When I was growing up, 18 years was when you came of age and was considered an adult. When I look around now, I realise how much has changed for young people today. The lines between childhood, youth and adulthood have blurred and most young people become adults way before they reach 18 years!

Recently I watched the documentary Scattered Windows, Connected Doors with a close friend and then read the article 10 things I would like to tell my 18 year old self!

Both brought back memories, made me look back at life gone by and this morning as I looked at my daughter sleeping peacefully, I wondered what would I tell her. The practical me screamed, ‘chill lady, she’s only 21 months old so back off!’

I did but since its been on my mind, I asked myself instead, ‘If I could turn back the clock, what would I have told the 18 year old me today?’

* Don’t just survive. Life’s no cake walk nor is it a ‘shit’ sandwich. Make every moment count. Live life everyday.

* Be happy and learn to like your own company. Don’t depend on anyone else to make you happy. Find peace within yourself. (Gosh, there was a time, no matter how low I felt, the vast blue sky, a road lined by trees on either side, a nice song made me happy!)

* Laugh out loud. Don’t bother if your throaty laughter makes heads turn. Just express yourself when you desire to do so.

* Take care of yourself. Dress up for yourself, exercise and eat clean, be well turned out – a presentable you will always make others wonder what you’ve been up to!

* When you fall in love, love with a vengeance. Bask in those moments, feel pampered, give yourself up completely to the other person – loving someone else should make you feel happy, free and alive.

* Earn your own money and make your world go around.

* Make friends everywhere you go but cherish those few who understand you, respect you, love you as you are.

* Explore the world, solo, to find your true self. It’s the only time you’ll learn that when your back is against the wall, there’s only ‘you’ to take you through it!

* Speak your mind but be respectful. Don’t be afraid – inform the world that you have an opinion and what you think matters.

* Make mistakes galore but learn to forgive yourself. Forgiveness will not come easy but its the only way to move ahead.

* Live life on your own terms. But bear in mind, that you are responsible for these terms – so accept them and be happy. If you want to compromise and adjust, do it but be happy. Don’t do them for others, do it for yourself. Make it work for you.

* Love yourself, you are most important. People will come and go, you’ll form friendships along the way but the one person who will always remain by your side is ‘you’ yourself.

Suddenly head screamed, ‘stop!’

Heart, ‘why? There’s still so much more to say?’

Head, ‘ This is all about you! Aren’t you being selfish and arrogant? Wouldn’t such advice make you lonely? Who could y


ou possibly truly connect with if everyone thought the same way? What would your world look like?’

Heart, ‘but I matter! I need to do these not only to be happy and feel alive and if I’m not happy, how do I make others happy?’

Head, ‘happiness is a state of mind, it doesn’t come from only thinking about yourself!’

And so the conversation continued.