From a dazzling career as a TV presenter to an adventurous social media influencer, Teigan Nash has lived a life of authenticity and excitement. She is passionate about staying true to who you are and is the founder of Girls Who Glow, a mental health organisation which promotes positive health and wellness among women. Here are Teigan’s words to her teen self.
DEAR TEENAGE TEIGS,
Let me introduce myself. I’m you, but 17 years older, and what a wild, fun journey it has been to get here. While I’m not here to give you a play-by-play of everything that’s happened (you need to live these moments, feel the hurt, grow, laugh, and enjoy), I am here to offer advice and reassurance. Everything happens for a reason and you are on the right path.
So, at this point in your life, you probably have your hair slicked back in a bun – dance is our life. At times it’s hard but I can’t even begin to tell you the benefits from all that hard work. If anything, it’s taught us discipline, strength, determination, to be gracious, the power of friendship and to have tough skin. Cherish those moments in the studio and learn from your teachers. While everyone else is going out in these teenage years, don’t ever feel like you’re missing out. FOMO isn’t something we have ever had: do what is right for you and always continue to follow your dreams. If something doesn’t bring you joy or you aren’t passionate about it anymore, that’s OK. Take what you’ve learnt and don’t try and force anything you don’t love.
By now you would be in the swing of high school. I bet you are loving the 7:02 am train and the hour-and-a-half ride each way while listening to your Discman. (I can tell you that they don’t exist in this day and age!) What I do want to encourage you to do is wake up earlier, so you have enough time to make some breakfast before school. Fuelling your body is so important and from memory we don’t do it well growing up. A packet of chips on the train is not a substantial breakfast. You’ll feel tired in class and have no energy! It will also leave you feeling a little grumpy, so nourish your body with all the good things. You’ll thank me later!
Now let’s talk friendships. Right now, I can probably count on one hand my closest and nearest and dearest. It’s never been about having one million friends; it’s about having those that really count. We have some great friends throughout your school years and dancing days and as we get older, we find friends in all parts of the world. We do fall out with a few friends but you’re OK. Realise that we all grow at different times in our lives, we do change and sometimes we do this at a different pace to the ones around us. That’s OK, you never know if you might come full circle and connect again.
I want to mention social media. Right now (your time), MySpace has probably just been introduced. Do not even worry about your top friends on that and if someone doesn’t have you in theirs. I’m not lying when I say it gets harder. Right now (my time), social media is a powerful, incredible, ugly tool. Just be YOU, be authentic and (I preach this to everyone and anyone) don’t compare yourself to anyone. We are all incredible, amazing, and wonderful in our own unique ways. No one is you!
But yes, social media ramps up and I feel for the younger generation, I’ve seen bullying and nasty comments written on people’s pages… To every young person reading this: whether you are the bully or the one being bullied… please think before you write anything. We never know what is happening in someone’s life and what they might be experiencing. Give everyone the same amount of kindness as you would want to have.
So, I have to start wrapping this up and I haven’t even got to work, life, or love life yet. But that’s OK, because you have to experience all those highs and lows yourself. What I can say is that we do some pretty cool stuff, live abroad, live life to the fullest and work is extremely fun! Put in the hard yards, do the work, be motivated and this is where we end up! Always stay true to yourself, listen to that gut, it’s got us out of some very tricky situations. And above all, appreciate the small stuff!
LOVE, ME! (And our little furry friend Duke, but that’s a story for another day!)