A letter to little Lauren
As you approach your 35th year on this planet, I wanted to write to you and share some things that you/I have learned over the years. Things haven’t always been easy, but you are a fighter and so far your experiences have been your greatest teachers - although I don’t think you always saw it like that at the time.
Let me start by telling you that being 34 is nothing to be scared of.
Oh yes, and the things you thought that would have happened by this time in your life - may not exactly have panned out just yet. But that is OK.
You are OK.
Your cheekiness, curiosity and desire to tell the truth is one of the things I love the most about you - if you can, don’t let the world persuade you otherwise. It is OK to question, it is OK to be inquisitive, it is OK to speak your truth - without shame, without guilt and without having to ‘fit’ a label or a box. Sometimes the truth can be painful, but you just aren’t any good at hiding it. Never see that as a bad thing.
It is OK to cry. Snot bubbles, dribble and ugly face cry when you need to.
When that boy doesn’t love you back like you want him to, your heart will feel like it is breaking into a million pieces. Your belly will hurt, your throat will close. But you will heal, and it is safe to love again.
You aren’t selfish by knowing what you want and asking for it. Your ambition and determination makes you the most inspirational person I know. I am proud of you for standing up for the things you feel you deserve in your life and when others try and take that strength away from you, stand strong my darling.
Not everyone will ‘get you’. That is OK.
Although I know you desperately want to be liked, and loved by all, you can’t expect everyone to feel that way and you do not need to mould yourself to fit anyone else’s expectations. You can't force or win love. It is OK if someone doesn’t ‘get you’ and adore you, and your self worth is not defined by this. When others don’t understand your humour, your truth or your chatterbox nature, don’t hide yourself away out of fear.
You are enough. You are so totally enough.
Your voice needs to be heard. It is safe for you to speak your truth and if others do not hear you then that is not a sign that you need to stay quiet. You will be told time and time again that you talk too much - you will even be punished for this so-called vice. DO NOT see this as a sign to keep yourself small and do not allow this to make you feel like your voice shouldn’t be heard. Your voice is vital to this world. Your voice will help others - even when you cannot see it.
You are allowed to take up space on this planet. You do have a right to be here.
When you feel anxious, and your breathing gets shallow, your tummy turns over, your heart rate speeds up and you feel as if the whole world is collapsing in on you, know that it will pass. Know that you are not broken, you are not damaged, this experience is not who you are, it is something that is happening to you. And the lessons it will teach you will take you to amazing places. Trust that Beautiful. Even through the tears, the pain, the discomfort. Trust.
When your instincts tell you that something is not right, trust that. Trust yourself and trust that gut feeling. Whether it is in business or personal life - trust yourself.
Trust. Trust. Oh yes… did I mention Trust?
You don’t have to give your power away to others. There are always people out there that will tell you how to live your life, how to run your business, how to dress, how to look, how to exercise, how to eat. The lessons you learn when you give away your power will be some of your biggest strengths.
Gratitude is a super power. Use it daily.
Dance. Remember how you used to dance for hours at a party or in a club, just because you aren’t a dancer - doesn’t mean you can’t dance. Move your hips, your feet, snake through your back, roll your head, wave your arms - listen to your body and intuitively move. If you can, dance daily. It is one of the most healing medicines you could ever take. One day you will go to the circus and fall back in love with your body as it dances and moves and shakes. This moment will be a turning point for you.
A dress size does not lead you to happiness.
Abs do not define your worth.
You are different to other people and different does not mean 'less than'.
Your body does a lot for you - don’t take that for granted no matter how the external world makes you feel. You don’t have to wait until you look a certain way to do the things you want to do in your life. You are beautiful exactly as you are and while it will be very hard to learn and accept that, you will get there. I promise.
When you look in the mirror and cry with disgust, your body can hear you. Show her kindness.
Friends will come in and out of your life, and sometimes the process will hurt. People behave in ways that sometimes are hard to understand. Accept that.
Chocolate is amazing - and while it doesn’t hold the answers - it does give you a rest from your busy brain for at least a few minutes. Don't feel guilty over chocolate!
Joy. Never, ever, ever let go of the things that bring you joy. When you question your purpose - reconnect to your joy.
Remember your love for adventures, exploring, painting, makeup, giggling with friends, horses, music… there will be times when you feel detached from these things - but don’t let them go.
Don’t wait to do the things your heart desperately wants. If not now, when?
Things will happen in the world that you will want to shut yourself away from. Horrible, horrible things will happen. You cannot escape them, closing down your heart will not make them go away.
Don't forget to breathe. Big deep belly breaths can solve almost any situation.
You might be surprised to know what you are doing in your life right now - I won’t tell you everything because I would hate to ruin the surprise, but let’s just say that life has a different path to the one you thought you would have.
Keep believing in magic. Unicorns do exist. Glitter is always a good thing.
And to sign off this letter, perhaps the words you need to hear the most right now...
I love you and I am proud of you.
PS... you don't have to be approaching a birthday to write your little self a letter. What would you like to tell your younger self?
PPS... if you enjoyed this little letter then make sure you sign up to receive my weekly email notes by filling out the details below...