A letter to my younger self on International Women’s Day.
Dear Little Me,
As I think about what it means to be a grown up and what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century, I’m thinking about what my dreams were back when I was younger and if I’ve achieved them yet. I’m not sure what my dreams were when I was as young as you in this picture, but as I grew older, I remember dreaming of being a photographer, an architect, a session trumpet player touring the world and also remembering wanting to have a family, travel the world and dreams of my Granny’s apple pie every sunday.
Some dreams leave us, some stick, but I wanted to whisper in your ear the following bits of advice…
Never be afraid to follow your dreams, do what you love, grab every opportunity you can and never say you’re ‘just a girl’. Make friends with everyone including the unlikeliest of people, these are the people that will shape your future. Walk away from your enemies and the people that will destroy your soul, you don’t need them.
Hold your head high at all times, ask for help when you need it (I should heed this advice now). Enjoy being a girl and all the joys it brings, appreciate everyone around you and appreciate yourself. Respect everyone and they will respect you. Most of all respect yourself as you’re the one who’ll make all the decisions.
Never put yourself down, you may feel you have chunky thighs as a teenager ( I wish I had those thighs now!) but trust me you’re perfect. One day you’ll have stretch marks, a flabby tummy and wobbly arms but you won’t really care, they’re battle scars of becoming a mother.
phone camera shadow not tan lines!
Tell all your friends the same and you’ll all grow up to be well rounded, proud, positive people and you can take on the world.
Most of all remember you can do anything!
Love your older self xx
On International Women’s Day I’ve been thinking on my take on it. It’s a strange one as I don’t feel I’ve ever been held back for being a girl or victimised for being a girl. I feel lucky to live in a country where I feel I can do anything and I’ve grown up in a family where being a girl wasn’t a disappointment. I’ve voted since I could, I’ve applied for jobs because I knew I was capable not because I was a girl, I’ve never shied away from anything for being a girl.
I quit my job when my old one wasn’t enough and had the courage to follow my dreams with my husband fully supporting me. I know those in this country and other countries aren’t so fortunate and I’m grateful for all those before me who paved the way for me to be the woman I am today. (I don’t often call myself a woman as it feels too old!).
Thanks to my Mam and Granny for not holding me back, ever. I couldn’t have done it without my husband, Dad and Grandad either. Don’t underestimate how much impact the men in your life can have too.
Quote from a friends daughter last week “I’m so happy that I’ve snowboarded the furthest down the hill and I’m a girl!” She’s 9 and felt she had to clarify that she was a girl. Her dad and his friend immediately said, “never add you’re a girl, you can achieve anything you want, being a girl shouldn’t ever stop you.” Wise words from the men in her life.
To all the young girls out there starting out their journey, you can be anything you want to be. Go and live it!
Happy International Women’s Day.