Dear younger Nana,

It’s hard to look back and say things have been hunky dory all through…in all honesty, it’s been a rough ride.

More privileged than most but still pretty damn emotional (this may also be on account that you are slightly more sensitive than the average Jane – but don’t worry, you’ll get better at internalising your feelings!)

Nowhere has it been most challenging than when it has come to family. They say you can’t choose your family and how right they are, you can’t choose who they are, how they act, whether you get along, you basically have no choice in the matter.

This is my advice on how to deal with the many family dramas you will encounter over the years.  

Everyone is human.  When I say this I mean that every single person in your life has and will make mistakes that you will not comprehend or foresee.  It will hurt you and you will cry and agonise over it for years to come but this won’t change any of the facts.  Accept that no one is perfect and do your best to move on.

Don’t let the mistakes of others define your life.  Your life is your own and your mistakes are your own.  I realise I’m focussing on mistakes a whole lot but you really do a lot of focussing on other people mistakes and it kinda takes over sometimes; so just to be clear…Do You!

Your mother is a genius. You’ll figure this out eventually but by then you’ll be starting your own life and you won’t have the time to really appreciate her awesome mind, resilience and unfailing work ethic!  No one can get stuff done like she can.  Let her know more often how much you really care about her and appreciate everything she has sacrificed to ensure that you succeed in life.  All you have and will continue to have in your life, you most definitely owe to her.

Spend more time with your siblings, like really hang out.  You will leave home when you’re quite young and you’re going to miss out so much of their lives.  Make those first 16 years count! Get to really know them and let them get to really know you. Focus on building the friendship and try not to get too involved in the squabbles. You will be so grateful for these relationships later in life!

Lastly, try and take it easy.  This might not seem like advice directly related to family but trust me, it’ll make family life a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable! You only get to live once!

Much love,

Nana from the future!

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