I would also advise my younger self to read Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth. Because then I might have understood boys a bit better. And their main purpose in life. Which is to do with their trousers…
I would also tell my younger self that it is OK to make mistakes. Big mistakes. Like certain boys, and certain fashion mistakes – such as hot pants. Because actually, it’s alright to wear hot pants when you’re very short and quite fat. They actually look quite good.
I would also demand that my younger self tried to love her body a bit. Because I don’t think I ever did properly, and when I look back at pictures of myself I was absolutely gorgeous. And so was Jennifer – absolutely gorgeous. And so was my friend Gerry – absolutely gorgeous. And so was my friend Alison, her pictures when she was younger were absolutely gorgeous. We were all absolutely GORGEOUS when we were younger, and yet we thought that we were revolting. Great humungous gargoyles. We spent our whole time hating everything we’ve got. So I’d just say relax, and like your body a bit, and get on with it.
Another thing I would tell myself to believe is something my mum told me later in life: that the only way out is through. That means that you’ve got to go through stuff to get out the other side. So while you’re in the middle of crappy stuff happening to you it’s ok, because it will be over soon. You’ve just got to go through it.
This younger me should also know that every day is a clean slate. So whatever you did the day before that might have been pants, you can do a different thing today.
Finally, I’d ask that younger self to have the courage to risk, fail and ceaselessly try again. Because the genius thing is not to give up. Remember to live your life with integrity and be true to yourself. Be real and authentic and fabulous. And remember that it is your right and your duty to enjoy your life. So, keep a playful heart, love the right people and laugh, laugh, laugh.