Here's a hard call from 'Letters of Note'. Celebrities were asked to write a letter to their sixteen year old self. The result was a book called 'Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen Year Old Self'.
So what advice would you give yourself looking back with the beauty of hindsight?
I have found this blog particularly hard to write because I don't think I should include all the advice I want to give my sixteen year old self. I didn't like myself at 16. I didn't like myself at 18, 20 or 25 either, but 16 I do remember being a particularly hard place to be. I haven't written a letter, but I have put together a list, it's the closest I can get. It reminds me of one of my favourite tracks by Baz Luhrmann 'Sunscreen' which I find heartbreakingly poignant on so many levels. So here's some of my advice to me, the bits I think it's okay for you to know:
Men are never worth the tears
Celebrity crushes are pointless
Never be afraid to leave home
Blood is thicker than water
Don't worry about your education, you'll get there eventually but do everything sooner rather than later
Listen to your mother, her advice will all make sense
You are liberated, explore it
Procrastination only makes things worse
Of course, the path that we take is character forming. I wouldn't necessarily want to be the person I would have become had I not been through the experiences I have. I have been formed into what I consider a well rounded, sympathetic if slightly fucked up individual and that's okay because we're all a little bit fucked up anyway.
I asked a friend of mine the same question 'What advice would you give your sixteen year old self?' and he said 'nothing'. Because you are where you are and everything that you have done forms the person you are. And he didn't want to change it because he is happy where he is.
So no matter how much you regret, it's a bit too late. I am reasonably happy with where I am but I wish I had got to certain points sooner, that perhaps I put too much energy into wasted efforts to get where I am today.
I suppose regret is the worst thing and you should learn to use what you have because that's all there is. You can't go back and change it.