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Notes to my 17year old self

Hi sweethearts,

Since you guys liked my last post (where I talked about some serious super-personal-stuff) so much, I thought it would be fun to post a letter to my 17 year old self. As now, I'm 24 and a half (yes in my eyes so old and I hate it haha), I'm a lot more grown up and so much happier, stronger.

Actually, Mimi Ikonn inspired me to post this. She used to be so insecure and had a lot of anxieties. Now she's such a strong, inspring women... and she actually helped me a lot with my healing process. She also posted a video about this topic and I loved it. My story is so similar and my personal advice looks a lot like hers. Thank you so much for this Mimi!

So if you're interested in some advice I'd give myself, then keep on reading. I know, it might be a lot to handle and you only know me right now.. But I'll try to do my best to explain to you guys what I was like when I was 17 years old... yes, a teenager. And even though I never had those crazy teenager years like most of you did, I still was one hell of a teenager. OK, I was pretty "normal", didn't had those crazy agressive moments or never acted crazy to my parents (okay that's a lie.. but not that hard I guess!). So this post is for all of you guys, struggling with growing up. Now that I'm a bit older, I'm SO happy that my teenage years are over!

First of all: here's a picture of february 2010, which pretty much sums up everything I'm about to say... sorry for this terrible pic haha! It was my last year in high school. For our last 100 days of highschool, we all dressed up in themes. This day, the theme was music. I wanted to be a "cool rock chick". I wrote "Linkin Park" down my cleavage... because it was a crazy emo trend back in the days.

Failed bigtime, yes. Everyone called me "emo" even harder ever since. I never was emo, to clear things out here. I just loved the music (and still do) but never was that much of dramaqueen or looked like an emo. I didn't want people to classify me... And still don't. I still love rock/metal music but you can't and couldn't see that.

1: Stop trying to fit in. You'll never succeed.

As I told you guys before, I was pretty insecure back then and I never thought I fitted in. I was never a popular kid and this frustrated me. I wanted people to think that I was cool but they didn't for some reason (and this is why they started bullying me..cause I was such a nerd). For this, I started to work on the image I wanted to give the world about me. With social media starting up and msn as a chat-service, I started working on this new image. I wanted to look more badass then I was. I started to have a bigger mouth, so that no one would see the actual me. Nowadays, some friends still think that I used to be super strong back then, because of the image I gave them. But this was a total lie ofcourse. I wanted to look and be different, just to stand out... as a anti-reaction. Now, at this age, I really like the fact that I'm a big nerd. Education means everything to me and I no longer have to hide this behind a huge mask. So my tip: embrace the nerdy-ness :). I'm proud of the fact that I'm educated! I used to write "fuck school" literally everywhere. Now I'm like, what the hell was I thinking? School is everything!

2: Accept the fact that beauty is on the inside.

Being a teen, I was pretty insecure about myself and what I looked like. My hips were getting bigger (my chest, not so much haha!) and I didn't want my body to change. I hated my curves and I didn't want to look like a woman, since I din't feel like one yet. Plus: I've been struggling with cellulite a lot. I've had it since I was 14 years old, which is pretty young so you can probably tell how much I hated my legs. I still don't like my legs, but I've let that hatred go. I'm working out a lot and this still doesn't work, so I just have to learn to accept the way my body looks. After my teen years, I also gained some weight. I was a late-bloomer so everything came a bit later for me... I stopped growing when I was 19 years old, which is pretty old I think. This means that when I was a teen, my bodyweight used to be around 55kg. When I became 22, my weight was around 58. Okay, after my breakup, I lost a lot of weight very quickly again, and went back to 55kg...but now I'm back at 57 and I want to keep it that way. It was pretty hard for me to accept that I no longer could have this number on the scale.

Now let's get on to the non-superficial part. I always believed that I could fall for someone's soul, not for what they looked like. So I learned to look at myself the same way. I should love my soul, not just what I look like. 'Cause when I'm happy with who I actually am (or am becoming), I'll learn not to care about these tiny superficial things about my body anymore.

3: Stop stressing out so much!

In my previous post, I already told you about my anxiety. I used to stress myself out so much that I felt super sick in my stomach, I could even throw up. I've spend SO many years on finding ways to stop this stress since it was so unhealthy. I just wasn't ready back then to work on myself so much yet. It took me a lot of selfreflexion to find out why I stressed so much and why I never seemed to be fully happy. My relationship was great, I had a lot of good friends, my grades were fine...and I still couldn't be happy or relaxed about everything. Now I know that all I needed was some personal growth, a lot of dancing/yoga and meditation and mostly: letting go everything that I hated. Which brings me to my next tip...

4: Stop your hate please.

Since this is what I wanted the world to see about myself, I probalby won't listen to my own advice. But hating so much stuff and people was actually the reason why I never was able to be fully happy. Which I think is pretty sad. You want to be someone that people can look up to and who wants to look up to someone that depressing, right?!

5: Stop searching for more, achieve everything by yourself.

I always thought I needed my boyfriend back then to be proud of me. I was never able to be proud of myself, so I needed him for that. Now I learned that I don't need anyone to be happy with myself. No one will ever be good enough this way. You can never be fully independent when your own happiness depends on someone else. Sorry my dear, but that's just the way it is. You have to work for yourself on things, life doesn't come with a second chance where you can do it all over and do it differently.

6: Stop procrastinating: life is now.

Do I really need to say more?

7: And last but not least: Your body is your temple.

Gosh, this sounds so cheesy but it's the truth. All these things that I've done to my body are just terrible. I never took care of my body and now I feel so bad for it. Skipping meals to look skinnier, what were you thinking Stephanie? I also used to straighten my hair all the time since I hated my soft waves. This is so bad for your hair. I never used hairmasks or a heat protecting spray so I was only damaging my hair. What was I thinking?

To go to a totally different topic, this vision is also about why I don't drink alcohol, why I never tried drugs, why I don't smoke, why I don't even drink energydrinks etc. It always terrified me that these kinds of stuff could change the way my brain works. I've never touched any alcohol in my life because I'm afraid of the consequences it might do to my body. The fact that you can become like another person terrifies me. I'd bet, for my friends it would be a hilarious night, seeing me like that but I'd probably hate myself forever for it. Beeing a teen, I wanted to be cool for being like this, to stand out and not do what everyone else is doing. I'm pretty proud of myself that I never let myself go and that I was able to stand tall.

I used to judge people so much, when they actually were doing all these things but I'm not that strong-opinionated about it anymore. I still think that alcohol and drugs can really hurt your body, but if that's what you want to do, then go for it (but never ever regret it, not even the morning after).

So this was another long blogpost where I seem to talk a lot to myself but this is just the way I deal with things. Before I go to sleep, I like to have long conversations about and to myself. Is this weird? Do you guys do this too, or is it just me?

Thank you so much for reading this and please be strong, those dark teenage years will be over soon and you'll grow to a strong independent person. Always believe that.

X Steph


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