Happy Sweet Sixteen!

A letter to ourselves.

The earth has just completed yet another turn around the sun, and now it is 2022. Wow, where does the time go? Don’t answer that 16 year old Heather, you’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy your birthday. It’s a Saturday and you’ll be heading to the market in morning and enjoying some quality time with the other girls from the hostel. * Funnily enough it’s also a Saturday today as I write this…

When I have read these types of letters earlier, the letters are often full of advice about what not to do, who not to marry, career advice etc etc. I get the impression that the author of the letter perhaps regrets the life they’ve led, the choices that have been taken, things said or left unsaid.

This is NOT that type of letter. To start with, every decision we have made has led us to this moment and I would not change a thing! Not to say that we don’t have regrets, however these also make up our fabric of being, so I’m still not changing anything.

Heather, look away because now I am going to share a few examples with the rest of the world. I know you’re feeling a weirded out by that right now, don’t worry at the beginning of this little journey so was I. Now it’s not so bad!

At 16, we are set on becoming a vet. By the time summer comes around, all of that changes and you start along the tourism and hospitality path. That path brings you all the way to Finland, so definitely worth it. Similarly, when all your college mates head for Sydney and you are the only one who lands a job in Melbourne, don’t fret.

Along the way we’ve come across a heap of people that just don’t get us, and if there is any advise I can give you (something that I’ve struggled with for a long time!) is that other peoples opinion of you is THEIR problem. Tied in with this, you don’t have to apologise all the time!

You’ll meet someone that you think you might marry, it doesn’t happen and you make a career move that to the rest of world looks crazy. It wasn’t and you’ll be fine. Better than fine actually.

Life will be a roller coaster, no doubt about that. Just buckle in and enjoy the ride! You have sauna, winter swimming and Finnish language lessons in your future. Let’s not forget our career dreams take several sharp turns before we start out on our own.

So Heather, make those moves, take those decisions and own every single one of them. Then one New Years Day in your future you’ll sit in front of your laptop and pen this very same letter.

*During high school we stayed in a hostel which was situated just off the high school campus. Friendships formed there continue today.

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