“Stop trying to hide parts of yourself from the world. The world needs those parts.”

Dear 18 year old Mandy,

You think you are on the most amazing path and following your ultimate dreams and I’m proud of how much you’ve grown and that you’ve tried that route but please ask yourself if what you’re doing is for you or if it’s for other people.

Stop worrying about your parents.

They’ve just gone their separate ways and unfortunately, that will be that.

Your mum will go on to have a very happy and fulfilled life on her own but won’t meet anyone soon and your dad? Stop trying to push a relationship with him now. He’s not really interested now and this will get worse as the years go on.

Stop spending. Debt is shit and the spending you’re doing now will cause you some stress further down the line. Stop being so careless in that regard.

You HATE flying but you are going to see the world. America, Africa, Europe… travel becomes something which inspires you beyond your wildest imagination.

Believe it or not, you get married.

But it’s not forever. You’ve met him already! Last year! Never in a million years would you imagine it will be him but he will come back into your life in a few years unexpectedly and you’ll fall madly in love with the IDEA of love and a settled life.

But he’s not the one.

You are a free spirit. Never lose that about yourself. Stop fighting it. Embrace her and enjoy all that she brings into your world.

There will be a constant guy who keeps coming back into your life. You met him when you were 17. He will come back time and time again throughout your life and he will really show you he has your back. Believe him. Trust him. He’s a great guy. He will be there for you throughout the next few years when you’re not particularly loveable.

You will experience a great deal of tragedy in a short space of time. Your life will literally change forever overnight.

Those experiences will nearly kill you.

Twice.

But you will use those experiences and adversities to do some work which will really help a lot of people. This will become what you dedicate your life to.

I would say it saves you.

Stop caring what other people think of you. People will mess you around. People will walk all over you but remember: what other people think of you is none of your business. You’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea so stop trying to be.

You also have nothing to prove to anyone. Stop trying to fit into a box. Being just Mandy is ENOUGH. You will see this in time.

Trust yourself enough to fly.

You are strong, capable, creative and unique.

Stop trying to hide parts of yourself from the world. The world needs those parts.

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