|dress : laura ashley (vintage)|
|waistcoat: miss selfridge|
|heels : chinese laundry|
Given how emotional this week has already been, I don't need any excuse to tap into my emotions to write this.
Dear 13 year-old Char:
When you are nearly double the age you are now, you'll look back and think that things weren't so bad back then. Yes, it may have felt like the end of the world when you fell out with your best friend, and although the particular friend may have changed over the years, that feeling as though it's the end of the world is always the same when you fall out. If you thought you'd had your heart broken then, think again. That was nothing. You'd do well to control your temper better; driving through someone's garden gate in a fit of rage was never going to be the best idea.
You do (finally) lose some of the weight you'd always dreamed of losing. It doesn't solve all of your self-confidence issues. If anything, it makes them a lot worse. I'm not sure how best to advise you on that one as it's a battle you're only just beginning as I write this.
You still don't know what you want to do in life but that hasn't held you back. Your career has opened up a lot of possibilities and taught you valuable lessons. It's been tough, but you'll come out on top. Most people still don't know, so don't let the Career Advice lady give you any crap next year.
The vow you've made to never speak to your father again doesn't last forever. Things get worse before they get better, but one day you may look back and think he isn't so bad. Something happens to make you realise that things aren't always as black and white as they seem when you're in school, looking up at the adult world.
The friends you make when you're in school might not last. People say that the friends you make in Uni are the ones who stick, and they're sort of right. It's fine if not all of your friends are the same age as you. Most of them won't be. You meet the person who will become your best friend when you're walking back to Uni one morning from the train station.
Ah yes, you went to University. Against your better judgement. It will teach you to see things through, if nothing else. You'll rebel in the most unbelievable way. And it's fine not to want to go backpacking around the world on a 'Gap-Yah'.
Enjoy those few perfect months, because they lead to the most pain you will ever experience (I hope, anyway) and something happens which still haunts you to this day. You might never get over it, but in a few years you will have learnt to accept it for it's not something you could have predicted or ever changed.
Learn that it's OK to let go of things. Learn that you will (and do) make yourself ill if you try to say yes to everything. Learn that you can't fix things by trying to relive what used to happen. People change, and it's part of growing up. Please don't let yourself get dragged in to that cycle of sadness again and again.
Most of all, learn that it's not OK to change who you are to suit someone else, and that it's OK to like different things to everyone else. Your best friends will (and do) accept you for that, not despite that.
(almost)26 year-old Char.
p.s Stop leaving everything to the last minute. And your collection of shoes has grown.