pm

      I wish I could transplant a bit of sensibility into that young head, but I guess it has made me who I am today 🙂

  21. 28th March 2016 / 8:57 am

    This is such a great post idea, I am not sure where I would start! You have been through so much I am glad you found your light at the end of the tunnel xx

    • 1st April 2016 / 6:39 pm

      I didn’t know where to start, then when I started writing I had to stop myself from writing an essay ha ha!

  22. 27th March 2016 / 9:29 pm

    Goshhh!!! I LOVE IT!!!! This is just an amazing letter, a perfect gift you did to yourself… It really touch my heart …
    By the way, I am also doing this challenge and I got stock behind for a couple of days 🙁

  23. 27th March 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I love this post – gosh, the things I would tell myself! I think it would be very cathartic actually. Reading your post made me feel happy and sad at the same time. Kaz x

  24. 27th March 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Such a lovely letter, and I can picture you sitting on that grass. It makes you realise how life just hurtles by us all. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this post, and know I will think back on it x

  25. 27th March 2016 / 6:57 pm

    This was so heartfelt and it warmed my heart to know that you got your beautiful twins in the end and that bubba in the sky is watching over all of you. Bless you hun xx

  26. 27th March 2016 / 5:51 pm

    Aw. That actually gave me goosebumps! Seriously. What a journey. I’ve been through some tough times too in the midst of many, many blessings but my family, friends and my faith have helped me through. Great post.

    • 1st April 2016 / 6:44 pm

      The people in our lives are definitely what get us through the tough times and make us smile again 🙂 x

  27. Leah Miller
    27th March 2016 / 7:02 pm

    What an absolutely stunning post! I was enthralled, it was like a short story, but better because it was all true! Love the FaceTime bit, like back to the future!! Xx

  28. 27th March 2016 / 1:40 pm

    I loved reading this – made me think of what I’d tell myself. I think the problem would be that I’d be too stubborn and not listen to a word of it! x

  29. 27th March 2016 / 9:21 am

    Such a lovely post, I wish I could go back and talk some sense into my teenage self

  30. 27th March 2016 / 7:13 am

    Great idea for a post, there are so many things I’d love to tell myself as a teen. Wish I’d listened to others then too

  31. 27th March 2016 / 6:29 am

    Such an emotional post! I should do something like this but I fear it would open an emotional can of worms!

  32. 26th March 2016 / 10:38 pm

    I am a massive fan of reading this kind of thing – I often look back and think, was that really me? Geez was I that daft/young/brainless haha?! H x

  33. 26th March 2016 / 10:33 pm

    I always wonder what I would have said to myself at certain moments in my life looking back x

  34. 26th March 2016 / 9:24 pm

    It is always amazing reading these posts and seeing what people would say themselves way back when. x

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