(I promise you will never ever ever be called Sue)
There's a fad doing the rounds on the internet at the moment. It's where women write letters to their 15 year old selves, giving sage advice and reminding themselves how wonderful life could be for them, if only they would listen to their own words.
I figure you didn't really need much advice at 15, in fact not sure that at 18 you are going to even want to listen, but I'm going to take the chance to remind you of some of the things you're going to learn in the next 10 years....
1. The next time you are made to feel stupid, walk away! There's lots of people who think you are not very bright and that's their loss. Just because you chose to work rather than go to university, doesn't mean you weren't capable of it. You might never do any full time study, but that's ok. Just make the most of all the courses and workshops you're going to be sent on over the next few years. Follow your passions...write when you want to write. Don't when you don't. Keep it all - you'll wish you had!
2. A few more think you are way too bossy and opinionated - well they are right actually, but hang on to that. Having such a strong sense of self is going to keep you out of trouble. It probably wouldn't hurt for you to be a bit less forthright when sharing those 'big beliefs' - not everyone is as ardent as you about what they believe in.
3. grab every opportunity that comes your way. some things will only happen once in your lifetime. Soon, the Berlin wall is going to come down and you are going to wish for the rest of your life that you went over to be there when it happened. You're going to get a chance to live in another country, in another culture, and you should embrace that and saturate yourself in the experience for as long as you are able.
4. Just because their aren't any 'lady bank managers' now, doesn't mean you can't do it. Right now, a career is the last thing on your mind. Which is great - work hard, earn money and go and see the world. And know that one day, you can come back and make a real impact on the lives of the people you work with and for.
5. Be kind to yourself. One day, trust me, you're going to LOVE your red hair.
Yes, you're probably going to starve yourself and overeat and never be happy with how you look. Let it go. Respect your body, and your mind. Know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Surround yourself with people who love you and build you up. WALK AWAY from the stupid boys that will feed you all kinds of rubbish to salve their own insecurites.
Above all, Do what you love. Hang on to what you beleive to be right and true.
Take joy in the fact that those who are your closest friends now, still will be in 25 years.
That which saddens, and maddens youknow,still will.
All those things that make your heart sing - still will.