Open Letter to My 15-Year Old Self

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Dear My 15-Year Old Self

I am writing to you tell you just how much I admire you. Going by the pictures, you are really serious about those pink-camouflage pants, and I think that deserves a salute.

I know that you are scared a lot because you feel different and most people don‘t seem to understand. All those nights lying awake and wondering, wondering how they can‘t see that you want to be just like them. Why don‘t they see how hard you are trying? How everytime you fall down you push yourself back up again? – But believe me, being different is not a bad thing. People will always laugh at you, they‘ll laugh at you for any reason. Whether you‘re too ordinary or you‘re too extravagant, they will always find something to mock you about. So be daring, and give them a jolly good reason to laugh. Be different, be ridiculous. Be everything that you are with a power that will knock them down.

So, I noticed you have bit of trouble finding your own style. To be honest, the pink-camouflage pants and the orange T-shirt with the stripes don‘t work very well together (but I‘m not going to mention it). The thing is that people outside of magazines rarely even have this thing called style. It‘s more like a disease, really. You don‘t have to become a demon-slaughtering shadowhunter to wear a leather jacket. You want that jacket, you go for it, girl! You want to wear smudgy black eyeliner and look mysterious? Just do it (although you will probably fail, but I‘m not going to mention it)! Everyday you can change who you are, don‘t you understand? You are not tied to one wardrobe or to one favourite boyband (and since we‘re on the topic, US5 are going to split up pretty darn soon anyway) or one version of yourself. You are never going to stop becoming yourself, because there will always be people leaving an imprint on your soul, places that change the way you look at the world and stories and that transform your thinking entirely. And girl, you are going places!

What is never going to falter is your love for books. Although I‘m glad to say that your taste in storytelling is. No, don‘t cry – Harry Potter and Jane Austen are always king and queen of your universe. But I wish you would stop believing you are Clary Fray. Honestly, that girl has a lot of issues. For a start, you do not need to have your first relationship when you are sixteen. You will, of course, but still; just take a moment here, all right? The guy you are going to meet is a real sweetheart, but he‘s not Jace. He‘s not the love of your life, no matter how hard you want him to be. Clary is a delusional idiot, made up by a desperate middle aged woman who probably has never had sex herself, so why do you think you need to live by the book? Write your own book, be your own superhero. There are more important things in life than having sex before you‘re seventeen and dating people that look like Richie Stringini (although he is pretty hot, I‘ll give you that!).

You are such a cool teenager, do you ever realise that? You read Charles Dickens for fun, your perfect night out is a Harry Potter midnight book launch, and you don‘t drink or do drugs. But I hate to break it to you, but soon that is not going to be you any more, so you might as well stop judging others for getting drunk on the weekends. You are going to love getting drunk! It‘ll take some time to gain control, but if you keep the people you love close to you, nothing bad will ever happen to you.

Growing up doesn‘t sound so bad now, does it? Responsibility is not such a sucky thing once you get the hang of it, you know? Sure, you have to make your own doctor‘s appointments and crying in public is frowned upon. But you still get to go to Disneyland and obsess over dinosaurs. Also, being grown-up means that you can spend all your money on chocolate AND THEN EAT IT ALL ON YOUR OWN! Being an adult, you don‘t stop loving certain things, you can just love them more openly, because you will stop caring what others think. And, OMG, guess what? Being a nerd is going to be totally cool! In fact, all those assholes that think calling you a geek is an insult, yeah, they are going to buy friggin‘ fake glasses to look smarter. And you, my sweet angel face, you are going to buy glasses to see better. Because you are already smart. Never think that being intelligent is a bad thing. Only stpuid people will let you believe that. Nope! Embrace your inner nerd with all your heart! 

You know what I love most about you, My 15-Year Old Self? You are on the verge of taking a massive leap into the unknown, and you are putting all of your heart and soul into it. I wish you would never stop doing that.
There are many moments of doubt still to come. You will find yourself crying on a bathroom floor more than once, and sometimes there will not be enough chocolate flavoured ice cream in the world to make you feel all right again. But I will tell you this: You are going to be happy, and you are going to be fine. You will always be surrounded by people who love you, and you will make many more people fall in love with you.

And finally: enjoy the Star Wars prequels while it lasts, because soon you will start to see Anakin for the whiny bastard he truly is and fall in love with Han. Also, don‘t cry because Tokio Hotel are not an item any more, you just haven‘t met One Direction yet. Also, the Sorting Hat puts you into Slytherin. Don‘t let it ruin your day, Draco is going to turn out so much hotter than Harry!

Unfortunately, 15-year old me, we have still not published our bestselling novel or saved the world from evil or married a prince. But we are in a good place. The kind of good place where on some days we go swimming in the Carribean, while on others the best thing that happens is somebody telling us that our dress is pretty. We are pretty amazing, you and I.

With love,
23-Year Old Me

Role Models

Whoohoo, I am so done for this week! In the best possible way. I have literally JUST handed in a spontaneous essay – in which I stopped believing on sunday, but somehow it still turned out okayish. Yay for that! Tomorrow I am off to Lübeck, also quite sopntaneously and the reason I‘m writing a post tonight and not as ususal tomorrow. And I‘m going out tonight to see a photo exhibition that my friend made, more yays for that! (well, he contributed one small part of the exhibition, but that still counts, right?) Frankly, I‘m just happy to be leaving the house for a reason other than to watch my dog poop. Yay Yay Yay!

Something I have been wanting to write about for a while now are role models. I remember that when I was little I had this massive crush on Emma Watson. I wanted to BE her in every way possible, so I would braid my hair at night to have curls the next morning; it helped that I was a huge geek in primary school, so all I had to do was tell others how stupid they were for not basically living in the library. But I also remember that a few years later I read an interview in a magazine, some hot shot singer or what have you, that I would have snogged at any given moment. He said that he had no role models at all because he wanted to follow his own path, blah blah. And I thought, neat! The truth has been spoken! From now on I will only rely on myself and trust my own instincts and Imma rock this! I don‘t really remember how that decision went down. I probably just locked myself in the library and checked my teachers‘ assignments for spelling mistakes (I did that repeatedly – the search for missing commas always proved to be very successful!) But you know, now that I‘m thinking about it, that was such a crappy thought! The truth is that we all have role models, people we look up to. It shouldn‘t get to the point where we compare ourselves to them in everything that we do, of course – but I firmly believe that we need people to look up to in order to believe that something can be done. So here are my own personal role models:

Hermione Granger

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This much has never changed. I sometimes still find myself wondering what Hermione would do in a particular situation and I find great comfort in the fact that she‘s a huge bookworm, and yet that doesn‘t make her any weaker at all.

Emma Watson

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Obviously. She is basically a real life Hermione and I admire her for being super pretty and standing up for women‘s rights and gender equality. She seems to be staying very true to herself and that‘s a hard thing to do.

Sophie Scholl

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Sophie may well be my greatest hero of all time. She was in a resistance movement during the Second World War and was killed by the Nazis. What I admire about her, however, is not that she died, it‘s that she lived. Even in the midst of a horrible war she wrote about spring and about hiking in the alps. To keep believing in something good and pure when everything around you is falling apart is such a strong and wonderful character trait.

My Mum

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My mum‘s just one super cool lady, and if you tell me «you‘re acting just like your mother», then that is a compliment.

David Mitchell

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The comedian, not the writer. Although he has written books as well. Anyway. I‘m not absolutely sure David is actually a role model to me, it may well be that I just identify with him quite a lot. But then I catch myself thinking, hey, he‘s still alive and happy, so there‘s not a bad chance for me!

Carrie Hope Fletcher

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I never realised that I actually see Carrie as someone I idolise with until I watched one of her recent videos on Youtube where she announces that she‘s moving in with her boyfriend. And it got me thinking, I don‘t necessarily crave a boyfriend, but I like to think that I can one day manage to actually grab hold of my life enough to enter that happy place… Oh my, I sound severely depressed! I‘m not, I am a very happy person and there is nothing wrong with me. But you know, I feel like I haven‘t quite grasped the concept of being a grown-up.

Elizabeth Bennet

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She is such an amazing heroine. Every person, male or female, should learn to think for themselves. Elizabeth doesn‘t get married just to secure her future and just because that‘s how it is done. She does what she thinks is best for herself and what she believes to maje her happy.

Roxana Vasquez

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Roxana is a girl I met on Zacate Grande in Honduras. She is working at a radio station where she fights against landowners trying to take away local farmers‘ lands. She‘s very upbeat and actually risking her life in the struggle of keeping her home. She told me that she might get killed, but if she doesn‘t fight at all she will surely die of hunger – so there isn‘t actually another option. I just can‘t help but think that we need way more people like her!

Princess Leia

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Of course Leia‘s on the list! How could she not be! Leia is very badass, she knows how to handle a gun and she rocks a lot of braids. I don‘t know where we get the picture from that strong women can‘t also be pretty or care about their hair – Leia clearly has her priorities set. Even in war time she must spend hours braiding her hair. And she knows how to fly a space ship, no one can argue with that!

Between writing this post and actually publishing it eight hours have passed (the exhibition was great btw) and I have only just realised that there are almost only women on my list. It‘s not that I‘m the sort of hardcore feminist that refuses to look up to men, but they simply stand for things that I feel I am lacking myself. Getting my own mind, standing up for what I believe in, embracing my own weirdness in its full beauty… I think these are the things everyone of us is struggling with all the time. We all want to be a better version of ourselves, and I think that is the best thing we can want. Because we are good the way we are but we can change if we want to to, and if we do want to we should! And it‘s good to have someone to follow, but sometimes we also forget that we can set examples to and that maybe one small person would like to be more like us. Isn‘t that encouraging?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx