One day Sir Elton decided to phone all his friends to do something for *insert American accent* Charity. He collated a book called Dear Me – letters by his friends to their sixteen year-old selves. One day muggins here bought the book as a present for her flatmate ( seeing as it was World Aids day and all that, this in reference to the charity not my flatmate by the way) but as flatmate is reading it out loud, the book actually proves quite amusing. Patsy Kensit advising her younger self to love the music, but maybe not necessarily marry every leadsinger in the band… Stepher Fry apparently writes four pages, as to be expected, also because this age just preceded his infamous creditcard incident at seventeen
Sixteen. A great age. Sweet sixteen if you can believe the Americans. I was an opinionated, ambitious, stubborn sixteen. Sweet? Perhaps more naive. Well meaning? Well yes of course. Sixteen was the age before I had to make real decisions. I could dream up scenarios and deal with them in a way I thought was right. Life was still black and white. Abortion was wrong and going to uni was right. Before I threw myself into moving to another country, before I realised that pushing yourself too hard can and will lead to burn outs. Even at seventeen ( or nineteen for that matter…) Before I started drinking, before all the boyfriend crap – well ok almost: I started dating someone at fifteen. all very innocent still as it was before I slept with someone. It was before I saw the real lonely side of life, yes I struggled with my demons but could wallow in it because I was protected by the love of family and home. Before I could comprehend the scale of life: being in your twenties seemed so cool, so old and luckily still so far away. Sixteen was the age I slowly started stepping out of that warped body image a little bit – it would take me another five years to fully realise that I wasn’t ugly or fat. It does help that my weight hasn’t changed since sixteen, it has fluctuated but has kind of stayed the same. ( Though it needed my miracle second puberty at twenty one, in which all the weight floated to the right places- result!) Sixteen, despite warped body image I was very much on stage placing myself in the spotlight constantly. Through extra-curricular activities, theater, every schooltrip they could think of I was there. Yes I admit: I would have been the annoying one in your year. All because everything was easy (except for Physics and Latin) I could walk through A-levels eyes closed and hands on my back. I just liked to challenge myself and that is why I took everything on.
All I did and all I wanted was just to do things well and- revelation as I am writing this!- enjoy myself. Whatever I was struggling with at the time, I do remember even then I felt lucky with my share in life.
It is nice to realise that that feeling, like my weight, has fluctuated but in the end has not changed that much at all!