I remember being 12 or 13 and my mum being in her late 30’s and thinking she was soooooo old. We were in the changing rooms of what was Richard Shops and she was trying on something with no sleeves and she asked my opinion and I told her her arms were too fat to wear it. In retrospect, she was well under 10 stone and in great shape. My perception as a child was so skewed!
So apart from never quite acquiring tact here are five things that I did learn:
- Boys never grow up fully. As girls we steam past them with our emotional intelligence and never really understand what makes farts and lavatorial humour so damn funny to them. At school I had a mini crush on this guy from my chemistry class. One day he asked to borrow my pencil which I was delighted to give him only for it to be returned with something unmentionable on the end of it. Without exception ALL of the boys found that hilarious and all the girls looked on with witheringly disappointment. That day part of me died. Moving forward into adolescence and dating, with alarming regularity all my girlfriends would have pieces of their fragile teenage hearts chipped away at by boys with little or no moral fibre, with puerile humour and a general disrespect or disregard to the female species. I sound harsh. Of course there are exceptions and of course we grow to
INGORElove the rotten bits of men because they have good bits too but put them together, in a pack and BOOM it’s back to school – it’s how I imagine living in a frat house would be.
- Death is a hard but necessary lesson. I was quite young when I experienced death first hand, around 7 years old. By 14 I had lost all but one of my grandparents, numerous rabbits, a few goldfish and a canary (allegedly it bled to death during nail cutting but I later found out that it’s chirping sent my father nuts so a far more likely story is that it was euthanised).
- Nothing feels or smells as good as a real English leather saddle on a real sweaty horse. Especially when cantering across a field on a fine summery evening. However you can’t really blag being able to ride…. horses are dangerous and unpredictable animals. I have lost stirrups on numerous occasions whilst going fast on horseback and by the skin of my teeth have managed to stay on, definitely more luck than skill.
- School days REALLY are the best of your life. You will never survive on a couple of quid a week post school days. Add in children to your life equation and you will never be free of worry again. The sad irony is that at the time you are too caught up in hormones and exam worries to realise and properly enjoy them. The beauty of hindsight.
- Body image: Be happy with your body, love it, nurture it and celebrate it. You will only get this one body and it can do remarkable things even though we see through illness and disease how fragile it can be. Over time, it may become marked, scarred and as you age, a little war-torn, it is still yours and you are still beautiful. Never forget how beautiful you are.