A letter to my teenage self

I initially wrote this as a journal entry after reading A Letter to Teenage Girls by Caitlin Moran. You can watch her recite it here.


Where should I start? I could tell you that it’s all uphill from here, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I don’t think anyone sails into adulthood easily. With this in mind, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. I’m still learning.

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My year so far – in books

I don’t use Goodreads, but I do try to keep track of what I’m reading on Instagram. As we’re now more than halfway through 2016, I’ve looked back on my year so far in books.

1. Brooklyn, Colm Tóibín

Having read The Heather Blazing at university, I sought out Nora Webster and Brooklyn. I finally read Brooklyn at the start of the year and loved it. Saoirse Ronan is excellent in the film, too.

2. The Actual One, Isy Suttie

Isy’s romantic anecdotes helped me to keep the January blues at bay. My favourite chapter, ‘Isy discovers that making lists doesn’t solve anything’, details her criteria for a partner. The list includes ‘is kind’ and ‘doesn’t want to move to the countryside (racists and agas)’.

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My favourite TED talks

I’ve developed the habit of turning to TED talks when I want to learn something or when the news is particularly bleak and I’m looking for proof that the world isn’t all bad. With the destabilising EU referendum result and British political parties imploding left, right and centre (sorry), now seemed like an appropriate time to revisit my favourites.

The talks listed below have introduced me to different perspectives, encouraged my curiosity and reminded me of issues I care about. Perhaps they’ll do the same for you.

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A reluctant vegan

Disclaimer: I don’t endorse veganism as a weight loss method and I don’t advocate raw veganism or the 80/10/10 method. You can read my thoughts on weight and wellness here.

After seeing my recent post on the topic, my sister decided to try veganism for a week. An enthusiastic carnivore, Ellie wasn’t entirely sure what being vegan would entail. Five minutes after announcing her challenge, she asked: ‘Can I eat meat yet? Can I still wear my leather jacket? Can I drink caffeine? Can I swear? Is swearing not allowed because it’s not a very nice thing to do?’

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The right words

Seeking out – or stumbling across – the right words at a certain time helps me to process experiences, thoughts and emotions. I use my journal to capture extracts from articles, books, films and interviews that make me stop and think, ‘I needed to see this now’, ‘Me too!’, ‘I want to be more like this’ or ‘I should keep this in mind’. Read on for a selection of my favourite quotations.

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