A letter to my young self

Dear Sophie,

Firstly, I want to start off by yelling at you. Yelling at you to NEVER QUIT NETBALL! You’re going to progress really well. You will represent Victoria multiple times, though you will hit a hurdle at the age of 15 and have to undergo a knee reconstruction which will dent your sporting confidence, but you can still do it.  Your Year 11 1st Netball Coach, an Ex-Aussie Captain, is going to have faith in you and tell you that you can be the C for the Australian Netball Team one day. Don’t laugh at her when she says it. Listen. Believe. And stop smoking at your school parties. It’s gross and you will regret that a hell of a lot later on down the track. I’m telling you right now that you won’t regret very much in your life but you will regret not persisting with professional netball and your wasted talent will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Now that’s out of the way! Hey, little Soph.

Awww little Soph… You’re already such a strong-willed human. You ooze confidence, intelligence and maturity at such a young age but please, PLEASE don’t take those and try to grow up so quick. You were born an ambitious warrior. You will want to succeed, succeed SUCCEED! This attitude will work in your favour and your commitment to hard work is admirable. But I’m going to ask you to just sometimes stop, look around and enjoy life a little more. One day you’ll look back at some of the best years of your life and they will have flown by and it will all be a blur. I can assure you time is something you can never get back.

Be a kid for as long as you can. Be a reckless teenager a little more. At 18 do the silly things you’re supposed to do when you’re 18. You’ve always lived life quite by the book and you’re a good kid. I’m not saying to rebel (your older sister did that enough to your parents!) but like I said before, one day you will be an adult and then a mum to your children and you’re fear of stepping outside of the box, will be amplified. Enjoy the life of freedom with no responsibility. Feel your fears and do them anyway.  But Sophie, if you can possibly do all of this and save more money when your younger, your older self will also thank you immensely.

Be nicer and make people be nicer to you. You’re so passionate about your friends and loyalty, but that will sometimes get you in trouble. School is amazing. You’ll really love school (and you’ll do really well- go sista!) but you’ll say some things along the way that you won’t be proud of later on. High school girls are mean and some girls will be really horrible to you. Don’t lower to them Sophie. By all means be yourself. Be the take-no-crap and stick-up-for-the-underdog self. Be bigger. Be better. Breathe. And move on.

Don’t ever loose contact with your best friend you made when you were 3. Just don’t do it. It’s sad. You’ll experience so many things in your life that you want to share with her, but just can’t. You’ll learn to understand that life goes on and people move in and out of your world for various reasons, that’s just how it works. People drift, people fade but fight for this one. You’ll miss her a lot.

Don’t stop pursuing your hobbies. Most notably, continue your university major in Italian.

PLEASE don’t worry about boys and relationships. Enjoy your youth and adolescence. You’ll waste years of your life with a boyfriend who always wanted you dressed up, be skinnier and look sexy all the time for him. He will judge you. Ridicule you. Not appreciate you. He isn’t the one so don’t waste another second with him. Take off overseas, instead!

You’ll one day meet a boy who thinks you’re the prettiest in your pj’s first thing in the morning. He will support your decisions, guide you through your mistakes and encourage you to chase your dreams. He’s a keeper and you’ll know it from the first night you meet him. Life won’t be easy. Everyone has their demons. But this man will continue to be your saviour. Don’t EVER let him go.

What you do need to learn to let go of, however, is toxic friendships. Don’t surround yourself with people who make you feel anxious or unworthy. If there’s an ill feeling there, you need to listen to it. Friendship is a two-way street. You’ll experience serious heartbreak from friendships even worse than any relationships. Life is about teaching you lessons and you’ll learn a lot about who and what to invest your time into. You’ll hold onto so many beautiful girlfriends from high school that will continue well into adulthood. How blessed you are! Remember to make peace with letting people gp who no longer belong in your life.

Your sisters will become your best friends. Never ever underestimate a family bond.

Intuition, intuition,intuition! You will learn the magical beauty of a mother’s intuition so always listen to that. Your personal intuition is such a powerful tool and one you will strongly believe in throughout your life. Go with it. Every single damn time. That voice in your head exists for a reason. The louder it gets, the more you should listen.

Get professional help for your mental health a lot sooner.

People who find comfort in staying in the same place will always criticise you. You must ‘be you’ regardless. Seek out opportunities before others discover them. Dare to be different. It scares people, yes, and their actions will let you know how much they dislike it. You’re a big brave girl and you can handle it. Compete with nobody and run your own race. This is your life and your life only.

Jealousy is ugly. Don’t do it. Don’t be it. Don’t breathe it. Don’t speak it. There’s nothing worse than someone who is bitter. Jealousy makes even the prettiest people look ugly.

Don’t try to copy your sisters and shave your legs at aged 10. That’s a really silly idea.

Think of ways to contribute to the world around you. Life is a marathon, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. Use your time wisely and make yourself proud. Always remember to check in with yourself once in a while. You will get lost at times but by keeping yourself in check means you’ll always be proud of the person looking back at you in the mirror.

Spend time learning how to be a good person. Be the friend who knows when to listen. Celebrate friend and their accomplishments, their relationships and their dreams. Talk about yourself less and make others feel better about themselves.

 “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”

 – William Arthur Ward.

 Learn to embrace opportunity and say ‘Yes’ top opportunity but also learn the power of ‘No’.

Saying no isn’t something to be ashamed of. Say no and then say it again and again and again and again. What someone says ‘no’ to reveals more about their character than what they say ‘yes’ to. This is a quote you will also learn to live by.

I want you to always celebrate yourself too. Celebrate your achievements even when others won’t. Always stay humble but don’t forgot know your own self-worth Sophie. You’ll develop a strong sense of self the more people try to tear you down. Now that is power.

Never stop learning. Never stop asking. Never stop improving.

Lastly, you will become a mother. The most beautifully messed-up job you’ll ever take on. You’ll hit hurdles, you’ll hit so many damn hurdles. In your marriage, in your identity, in your career and in your everyday life. Nothing will prepare you for this and you’ll be still evolving for many years to come. I can promise you something little Soph, nothing you will ever do in your life will come close to giving you the fulfilment that being a mother gives you. Your two children, Bobby and Florence, will become your true meaning of life. Everything you ever questioned in life will make sense once they’re in your arms.

Love Sophie xx

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