12 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self
Before I set up business producing organic baby and children's clothing I had several lives. I went to Uni (well it was called a Polytechnic back in the day!), had a menswear business called Heroic Leisure Clothing Company, and worked in music television and video.
We love looking back over our lives, so this week I thought it would be fun to imagine that you had the opportunity to send a message back in time to your younger self. What would you say to yourself if you had that chance?
Me at 16 - wide eyed and innocent!
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. I know, what a cliche, along with the phrase ‘be yourself’ - what EXACTLY does that mean?! Still, you believe in fairies and angels, right? Well then, why not have the same belief in yourself? Things will be MUCH easier and more fun for you if you do:)
2. If people try to cloud, scratch or discolour your rose petalled glasses … listen, but stick to your guns. There’s too much negativity out there already, you don’t need to absorb it. You might not be able to save the world, but you can have a small hand in changing it.
3. LEARN TO NEGOTIATE. Rather than hide away from problems and people, grab them by the scruff-of-the neck and learn to negotiate your way in or out of tough situations. Jobs, marriage, partnerships, friendships are all based on compromise and the subtle art of negotiation. Nothing is insurmountable, if you learn the rules ... yes, there are rules.
Me at 18 featured in ‘THE FACE’ magazine as a Fashion & Marketing Degree Student in Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic.
4. If something doesn’t feel right instinctively, WALK AWAY … or if it feels right DO do it. In other words if you want a life that is relatively regret free, then go with your true instinct.
5. NEVER GET A CREDIT CARD. I only got one in my 30’s. Big mistake even then! Don’t do it!!!
6. Choose your battles carefully. I know, you’re a sensitive soul, so it’s very difficult not to absorb other people’s worries, which is fine, BUT ALWAYS stay neutral, it’s THEIR stuff, not YOUR stuff. You're there to listen, not to judge.
My Vegetarian Leather Jackets in the 1980's - I was a veggie then, but started to eat meat again when I was pregnant with my first baby
7. Don’t just stop at Tetris on your Gameboy - embrace technology! Work out how the Super Mario Brothers raced through the Mushroom Kingdom. Accept technology into your life - it’s not just for people cooler or more clever than you. It’s for everyone, and it important for you to jump on the technology train as soon as possible, as it will develop and change at the rate of knots. Be savvy, smart and ready for what the future brings:)
8. If you exercise and eat well, you can actually change your body shape. I thought I was stuck with my thick calves and ankles for life, but actually in my 40’s when I hit the gym, I found that you can bring shape to your legs with the right exercise. Amazing.
Me and my pals in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at 22 years of age - setting up in business after studying Marketing and Fashion at Newcastle Poly.
9. Learn how to skateboard and surf. Skate and surf chicks are the coolest:):)
10. Be very clear about what you want from life. It’s great to be spontaneous and fresh, and always be flexible, but some sort of life-plan to refer back to is actually very helpful and reassuring.
11. Travel, visit other countries and learn about other peoples’ cultures - retain your instinctive knowledge, that we’re all ONE. Otherwise you may develop the fear for adventure and new experiences - ignorance is a very destructive force.
At the time The Kane Gang, Prefab Sprout, Elvis Costello and Hurrah! all had one thing in common - they all wore shirts designed by me!
12. You're an “ideas person” (they just keep flowing, you can't help it!), and although some people might laugh at some of your ideas, don’t EVER be put off by others' comments. My chopped-up and patched together American Shirts from the 1950’s? Well, there’s a new word for that now … UPCYCLING. It’s all the rage! Remember this and always and reach for the stars.
My ‘upcycled’ (this word wasn’t invented then!!) shirts were featured in HONEY magazine in 1983. The so called 'Kisch In-Wear' chopped-up and patched together American shirts from the 1950’s were regularly featured in the press and sold in cool clothing shops around the country!
Tell me what would you would say to your 18 year old self? Leave your comments below - I read them all, thanks.