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With age, we mature and grow into wonderful women, but even though we are older, wiser and more empowered than ever, it can still be easy to forget our true value.

When life takes a difficult turn, our confidence can be knocked, and our sense of self-worth may take a nosedive.

This is why we recently asked some of our wonderful clients to think about what they would say to their 18-year-old selves, to boost their confidence, if they had the chance.

The new ‘Note to Self’ Series

We’ve collated these words of wisdom into a ‘Note to Self’ e-book and, in this new blog series, we’ll be sharing the stories in the hope that they inspire you.

Since their teens, these ladies have lived, loved and learnt so much. We felt that we could all benefit from their experiences and advice.

In this edition, you’ll meet Holly.

Holly’s ‘Note to Self’…

Dear 18-year-old Holly, I see you.

I see the smile that doesn’t quite meet your eyes. I see the insecurity you plaster over with humour.

You were so desperate for your life to begin, milestones to be reached. You turned 18 yet ached to be 21. You were in college but yearned for a career. You had a boyfriend but secretly planned a wedding. You had just started using contraception yet hoped for children.

Why the rush?

You wasted precious years comparing yourself to others and where you should be, what you should look like.

Who wrote this imaginary handbook? Who told you how you should look? And more importantly, why did you care? I wish I could tell you that yours is the only opinion that counts.

I wish I could tell you not to get hung up on who likes you, loves you even. Because the one thing I have learnt is that the only person who needs to love you is YOU.

The most important person you will have a relationship with is you.

HOL Note to Self

There is going to be heartache ahead. You are going to be broken. Everything you thought you knew and believed will be torn apart.

Your grasp on reality will be challenged and pushed until your mind fractures. But it will be worth it.

Every single battle you fought is an experience that shaped you to be the woman you are now. And you are amazing. You are enough.

You didn’t always see it, and you definitely didn’t always believe it. But one defining experience changed this for you. A photoshoot.

Completely out of your comfort zone, a competition entered on a whim. The best gift you never knew you needed. And when you saw those pictures, you fell in love.

You fell in love with you.

Note to Self Johanna Elizabeth boudoir photography

You then knew that you needed no validation or approval from anyone else.

You knew that you were nowhere in your life you had expected to be at 31. Unmarried. Childless. Single. Overweight. No career to be proud of.

But you also knew it didn’t matter. Because that woman in the pictures-her smile meets her eyes.

Her confidence is radiating. She finally knew her worth and it felt amazing. I wouldn’t go back and tell you this. You have to find out for yourself.

Your experiences will shape you and make you. It’s your journey to navigate. The climb is difficult. But my darling, the view from the top is amazing!

Just keep climbing. You’ve got this. You are, and always have been, enough.

With love and luck, 32 year old Holly

Thank you, Holly!

Holly, we really appreciate you sharing this with us! Powerful words and brilliant advice!

We know that ladies reading this will find great comfort from reading your story.

Access the free Johanna Elizabeth ‘Note to Self’ book

Note to Self is a beautifully designed ebook with many more stories like this, and it’s completely free. I created it especially for you, so don’t miss out! Access it here

You can also view others in the series here on the blog. Don’t miss these!

Love Johanna, Ange & Evie


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