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Diets Don't Work And Other Things I Wish I Could Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

You won't look back in regret, if you stop wearing that orange eye shadow.

09/10/2017 3:02 PM AEDT | Updated 09/10/2017 3:02 PM AEDT
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"If you think you look super hot, look at that photo in a year. Right now, your baggy jeans and red singlet are on point, but talk to me about how I feel about that right now."

Dear 16-Year-Old Me,

First off, orange eye shadow does not make your eyes look bluer. Your eyes aren't even blue, they are grey, deal with it.

You have a boyfriend now, and you 'love' him and you are the 'Barbie and Ken' of the schoolyard and you will be married.

You also have a best friend, a sidekick, who knows every intricate part of your life, and who will be there forever.

I hate to tell you this young me, but one of these people will be there in 15 years and one will not. And the one that stayed was worth it, and it was bloody hard work.

There are so many things I want to tell you, young Lisa, and here are some of them:

1. Your heart will be broken.

Multiple times, and you will develop a lifelong hatred for promiscuous red heads in the process, but you will be okay. What goes around comes around, and you will break hearts too. Many of them.

2. It is true that guys only want one thing.

The attention is way fun, and he totally likes you. You've heard the rumours, but you're different and special and unique. Not really, you are a female and you are replying to his 4am text messages that are waking you up mid sleep. You will learn, the hard way unfortunately.

3. Friendship really is everything.

Even if they decide they hate the same music as you, even if you totally despise their long list of boyfriends, even if they move overseas. You will make it if you work for it. If that person is the one person you feel completely comfortable around and who laughs at you as much as you laugh at them, don't give up after every fight, it's worth it. Trust me.

4. Diets don't work.

I'm pretty sure you're doing Body Attack tonight and only eating sugar-free yoghurt. Sweetheart, you're never going to look like Bec Judd, and no year will be your 'bikini year'.

5. Your parents know what you're doing.

They really do. In fact, they were worse than you are being. You're a good enough person, with a smart enough head on your shoulders that they trust you won't stuff up too much. And when you do, they will pick you up from the police station. One day you will laugh about that, not when it happens, that will be awful, but one day.

6. Your Year 12 score isn't everything.

Don't judge people by their enter score and don't think that because you got in to a good degree, that you will actually ever use it. The people who failed in Year 12 are now business owners and they are doing a hell of a lot better than you are, honey.

7. The world doesn't owe you anything.

You're not going to be on 100k in your first job. You are going to fax and make photocopies. You don't even know that fax will die yet. You need to work for success, and I'm going to tell you right now that the only thing that you will work for in that first job is to invent enough fresh excuses to make it to happy hour in time.

8. People will change.

Your girl gang will disappear. People will have babies, gross. The free bar tabs at 21st birthdays will be fun, you will learn to enjoy wine in this era, but eventually the expense of going to constant weddings will make you reassess your international trip budget.

9. No one will care what school you went to.

In Melbourne, they will still ask you, even in 15 years. It's an easy way to segregate people and play the six degrees of separation game. At the end of the day, no one cares.

10. Everything dates.

If you think you look super hot, look at that photo in a year. Right now, your baggy jeans and red singlet are on point, but talk to me about how I feel about that right now.

11. Be grateful you don't know what social media is.

Repeat these words. Thank you, god, that I don't know what future Lisa is talking about.

12. Travel.

Don't put it off, just do it. You are going to have a bank account full of memories, not money, so just do it, do it, do it.

13. Don't be mad at your family.

They want the best for you. You are super annoying and stubborn, one day you will need them. You will need them multiple times. Don't stuff this up.

14. Don't conform.

You will for a bit. I'm disappointed in you, but I get it. Stay true to who you are and never ever try to please other people. Who cares if you choose books over Netflix (you still spend your Friday nights at Blockbuster right now, just you wait) the best thing you will ever do, is to accept you.

So, little Lisa, all I can say is strap yourself in for the ride. You have quite the trek ahead. There will be lots of tears and lots of laughter. You won't look back in regret, only if you stop wearing that orange eye shadow.

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