Last weekend I attended my niece’s 16th birthday party.
I felt old. And frumpy. And prude-ish.
(Have you seen what kids are wearing these days? Have you heard what they are listening to?!)

I spent most of the night lamenting how it only “felt like yesterday” that I was 16.
Doing the math, My Man and I realised that we were 16 when our niece was born.

IMG_7325That’s me at 16, acting all obnoxious-like. I have no idea what was happening in this pic. No idea.

So I thought I’d write a letter to my 16-year-old self.


Dear 16-year-old Shannon,

I know you think you know it all. But here are some things I’ve realised in the 16 years since being 16.

  • You do think you know it all. Listening is just as important as talking. Observe, listen and think before opening your mouth.
  • Putting Sun-In in your hair is NOT a good idea. You have dark hair. You will never be a light-haired beach babe. The sooner you deal with this, the better.
  • You will spend most of your 20s figuring out exactly what you don’t want to do with your life. This doesn’t mean that you have not succeeded.
    It won’t feel like it at the time, but all the experiences you have during your 20s, will help you realise what it is that you want out of life.
    Go with the flow and take the leaps of faith.
  • Life is about doing things, not owning things. While you have it, spend your money on travel. Travel, travel and travel some more.
    (You should also save some money for a rainy day. Yes, that would be the sensible, adult thing to do. So do some of that, too.)
  • You were right about the Foo Fighters. They will go on to be one of the best rock bands ever. However, in 2014, Dave Grohl has a beautiful wife
    and beautiful family. So let go of the dream that you will marry him. And never fear. You will meet and marry a super rad, fun and funny dude who
    will love Dave Grohl almost as much as you.
  • Go with your gut. You have a pretty good ability to read people and situations. If it doesn’t feel right, then it ain’t right. Trust your intuition.
  • Everything you do in life will either add to or detract from your name. No pressure. But act accordingly and with integrity.
  • Don’t waste time aspiring to look like and dress like everyone else. Find your own style and rock it. (FYI- consider a fringe. It’ll suit you.)
  • On the topic of dress, please reconsider your Year 12 formal dress choice.
  • I know the age gap doesn’t suggest it now, but your little sister isn’t actually annoying. She will grow up to be one of the coolest chicks you know.
    When she moves overseas you’ll feel like a piece of you is missing. So hang out with her. Enjoy her company. And make sure you tell her earlier about your philosophy on going with your gut.
  • I know it may seem like they have no idea what they’re going on about, but your parents actually do have your best interests in heart. As you get older, you’ll realise how lucky you were to be given the parents you were given. Cherish them.

Above all, don’t worry about it. It’ll all work out in the end.

You’ve got this.

Lots of love,

Your older, wiser Self xx


What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?