But the truth is a lot has happened in 8 years. I’ve graduated, three times. I’ve bought a house, and sold it. I’ve got married, and divorced. I’ve learnt how I deal with stress, and don’t. I’ve also learnt how I can open up, listen and respect myself and my feelings.
18 year old Laura had just started university, was insecure, lonely and scared of a lot of things. I know she needed a friend, someone like who I hope I am now to give her a pep talk along with some tough love, strong female support and inspiration.
I know you’re busy, what with juggling university and two sports teams and what I vaguely remember as a hectic social life, but please could you take a couple of minutes to sit down for once and listen?
Do what makes you happy, not what you think you should do. Do things that let you relax, switch off, laugh. There is nothing wrong with allowing your mind to wander and your world to open.
You are a very strong young lady, worry less about what people think. If they don’t agree or try to quieten you then they are not your type of people. Your type is out there, just keep looking and you will meet some brilliant people along the way.
Do not settle. For second place, for second best. If you always try your hardest there is no way you can ever be anything but your best.
What you look like does not affect who loves you. The people who love you the most do so when you are sick, without make-up and in your sweatpants. Learn to appreciate that by allowing yourself to be yourself: open, wonderful and kind; you are more beautiful then than when you worry.
Travel more. On your own, with friends and family. Embrace everything you can now, because at some point you won’t be this free to use your time as you wish and you’ll regret saying no to fantastic opportunities.
You are quite excellent really. Don’t let yourself down, you are a fighter with an amazing spirit -channel that when you need to find strength.
Oh, and stop picking your face. Those spots are because you go to bed with a face full of make-up so have a wash (even at 3am), buy some cleanser and keep your hands off. They will scab and scar, and I now hate you for those and the subsequent habit.
Break the rules. Say no. Laugh. Love. Laugh some more. Say yes. Tell your family you love them. Stop and listen.
A lot can happen in 8 years sweetheart, don’t rush, breathe and you’ll be just fine. The future you is happier than you thought she ever would be, knows people who fill you with joy, you feel loved and whole and excited about every day you have ahead of you.
Lots of love,
26 year old you.