“If only I knew then what I know now.”
This is one of my absolute favourite platitudes simply because it is so true. If I had the knowledge I have now as a woman in my thirties when I was a young teenager setting off for medical school things would have been so much different. I don’t doubt I would have made mistakes, no one’s perfect, and even as I get older and (hopefully wiser) I will still continue to make mistakes but the journey would most certainly be different.
With that in mind I decided to address my younger self. If I could go ahead and advise my teenaged self from my current perspective I would firstly want to urge that fire within.
Things will get difficult, that there can be no avoiding, but with the right frame of mind there isn’t anything you can’t handle. Don’t let the opinions, emotions or selfish needs of others dictate to what you are doing. Do right and good by others as much as possible but remember you are not responsible for their happiness. It is important to take a step back every now and again and examine your life. Know what you want and remember you’re a little fire cracker and can achieve anything you set your mind to.
I am pleased to say you will achieve your dreams but that will only come from a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Those sacrifices will be worth it but you won’t always feel that way and you will have your days of regret. However, just remember all the little glimpses of the future you always hoped for are there for the taking.
Look after your health. It is more important than anything. Without a healthy body and mind the rest is moot. Exercise and eat right. Pay attention to mental health too. You can find yourself slipping into your own head so easily. Don’t let yourself miss what is going on around you.
Finally, know that you are loved. If you forget that or don’t realise that just hug one of the little ones. They’ll soon remind you!
We have things we’d like to say to our younger selves, to warn them against or even encourage them into. What would you say? Would you do things differently if you had the knowledge?
Vivika is the author of various thriller books, graphic novels and short stories. Proceeds from her novels support Ragdolls UK who are helping Turner’s Syndrome girls achieve their full potential.
Her latest novel Harbour House is available now.
“Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those society can no longer cope with for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.”