Blissful Belle

Be Happy, Feel Beautiful

Dear 16-Year-Old Me: Anissa Stambouli

Dear 16-year-old-me will feature BB writers’ and readers’ personal letters to their younger selves. If you’re interested in having your letter published on Blissful Belle, send us an email to​m.

Dear 16-year-old me,

I know how painfully shy you are. I know how hard it is for you to enjoy life when you’re tangled up in your own insecurities. I know how trapped you sometimes feel in a home with parents who think you’re still eleven when you’re convinced you’re nineteen (but you’re nowhere near it!). I know that even though nothing is classically bad or wrong in your life, you still feel like a part of you is crumpling in a room with no air.

Remember how much your parents love you, even when they seem overbearing. They hover because of their love, but don’t worry—they’ll learn to balance out.

You’re terrified of growing old, being convinced that sixteen is the prime time of life and therefore must be the most magnificent year ever. That’s a lot of pressure to put on something you can’t control, and you’ll definitely be disappointed. The truth is, this year will suck for you. But guess what? Life doesn’t care about age. Let go of expectations that you can’t control because you can appreciate so much more when there’s no standard to measure life’s moments by. The most amazing things will happen when you least expect them, and not because you’ve reached a number in years, but because the time was right for the situation.

And another thing: you are curious and your thoughts question everything you’re told, but you’re too afraid to confront your own ideas because you think they must be wrong if they’re not published in a textbook. Take a lantern and jump down the rabbit hole, because discovering yourself and your mind—becoming self-aware—is the most fascinating, never-ending journey you can take in life.

Ask yourself why 1984, Frankenstein, Lord of the Flies, and Great Expectations have wedged themselves in your memory, and don’t be scared to question why you reacted the way you did at certain scenes. Don’t hesitate to analyse your interpretation of the authors’ messages: you’ll re-visit these novels repeatedly in your mind down the road, so get a head-start while the books’ ideas are fresh in your head.

Your favourite quote at this point still rings true to me now, but for different reasons I think. But hold onto it, because as you get older, the meaning of the lyrics will adopt new concepts for you to ponder.

“Let us die young or let us live forever. Youth is like diamonds in the sun, and diamonds are forever.”

Still learning,

21-year-old you

PS. Take Wuthering Heights off your “I started this but got bored” shelf and give it another chance. It’ll become your favourite, I promise.


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