Dear 16-Year-Old Me: Singer Songwriter Lesley Roy

"I wish I could tell you that soon it will make sense, you will be able to tell everyone your story and truth, just hang on in there a few more years."

Each week, we chat to some of our favourite well-known people about what they’d say to their teenage-self. They get open and honest about what their teens were like and share the advice they’d give for the future.

This week, we’re chatting to singer-songwriter Lesley Roy. The singer-songwriter was due to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam 2020 but sadly it was postponed due to the pandemic. 

In her letter, she talks about growing up gay, trying to be someone she’s not, following her dreams, and living in NYC with her wife. 

“Dear Lesley, 

Omg CALM DOWN!!!! Lets start there. You need to take a second and breathe. You are so in a rush to ‘Make It’ in the music industry that you are missing the little moments in life. 

There’s no denying your talent and passion and even the recognition you are already getting even though you are still only in school. You have big big dreams of becoming a successful international artist and writing and recording your album with the biggest producer in the world and you WILL do that but you are obsessing over how you think it will all play out and I really would love to tell you that the end result is not going to look like what you thought it would, and that’s okay, it’s not the end of the world! 

You are slowly realizing that you are not necessarily ‘like all the other girls’ in school and you have created a fake persona to hide your truth. You have so many great friends and you get along with almost everyone but you are living behind a mask of music and humour to hide your insecurities about being gay. I wish I could tell you that soon it will make sense, you will be able to tell everyone your story and truth, just hang on in there a few more years. 

There’s gonna be some bumps and bruises I’m not gonna lie but you’re strong you can take this! You’re gonna have a few very high highs and then a few massive low lows and it will feel like there’s no hope and you don’t want to go on anymore. But each time you pick yourself back up again you learn that telling your story results in amazing healing and other people will tell their own stories because of YOU and this becomes a new lease on life for you. 

You will start to calm down and live a more present based life, you will meet, marry and settle down with the most amazing, beautiful and caring person in NYC of all places and you both will create the most epic life adventure together. You are still gonna obsess about writing songs but you have more love and respect for yourself and you eventually go to bed at night not hating everything you have ever created! Ohhh and here’s a shocker, you spend most mornings at 6am in a hot yoga room, this information might blow your mind the most! 

What I want to stress to you the most Les is that you’ve got this, even when it gets unbearable you really know what to do, you can handle any situation and you are so so loved!!! So take a second and just breathe!!!

Lesley,”

 

For more letters from interesting people, check out our series here. 

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