Dear 12 year old me...
I'm at the tail end of my 20's and the closer I get to the big 30, the more I realise I'm ready to leave the uncertainty of my twenties behind. That's the way I've often looked at life though, perhaps too often. I've always thought 'I can be better, I can do better, I will be better'. It's a trait that keeps me working hard and striving for the best, but it's also quite sad to know that I never truly believe that what I have achieved is in fact good enough.
The fact is, if I were to tell my 12 year old self the things that I have been able to do up until this point, I would have probably shook with excitement.
I read a post on social media today that was titled something like '10 signs you're doing better than you actually think you are'. At first I thought the title was derogatory and sarcastic, until I read the simple list that followed. 'You paid the bills this month, you have 2 or 3 close friends...' The list went on. It made me think about my younger self and the freedom I had to dream as big as I possibly could, the freedom I had to think up and create the ideal world for myself as an adult.
When I sat down this evening with my cup of tea and started jotting down my 'to do list' for the week ahead, I stopped and started to make a new list. I've often referred to my 12 year old self as the happiest version of me that I can imagine. Life was simple, I dreamt very big and I did everything I loved with those I loved. When I approach anything that makes me hesitant now, I often think 'would this make my best self happy?' and if it doesn't, I do away with it.
When I started to write the second list, it read as follows:
Dear 12 year old me...
You're going to be school captain twice and you'll realise that you love helping and leading people.
You'll make a few friends in the next few years that will give you some of the best laughs and memories you could ever truly hope for.
You'll write a song when you're 18 that a major record label will pick up and use for a big artist.
You'll record songs in a real recording studio.
You'll record songs in lots of real recording studios.
You'll get into Law at university and do two degrees.
You'll get a scholarship for university as well.
You're best friends now will still be there when you're an adult, so treasure them.
You'll get to go to America and write and record with some amazingly gifted and talented people.
You'll supervise music for a big comedy that stars one of your favourite actresses and evidently favourite people in the world.
You'll start you're own business and work for yourself one day.
You'll get to have completely random moments- like being dropped off at a house in Hollywood Hills only to have one of the world's largest music artists greet you and ask to write a song with you - and you'll ask yourself how in the world this small girl from this small town got here and that's ok- you'll be reminded in moments like that just how amazing life can be.
I don't ever look at my life and see highlights, I only ever see moments I can improve on or things that I should have done differently. Even typing this list made me uncomfortable and then brought me to tears.
Being kinder to ourselves is something that we all need to practice.
I urge you to make a list. Write big things, write small things but most of all write great things. Leave the negative behind and pat yourself on the back for once, you're doing the best you can kid!