A Letter To The 16 Year Old Me

A Letter To The 16 Year Old Me

This is a letter I’ve written to my 16 year old self. It took me a while to decide what I’d love my very green, schoolkid self. Would I tell her of what she’s become almost 17 years later? Would I share my regrets? Would I wish for a time machine so that I could go back and undo the things I’ve done or do the things I wanted to do?

I wasn’t too keen on using these photographs of myself when I was 16 but there were very little photos taken of just me in school. I figured I’d use these photos instead of the ones with my old friends in case they’re not comfortable having their faces published on the blog. As for my brother, ah, he’s family so there’s automatic permission. :)

Dear Tine,

You turn 16 years old today. Happy birthday! I hope you’ve enjoyed your birthday lunch with your friends at the Babylon Bistro (sadly, this favourite bistro of yours is no longer in business today).

A Letter To The 16 Year Old Me

You must have plenty of thoughts wondering what being sixteen will be like. Sweet sixteen is not all it’s cut out to be. Reading far too many Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams novels told you how amazing being sweet sixteen is, but really, you’re still a kid. Sweet sixteen doesn’t mean you’re an adult. It just means exams that include long essays and difficult subjects like physics and chemistry.

Remember that lil’ green lipstick you used to wear? The one Mee* gave you? The one you’d sneak in your pinafore to school every day even though you weren’t allowed to wear any form of makeup to school? Well, 17 years later and that lipstick is considered the brand’s icon**. You were such a tomboy then, but you wouldn’t go anywhere without applying that lippie first. You were almost caught with it by a prefect once. Then again, you were always shrewd enough to befriend the prefects in school. Y’know, just in case. ;)

A Letter To The 16 Year Old Me

Boys are not as scary as they turn out to be. You used to be so tongue-tied in front of boys; you couldn’t even relay a simple message to the opposite sex! Little did you know that you’d be good friends with more men than women. Funny how things turned out, eh?

Study hard and excel in your studies for you will have the opportunity to further your education abroad. It will be one of the best experiences of your life.

Your chosen path of education will lead you to many new experiences in life. You’ll be able to travel a lot and live overseas. Savour these moments because they’re money-can’t-buy ones. At least, not with your money anyway. :)

A Letter To The 16 Year Old Me

Word of warning, you are going to experience heartbreak in your mid twenties. It’s the time where you question all of your relationships with men, your family and even with God. As difficult as all these relationships will be, as painful as each one will turn out, trust me when I say the light at the end of the tunnel will open your eyes. These are life lessons you will never regret nor forget.

There are so much more that I wish to tell you, but I’ll leave you to lead your own life. After all, that’s part and parcel of growing up; the anticipation of something good and delving into the unknown. Study hard, work hard, play hard. Know that you are stronger than you think you are. Always stay as optimistic and cheery as you have always been.

Love,
Tine
(yes, as much as you hate people calling you Tine, it’s still widely used today)

*Mee is what I call my mother
**Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

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24 comments… add one

  1. ksuan

    Lovely. :) What a nice weekend post. Thanks for sharing, Tine.
    ksuan recently posted..Review: Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Active ConcentrateMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Glad you liked it! :)

  2. Michelle Beh

    Thanks for sharing this! Appreciate and love reading it :)

    1. Tine

      Glad you liked it Michelle :)

  3. Zoe

    This is such a nice idea Tine, it’s always interesting to reflect on the past with the benefit if hindsight… I would also want to let my younger self know that I will learn from the crappy relationship stuff, it feels so hard at the time, it would have been nice to know there would be a light at the end of the tunnel!

    Zoe xx
    Zoe recently posted..My Favourite Makeup products of all timeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Exactly that, Zoe! Go ahead and do a post like this too; would love to read your rendition of the letter to yourself :)

  4. Jennifer

    Beautifully written! Thanks for sharing it with us. I pondered after reading your post and thought what would I tell my 16 years old self. Well I’d tell her to go have fun and not hold back. Be more adventurous and though the acnes weren’t great, looks will improve later on in life when I start earning to buy good skincare. I should have more self confidence because it is what’s inside that counts. I’d remind myself that life isn’t the fairy tale that we read and there’s no standard way of living as we are unique creatures. Oh and be gentler to the boys because by being too strong headed may have led to my current single hood. Lol.

    1. Tine

      Thanks Jennifer. I love what you’d tell your 16yo self. Be confident. Be strong. Have fun. I’d tell myself that too :)

  5. LeGeeque

    You scared me into thinking it was your birthday! Drinks on you the next time :P

    And that is such a nice post. Gives me teh fuzzies. After I got over the fact IT WAS NOT YOUR BIRTHDAY. STOP GIVING ME HEART ATTACKS :P

    PS-still larpchu :P

    1. Tine

      Bahahahaha aww can can :P Larpchu too :P

  6. Nikki

    awww Tine, your sweet 16 photos are adorable! Lucky you! I don’t have much 16 year old photos of myself except..well maybe…in highschool , they were all hard copies with my friends! I agree with you, I grew up with Sweet Valley High, and University series and it’s far from what we think what sweet 16 are! I used to do a countdown getting all excited for my 16th birthday (I got even more excited on my 16th than 18th) and it wasn’t anything too exciting! hahahaha I actually remembered 16 was quite a challenge for me! Had my appendix removed LOL!
    Nikki recently posted..AMW Reviews: Sleek Face Form Kit (Light)My Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha thanks Nikki! Yeah it was difficult searching for a good photo of just me since at that age, it’s all about your mates :) The problem with reading SVH books is that it creates such an anticipation and hype about turning sweet sixteen. In Malaysia, it really means nothing since you can only drive past your 17th birthday anyway :P
      Oooh appendix removed! That’s gotta be scary at that age.

  7. plue

    I call my mom Mee too! When times were better of course. I was more of a skincare person back when I was 16, and I hated makeup. Now look at my stash of blushes and polishes. LOL.

    I can’t really remember the details, but what I still remember are the crazy rebellious times I have, to the point my dad nearly disown me, the every-Sunday-argument-with-mom and dad would yell at me for making my mom angry, the neverending marathon of tuition classes on weekends. friends and school wise wasn’t exactly memorable, it was just normal school stuff and if I manage to even hang out with friends, that’s a bonus, because dad’s very strict with going out!

    i don’t regret a single bit, and I am not sorry that I didn’t ace my exams nor be a better daughter or student that time (was a VP prefect which gave teachers headache, tee hee!). All these shaped me up to be who I am right now, and I am happy being just me.

    And um.. why didn’t you like people calling you Tine? People made fun of the name?
    plue recently posted..Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh those are interesting teen years for you. I agree, they do shape us the way we are today. If we’re happy now, then why regret them, eh? :)

      My parents called me Tine (have since the day I was born). My friends overheard my parents calling me that and started calling me that too. Oh I don’t know. It didn’t sound “cool” enough back then I suppose. They didn’t make fun of the name, but I guess I prefer to keep that name more private amongst my family.

      Well whaddyaknow. The Internet calls me Tine now :P

  8. beetrice

    How come I’ve never seen the ‘Peter Pan’ outfit one?? LOL…I do recognise a certain pair of rainbow striped shorts though… :P

    Back then, I used to think I’d have all the answers when I grew up, the way my parents always seemed to know what to do. Now…I’m just damn impressed by how well they hid their panic and stress!

    Personally though, I think the bigger milestones were turning 17 (hel-lo driver’s license!) and 21 (cos that was the year I went overseas to study) – now that, I’d have a lot to tell (*ahem* nag) myself about. :P
    beetrice recently posted..Happy Chinese New Year!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahahaha that was back in Form 4. I think it was Speech Day or Teacher’s Day. There was a competition amongst the entire form and each class was supposed to come up with the best design each could do with newspapers. I don’t know how the heck I ended up the model. I just let the girls plaster disgusting newspaper all over me. Whaddyaknow, we won first place! Chin (one of the bridesmaids) did the shoes. Oh we were so sad when we had to remove the shoes because they were the best part of the costume. It was stuck with tape on me, so we couldn’t remove them like proper shoes. Had to rip everything off.

      Hahahah I bet my parents were just the same. Doesn’t help that they also have a 12yo around as well :P

  9. Syen

    Sorry I’m a little late.. but thanks for this post! Love it!

    “Sweet sixteen is not all it’s cut out to be. Reading far too many Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams novels told you how amazing being sweet sixteen is, but really, you’re still a kid. Sweet sixteen doesn’t mean you’re an adult.”

    Heck… SO true. Thought we were so grand didn’t we, when we turned 16. Thought we were all “grown up”. But truth is, there was so much more growing up to do.

    Thanks again for the post. It’s beautiful. =)

    1. Tine

      Thanks Syen :) I was still such a kid at 16. No such things as boyfriends (I had difficulty even talking to boys then!), driving your own car, having lots of parties etc. It’s all studies and lots of crying at failed exams. Form 4 was the very first year I literally had red marks in my report card :P

  10. cuteandcurls

    Yep Sweet Sixteen doesnt mean you’re an adult ..

    Heck 16 was my journey of years of truly finding out and understanding and well more :) lots of ups and downs .. reading your blog reminded me to this song by Angela Aki called Tegami – Beautiful song and meaningful words eventhough it was in Japanese but i managed to find the english translation of it.
    cuteandcurls recently posted..Goodbye, Sweet Dreams, We love youMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I agree. Sixteen was definitely a journey of ups and downs. I think I had more downs than ups that year but I still enjoyed it. It was actually fun not being an adult. :)

  11. VNikol

    Great post Tine! I’ve been considering writing a letter to my 16-year old self forever & then when I started a blog, I reconsidered it but haven’t yet got up the courage to be so candid on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration! : )
    VNikol recently posted..Lemon as Deodorant? Challenge Accepted {results inside}My Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks! I shall look forward to the day when you write and publish it on your blog :)

  12. Victoria

    Thanks for the sweet post and your pictures just made me smile :-) I remember I had a really tough time at the age of 16 because I could not fit in when I decided to do Science stream. Also felt so awkward around guys due to my shy nature. Other than that, I think I was just glad to move on from 16. There would have been so many things to write to my 16 year old self but I guess all the mistakes we made in our past life shapes us to be the person we are today and for that I am pretty thankful for turning out to be the woman I am today.

    1. Tine

      I agree with you Victoria. Big mistakes I may have made from 16 till, oh about yesterday, but they shape us the person we are today. I was so awkward around guys too! I think it was made worse studying at an all girls school :P

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