Life: Five Things I Wish I’d Known At Fifteen by Hailey Bartholomew
I was a very ‘good’ kid, very responsible too. I wore short skirts with polka dot tights and Doc Martens. I was 15yrs old, full of hope and a bubbly excitement for life. I was compulsively making things… raffia hats, hand-dyed rag dolls, or recycled jewellery, while also busy wishing I was Anne Geddes, posing my baby sister in baskets and pots.
I was lonely and trying to find out who I was and what I wanted, I guess pretty similar to most 15yr olds. Having come from a very protected childhood I went into the world-wide eyed and slightly terrified. This is what I would say to me (below at 15!) :
1. Face all your fears quickly because they grow bigger if you avoid them. They take from your life and seep into things, sneakily stealing your joy! Face your fears and like Eleanor Roosevelt said, you become stronger and taller and you will be sooo happy you did!! You will feel amazing after each one you tackle so do it now!”You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do”.
2. Oh my goodness, QUICK! Stop, take time everyday and think about your day. Find the treasures! The little things – the things you are grateful for. Treasure them. Thank the universe for them. Then, guess what? You will start to see more and more, and your days will fill with precious moments! You will live more in the moment and be all-round delighted and happy! Hurrah!
3. Know yourself well… take time… keep writing those journals. Take the ‘work’ to know YOU as important because frankly knowing, loving and being fully yourself is going to help you make good decisions. You are looking around the world for approval and love and while you will sometimes get it, you sometimes won’t… and that is ok. Surprisingly this is a good thing! It will teach you quickly to go inside and see what you value and who you are aside from everyone else’s opinion. This is a great thing to know and will stand you in good stead. Not only that freeing creatively too!
4. Everything is useful. Everything you go through, if you choose to see it, will be good for you… and full of rich learning. So during each challenge and hard time, hunt for the things you need to learn and then it won’t seem so bad.
5. Laugh! It is good for the soul. Be silly – quick let’s lose all that proper responsibility and ‘good example’ you have been trying to set for your four younger siblings – and pretty soon your own daughter – instead let’s be real. Let’s be true. Lets have fun and be silly and laugh till we cry and enjoy all this great this world has to offer.
Hailey Bartholomew is an award-winning photographer and film maker. She’s also written, directed and filmed several award-winning short films scooping four prizes at the Shootout Short Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Inspiration Short Film Festival, the Viewers Choice award in an ABC TV competition, the Audience Award at the Brooklyn International Kids Film Festival, USA and Best International Family Short at the Garden State Film Festival, USA. Yowzers! Hailey works alongside her husband Andrew and they both parent the very ace Poppy and Zali!
All images are by Hailey Bartholomew