3 Things I'd Tell My Younger Self
When I realised the other day that I would be turning 22 in November, it hit me that I had become so old (so fast) and I started to look back at when things started to change for me. I think a lot of people go to University and want to fit in, but by the time I had reached my second year, I had a small circle of close friends that I knew wouldn't let me down, no matter who I was. I could be myself, the person I was happiest being, and I no longer started to doubt myself. This leads me on to today's topic. I wouldn't change the past, because I would not be the girl I am today, but there are some things I wish I could have told my younger self.
Photography by Keith Moss
1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE CROWD
It sounds cliché, but I did spend a lot of my younger years worrying about my appearance, my personality, and whether I was 'cool' enough to fit in with certain crowds. But looking back, it was never 'that' crowd that stuck around in my life, and stayed by my side no matter what. It's the people who you connect with and can be yourself around - those are the one's worth keeping by your side. I wish I could have told my younger self, it's not how many friends you have, it's cherishing the relationships you have with that small circle of friends you do have, but know they will be there on your wedding day, to meet your kids one day, or to go out for dinner with, no matter what day of the year it is.
2. LOVE WHO YOU ARE, BECAUSE YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE
I have spent far too many of my younger years obsessing over the things I don't like about myself. Whether that was with my body (and doing a bunch of unnecessary fad diets), or unwilling to accept my personality (and trying to change myself unnecessarily to fit in with others). But the day I accepted that that is who I am, I lived a much happier life. You only get one life, and you are who you are, so I would have definitely told my younger self to accept it and love being the person you are. So may years of my life were wasted trying to be someone I'm not, and finally aged 21, I can be the girl I have always wanted to be.
3. DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN'T
Life is about choices. I remember someone once telling me that the blogging market is saturated and 'everyone is doing it' so they discouraged me to start Imogen & James. Well I have to disagree. In any market you can have your USP. If you had asked me 7 months ago when I started Imogen & James, there is no way I could have said to you I have worked with the top UK and international brands like I have - I need to pinch myself at what opportunities I have achieved! But I'm not saying I'm a successful blogger by any means, but I'm proud of the brands I have worked with in a matter of months, brands I have worn for years and are exactly what my style is about. I am proud of the photography I have created on this website too - and finally getting to grips with my camera and using it properly on manual! I remind myself that I couldn't have created this website if I had listened to that person back before I started - I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities if I had.
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't.