I wrote before about the things I would tell my teenage self, but that focussed more on late-teens Laura. The Laura who was just starting university, finding drinking buddies and refusing to cook anything that took longer than 20 minutes.
I felt like writing a similar post, but focussing on 13 year old Laura. Oddly proportioned, braces inflicted Laura with the uncontrollable hair.
1.You are about to have a lot of orthodontic appointments, it will all be worth it in the end.
13 year old Laura had braces. I had them for 9 months to straighten a few teeth, that was only the beginning! My bottom jaw had grown in front of my top jaw, so when I was 16 I had braces to prepare my teeth for when I had my underbite fixed. After 4 years of braces I finally had the surgery and the braces came off 6 months later, a month before my 21st birthday.
There were times when I freaked out a bit about basically having my jaw broken when I did not really need the operation. I could have lived with an underbite and there are many people out there who do. But I am so glad I went ahead with it.
Apart from no longer worrying about how my face looked side on and feeling self conscious about smiling, eating became so much easier! Having lived with my underbite my whole life I had no idea how tricky it actually made eating. The first time I bit into an apple I was amazed by how easy it was, that’s why I was so terrible at apple bobbing!
2.You will work out how to control your hair.
When I was about 5 my hair was straight and easy to handle.
Then when I was about 10 it started to go curly. My mum and everyone in her family has straight hair. My dad used to have curly hair but has been bald since before I was born, and is generally a bit useless. Mum and I tried so many products and routines. Remember, this was before all these beauty bloggers were everywhere telling us the best products to use. It was before we had properly got the hang of using the internet, I did not even know what YouTube was!
Luckily my Nan on my dad’s side visited from Barbados and told us what she uses on her hair, and the one shop in my hometown where you can buy it. I use a slightly different product now, you can buy it in Boots; not some lone shop that specialises in Afro-Caribbean hair. Progress.
3.You’ll work out boys eventually.
I have always found it quite easy to make friends with boys. Probably because my brother is not that much younger than me, so it feels natural to have a platonic relationship with guys my age.
But when I liked a guy? I was useless. I remember going to see Meet the Fockers on Valentine’s Day. My date and I held hands and I freaked out about it afterwards. Was it too much too soon? What does holding hands mean!?
How adorable is that? Needless to say, that relationship did not really go anywhere, which was a shame, but obviously some part of me knew that I was not ready for a boyfriend you had physical contact with.
This is no longer a problem. I did not need to worry about not being ready for hand holding and other harmless behaviour, because I got there eventually, and had some fun along the way.
13 year old Laura beat herself up for being awkward and having hair with a life of its own. But she also read a lot, did well in school and managed to surround herself with a pretty decent circle of friends, friends that I still try to see as much as possible.
She was doing just fine.