Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Letter To My Thirteen-Year-Old Self


Dear Olivia,

You're deeply emotional. You always have been and always will be. You worry about tiny things and over think them until they seem so huge that nothing else matters. They do. I can assure you, half of the things you're stressing about now, you won't even remember in a few years.

You know how you play up in class with your friends? You won't stop doing it no matter how many detentions and phone calls home you get. You will have a colourful time at school but it will sometimes at the expense of adults that just want to help you, remember that. You will scrape through most of your GCSEs and A Levels, ace English (against all odds) and only really start to care about education when you get to university.

(You do get a degree in English, by the way. Even though that would mean nothing to you right now... do you even know what a degree is?)
 Friends will come and go so don't worry about being in the 'in crowd' so much. You will always be sociable which promises lots of fun times in the future. Getting drunk on Frosty Jacks in the park will soon be a distant memory and replaced with a 'quiet one' in Spoons. 

You won't even remember 'who was going out with who' in a few years... it'll even be hazy who your boyfriend was! You'll find sex is better when you love the person but you will have to kiss a few frogs to find out who that person is. He does come, though, so stop thinking so much about it and let it happen how and when it should!

You won't always live in March. I know you can't imagine anything different but you will be working and living in a different city... through your own choice! You think you've got a lot to worry about now, wait until you have to pay bills and it's not acceptable to be late in every morning.

It won't be long until you'll be able to admit that as much as you love Ne-Yo and Akon, you also enjoy listening to Bowie and Blur in the car. In fact, you'll follow many different trends to fit in and those short dresses and massive heels you wear in a year or so? Don't say I didn't warn you!

You hate your body now? That doesn't change. You'll starve yourself for many years and listen to no-one until you and only you realise it's unhealthy. Unfortunately, it will always be a battle for you. 

 Get ready for a turbulent relationship with your family over the next few years, you're going to be an absolute nightmare! Although you'll argue a lot, your parents do stay pretty cool, never restrict you and let you make your own mistakes. Just know that you will stay best friends and will love spending time with them soon.

Your hair will go through every shade in the rainbow and it will take a while for you to realise it's better to leave it or save up and pay for a real hairdresser to do it. Those girls you look at in Vogue? They're not real, that's why they don't look quite the same when you and your friend try to recreate them in your bedroom (yes, I know you do that)! You better think yourself lucky you're not growing up in the Instagram generation and can keep them to yourself.

I know you try not to think of the future but it's such a positive one. You'll find a sense of peace within yourself when leaving the confinements of school and you'll thrive off your own motivation. You'll work hard in every job you have (you do listen to Dad on that one) and you'll have built a few strong relationships with people that will always be there for you.
 
It's hard to see at 13 that you have your whole life ahead of you but, as you get older, it's easier to slow down and look forward to what's yet to come instead of dread it. Enjoy being young, learn from your mistakes and just know that it does get better.

It's 10 years on, you're nearly 23 and you're happy, Olivia.
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Friday, 2 June 2017

Why Everyone Should Go Short For 2017


"I just want a little bit off, like how I had here... I don't want anything drastic..."

"But if I cut it where you're saying, it will be in the danger zone and you don't want that!"

"What's the danger zone?"

"It's where it sits on your shoulder. It will just flick out, especially with your hair texture! Honestly, hairdressers are told to never cut hair anywhere between these lengths."

She points between the bottom of my chin and my shoulder.

"Well take a little bit off and I'll see how I like it."

She chops just under the nape of my neck. My hair had gone. She'd cut all my hair off! I was bald. I daren't look on the floor.

"Oh, all your blonde has been cut out now, we'll have to book another appointment to put it back in... I liked it! Or, because you're quite edgy with your piercings, I'd love to try a lilac!"

I didn't realise that I was a bloody girl's world! Are you forgetting that this is my head and I have to walk around with this bob from hell now? Oh, and where do you expect me to pull all this money from? I can't even afford a full price trim in your salon let alone pay for every colour of the rainbow when you fancy it!

"Yeah, that sounds nice."

...



After she decided to curl my hair and make me look like Shirley Temple

Image result for shirley temple

I rushed home and cried into the mirror clutching the stumps of hair that I had left like a dramatic, vein little child!

I will cut myself a little bit of slack, though. I'd had a tough few weeks and you know how that one pathetic, insignificant-to-other-horrific-things-that-are-happening-in-the-world thing always seems to tip you over the edge? This was mine.

Now, there is a positive moral to this ordeal that I'm sure everyone who has been to a hairdressers can relate to... I got used to it. 

I've actually started to like it! 

It's grown out a little bit already (my mum did remind me multiple times that my hair grows very quickly), I've had lots of nice compliments (although I'm pretty certain it's because I've told everyone that asks how much I hate it) but. more importantly, it's good to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

In a weird way, it was quite cathartic to get rid of my hair. I said goodbye to the bits of blonde I had left and I am literally back to my natural colour again. My hair is as natural and authentic as it possibly can be and I'm quite happy about that.

My hair has always been a strange emotional outlet for me but as I cut, dyed, frazzled and bleached it to an inch of it's life I was never happy.

I could say I've struggled with a negative self image more than the average person and now I'm an adult, it's quite nice to take all I've learnt from my tumultuous teenage years and start being comfortable in my own skin again.

So, thanks random hairdresser for actually not listening to me although I probably won't be visiting you again (I dread to think what she'd do next time)!
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