• Ditzy

A Letter To Myself at 14





Dear Matilda,


You are 14. You are probably holed up in your bedroom, feeling frustrated and unsure. You are probably wearing a bra that doesn’t quite fit you. The world seems big to you: both unfriendly and deeply confusing. I'm not going to lie. I haven’t worked it all out yet. But here’s 24 pieces of advice from a slightly older, slightly fatter, far happier version of you, ten years into the future.

  1. It’s not uncool to spend time with your parents or grandparents. One day you will yearn for it more than you can imagine.

  2. The cool people aren’t having that much fun either.

  3. Stop with the poetry. It’s not good. Honestly.

  4. Yes, the boobs are elusive. But they will come.

  5. No matter what your mum tells you, you aren’t a good singer.

  6. When you have a solo in the Alice in Wonderland pantomime, sing a bit louder otherwise you will be teased for years to come.

  7. Straightening your naturally curly hair and then curling it with a curling iron is not a good use of your time.

  8. Remember how amazing you used to think you were. Hold onto that feeling.

  9. "Happy slappers" and strangers on message boards are way less of a threat then they make you think at school.

  10. School age popularity does not guarantee a failed adulthood. But difference, not conformity, will become social currency.

  11. You aren’t good at anything you do creatively yet but keep going. It takes time to make things that you like.

  12. Some people are kind and some people are cruel. Decide the things you know to be true about yourself and don’t let anyone decide for you.

  13. Don’t have a phase where you cut your hair and insist your parents call you ‘George’. Your family won't ever let you forget it.

  14. There is no world in which self-tanning cream will make you look better.

  15. There is more to sex and flirtation than the ‘chat-flirt-flirt-chat-compliment-flirt-WooHoo’ technique on the Sims. (Or maybe there isn't?!)

  16. You aren’t ugly. But you won’t always be the best looking one either and that’s fine too. Not everyone is going to love or even like you. The sooner you make peace with this, the better.

  17. Not Getting With Any Boys At Capital VIP And Having To, Like, Show My Face At School On Monday is very sad, but one day all of this kind of angst will fade away into nothingness, I promise.

  18. Always be kind, but speak your mind if you need to. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

  19. Exercise is, annoyingly, the best possible medicine.

  20. dont hav deeply personal convoz on FB where u talk lik this. they wil come bak 2 haunt uuu. SRsly bbz, luv yew tho xxoxoxxx

  21. Take your broken heart and make it art.

  22. Listen to your parents.

  23. Be nice to your sister.

  24. Avoid: prairie skirts, ponchos, weed, jumpers with 'funky' horizontal zips, fluorescent tutus, blue eyeshadow, kitten heels, French exchange trips, Bebo philosophising, boys with dyed Ketchup-red hair, pink acid wash jeans.

Love,

Matilda (aged 24)





Cover illustration by Christopher Bragg

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UK