I have totally stolen this idea from Josie at Sleep is for The Weak, and her excellent writing workshop.
Its a letter to me, at 16, written by me, aged nearly 28. So here goes-and feel free to follow the trend and write your own.
Dear Claire, aged 16.
First off, get your nose out that book, and read this properly-homework is not the be all and end all of life.
I'm writing to tell you somethings that I wish you'd realise.
Don't take things for granted- you cannot coast through all your exams. Just because all your teachers are acting as if you are the only hope for these new league tables, you are not infallible. Maths has never been your strong point (and still isn't) so don't think that you are going to walk into that exam room and suddenly know what pie and squared mean. You don't even know your times tables. Its not all your fault-the teachers at your school should actually get off their backsides are see that you do need help with your maths (and science, but don't worry, Luke from your class will be helping everyone in the exam as you've got the deaf woodwork teacher as the exam police).
Another thing you shouldn't take for granted is some of the friends you have right now- don't desert them when you go to Sixth Form.
One of them has always been a friend and you have competed with him for certificates and accolades at school. But he will need his friends in a way none of you will realise. You will leave school and lose contact, even though he only lives just down the street. But you will lose him in a year, just after Easter. And you'll also realise that he wasn't just someone to compete with, but a funny person who you will all miss (and no, it's not just you who feels this way). It'll be the first person you loose since you were a kid, and it stings pretty badly.
Natalie, Josie and Gemma will be there for you later on-again, you lose contact even though you all live within streets of each other. But you'll find them again through social media (no not just the chatrooms that you love at the moment, actual websites that you can put yourself on and find others through, great invention), and you'll see how much you missed them all.
You won't always be the nerd either. But be warned, you are stupid if you let a bit of popularity and a boyfriend ( who isn't the one, however much you think he is) ruin all your chances to go to uni and better yourself. Unfortunately, you will do this though. Its nice to not be bullied and to finsd others who dress weird and like old music too, but study too!
You will get to write. Hell, you will do anyway, but its going to take a while and then here you'll be, people wanting to read about you, and your children (yes you have two, lovely a boy and a girl). Keep up with it, cos shop works boring as hell!
Oh and one final thing, your chest will grow. Stop worrying and buying those stupid inserts! Nan always says once you have children you'll get your womanly figure, and she wasn't lying after all. While we are talking of Nan, she's the best person you'll ever know. Even though the rest of them and you don;t see eye to eye (and I'm sad to say that's still the case now), Nanny will always be there. And you'll inherit a second family as well- but you'll mess up and lose the love of your life. When you feel down, go get help. Don't be afraid.
It will get better, you won't always be stuck in that bedroom, listening to Take That (but guess what they get back together and you get to go see them too!), wishing you were somewhere nicer than Gillingham. You will leave that town, for a nicer place, and you will find your place. Have fun in the next few years, but don;t drink quite so much next year......it may seem fun but hangovers are nasty.
Love from Claire, aged 27, Mummy to Chrissy and Edward, Freelance from Maidenhead (by the way, that's you, yeah, really, cool huh!)