oh hey 18 year old me, what's good?
i see you have discovered the rimmel london lipsticks in super drug, and may i say that colour is poppin'. i can also see here that you've just found out about eyebrow threading, so big up to you! although filling in eyebrows has not yet been added to the 'dream matte mouse, mascara, bourjois blusher and finish' make up routine yet.
don't worry, it will come.
you took this selfie to upload specifically as a new profile photo as you were annoyed at a girl liking all your boyfriend's photos. the shade you threw in this was not appreciated, or even acknowledged, so unfortunately you got dressed and put on all that make up for nothing.
also, let me tell you that your posing game does step up a notch - despite the fact you still have the pout down. did you not think to remove the sombrero from the photo before you displayed such sass? or even the note under your light switch from your dad reminding you to 'turn the bloody light off when you leave the room?' of course you didn't, because who cared about that kind of stuff? (i'm here to tell you everyone cares about that stuff now, even you, and deep down you know it's kind of boring but you do it anyway. sorry).
there are a few aesthetic changes i must warn you about. i know you love that shade of brassy blonde you buy in a box in super drug for £3.99 every month, but one day you realise that subtle blonde suits you better, and getting it done professionally is the way to go. i know, you sold out. you still have chubby cheeks and crooked teeth now, but you learn this mysterious new art called contouring which gives an illusion of a jaw (until you rub it off by accident). also, a girl called Kylie Jenner who is only 13 when this photo was taken, makes big lips really cool. so laugh in the face of all your bullies and rock your bottom lip with pride.
oh, and you're not fat. not in the slightest. 23 year old you is angry at you for thinking this, as she would DIE to have that figure back. bitch.
you're about to set off for your first year of university, and let me tell you it isn't exactly the easy ride you expected. your boyfriend will cheat on you, and you will spend a lot more nights crying over it than the strong, independent personality you are proud of would care to admit. please don't worry too much about it. you get over it, and find someone else who is much kinder and your new partner in crime. these things happen, and it just lets you realise what you should and should not tolerate in life. life goes on, and it's just a bump in the road. worse things happen, i'm afraid to warn you.
you're also going to meet some AMAZING people that you will forget haven't been in your life forever, and you'll have some ridiculous moments with people from all over the country. northerners will make up a lot of your friendships, + a lot of summer holidays will be spent up and down the country on a virgin pendalino. renew your railcard, stat.
you will graduate, you will get a job, and oh! you do eventually get a macbook - so big up to you!... and also your house will burn down, your dog will die, your uncle will take his own life and you're going to get a bit anxious. yyeeahhhh didn't i warn you about that??
i'll just give you a sec to digest that, you're probably making your scrunched up face in disbelief.
it sounds like a lot, and i'm not going to lie, it's not great. it's not the fabulous carefree life you thought you were entitled to. but over time, it gets easier. you get used to the new wallpaper in your room and the amazing new furniture. you grow accustomed to people asking you what started it? and your script of the night rolls off your tongue as you've said it 10000 times. accept the events as a new stage, a new aspect of your personality that makes you Louisa. it isn't what you wanted, but it's what you got, and you can do it. cry when you want to cry, scream when you want to scream and laugh when you want to laugh - it's ok not to be ok for a while.
Louisa, let me tell you this - you don't feel any different at 23 to the girl wearing red lipstick posing at 18. you still have the same friends, the same hair length, and even some of the same pairs of pants. but your life experiences are augmented, and better than anything you could have imagined as you drive up to Nottingham for the first time, thinking about what life will now be like. you laugh, you cry, you get in a few fights (I KNOW RIGHT????) and a few friends fall by the wayside, but guess what? you're still smiling.
so props to you, 18 year old me - you did ok. let's see what happens next.
and thank god your selfie game improved.
Louisa, aged 23. xo
PS - stop wearing tights with everything.
PPS - i mean it.