Dear 16-year-old Martha,
It’s me, Martha. I’m 20, and luckily, you’ll get to reach this age fairly smoothly. Hurray!
You’re having it pretty easy right now and enjoying some of the more happier times in your life. Your confidence – which has been low for a long while – is steadily growing as you find out that you’re kind of awesome, kind of witty and honestly, kind of hilarious. All in all, you’re in a pretty happy place and you’re surrounded by positive things.
However, the things and people you view as permanent fixtures in your life right may not be around forever. You have faith in a lot of your relationships, but many will teach you (in very challenging ways) a few things about people but most importantly, about yourself. Some people will let you down hugely, while others will give you a boost and prove their worth without effort. You’ll see very soon.
Even the career you’re thinking of going into is merely the result of cultural pressures and bad advice. You’re confused right now, but clarity will come later, especially when you follow your heart and stop pushing yourself to be someone who pleases everyone.
Another thing: the person you’re convinced you are now is going to change drastically. You won’t even realise how fast those changes will come, and it’ll take you a long time to realise that they even arrived at all. Just go with the flow.
Although you hesitate to speak now, you’re soon going to find your voice, and it will only grow louder once you accept it. You’ll be silenced by a lot of people who want you to act or think a certain way, but you’ll find a way to be true to yourself and shape your own thoughts and beliefs. However, not everyone will adjust to your ways… you may need to work on that.
The most important thing I can tell you is that you are tougher than you give yourself credit for. Come what may, you will need to keep ploughing on and become the fabulous 20-year-old version of yourself which I currently am (it’s tough right now too but you’ve got a really fantastic support system, so don’t worry too much little one).
Lots and lots of love, your 20-year-old self.