Dear Award-Winning Botanical Illustrator
A Letter to my 15 Year Old Self
Hey Charlotte, it’s Charlotte,
Just wanted to get in touch from the future with a bit of good news: everything is going to be ok.
Any day now, you are going to meet a careers advisor. In your classically gung-ho way, you are going to inform her that when you grow up, you intend to be a botanical illustrator. She’s going to poo poo it, and say that that is not really a Thing. She’ll say eveything is going to be on computers anyway and perhaps you should consider being a graphic designer instead.
When that happens, don’t cry.
21 years from now, you are going to get yourself in a place where your hand drawn botanical illustrations make people really, really happy. You’ll discover that this is your way to serve the world. You’ll learn all that stuff that makes you weird – how you like doing things the slow way and your love for everything old-fashioned – well that’s actually the stuff that makes you pretty awesome.
And one day, in the depths of a global pandemic and locked down in your own home, you will win The Wedding Industry Awards Special Touch Award for London and the South East of England 2021. It’s pretty niche, but in essence, it means you are a unique and celebrated part of floral loving couple’s wedding experiences.
On the night The Wedding Industry Awards winners will be announced – via something we call You Tube – you’ll be overdressed in a floorsweeping rainbow tulle gown, surrounded by your husband and daughters. And up and down the country, families, also sat on their sofas (as they aren’t allowed out) will be jumping up and down celebrating their wedding businesses. But I should also add that weddings are not permitted to take part right now, infact, they are kind of illegal. It’s difficult to explain, but I want you to know, it will all be worth it.
PS. Wear SPF, even in winter
PPS. Those girls who pretend not to see you are just jealous
PPPS. They are going to invent a thing called Pinterest. You will DIE when you see it. You can find loads of quotes and inspiration, like this list of Life Lessons by Regina Brett that you should really pay attention to. You would have written your own list, but you have two children and they want their supper…(Reader, please note – the list refers to God, but I think you can probably just sub in Universe or Energy, if that’s more your thing.)
50 Life Lessons by Regina Brett
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
- When in doubt, just take the next small step.
- Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
- Pay off your credit cards every month.
- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
- It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
- Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
- When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
- Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
- It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
- Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
- Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
- Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
- You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
- A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
- It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
- When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
- Overprepare, then go with the flow.
- Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
- The most important sex organ is the brain.
- No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
- Always choose life.
- Forgive everyone everything.
- What other people think of you is none of your business.
- Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
- However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
- Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
- Believe in miracles.
- God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
- Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
- Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
- Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
- Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
- Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
- If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
- Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
- Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
- All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
- Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
- The best is yet to come.
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
- Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.