I think this is the hardest one of these letters I've written because I've not actually changed that much in the past couple of years. A common theme in this series has been picking up on mistakes I've made and flaws I used to have so it's a little weird writing to 16 Year Old Dot because she has the same flaws as 18 Year Old Dot. It's almost like I'm ripping into my current self which, for someone who is so pro self positivity, is horrid to do. I do think it's important though to step back and have a little bit of time to yourself for reflection sometimes, it's nice and therapeutic.
You know what your passion is now. But you're too scared to pursue it. You need to stop living your life for your parents, for your family, for 'pride'. Do what you want to do because oh my goodness you'd be amazing at it. And think of the fun you'd have! I know you've managed to convince the nagging voice in your head that you've got a plan. But do you really? Because from where I'm standing, you're a young girl with a massive dream but no courage to pursue it. You're too scared that you'll be rubbish, that people will be disappointed it's not academic, that people won't like you. But why the hell does that matter?! If you try as hard at achieve your dream as you tried to achieve your A level grades, you'd be halfway there by now. But you're too scared that your parents, who don't give a shit anyway, won't approve. What is it to them? Plus, if you truly opened up and told them, you know they won't stop you- even if they won't support you.
Do you know who believes in you? Your friends. Your pals. Yourself. Fuck yeah you believe in yourself. If you didn't think you could do it, you wouldn't be so disappointed that you aren't doing it. If you didn't think you could do it, you wouldn't be so unbelievably frustrated with yourself that you aren't currently pursuing it.
"The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work". That's what you tell yourself. So get up off your lazy arse and show those nerves and anxiety exactly where to go. You control your own future. No one else. It's down to you.
On the theme of controlling your own future, you might want to stop anxiety from controlling you. You've thrown away so many possible opportunities, friendships and achievements because you let it win. You're letting it take over such huge parts of your life and are missing out on so much as a result. C'mon, you need to activate Beyonce mode and crawl the heck back up that slope before it's too late. Of course you can do it, you just need to be a bit braver.
Other than that, well done for getting this far. You receive more compliments about shit you don't care about and not enough about things you should actually be proud of. So, I would like to say:
- Well done on always trying to be polite and positive to those around you
- You're awesome for still getting up and out of bed when running on 3 hours sleep and 5 cups of tea
- I can't congratulate you enough for not breaking down during exam season, especially considering the rubbish that was going on in your personal life at the same time
- You rock for greeting your family, every blooming morning, with a smile on your face, despite the arguments the night before
- You make time for everyone, and that shows how selfless you are
- You show unbelievable passion for the things you love and for that, you should be proud
That's about all from me now. Keep going. It's tough, I know, but all that crap you push on through leads to so many unforgettable memories that I wouldn't change, even if I could. Hold on tight and don't let anyone convince you that you aren't worth as much as they are. Just remember, have courage and be kind