From One Teenage Girl to another
It hit me (like a ton of bricks) when I realized that I’m going to be sixteen once, that time is going by in ways that will make me look back and wonder “if only”, “what if”. Turning Seventeen in a month has me reflecting on what 16 meant to me. Do I have regrets? Oh yes, many. Am I terrified of what’s to come next? Absolutely. Do I have it all figured out? Not at all (happens to the best of us). And in the grand scheme of things, Do I know deep down that I will be okay amidst everything bound to happen and all that already has happened? Definitely.
I’m coming to you with all the things that have made me different, with all the things that I wish I knew and had done much younger. From one teenage girl (that’s two years away from being a full-fledged adult) to another.
When the doors are closed and the light goes out, when you’re feeling all alone like you can’t be found, I hope you know that it’s not going to last forever. That is a very scary place, to be honest, and you have to find it in yourself to bounce back from that.
For girls in the 21st century, society is relentless in giving out labels like free candy. Those labels that we might brush off at first, seep into our subconscious and become our truth. Even the good ones. They become our defining factor, the depth into which they sink in our heads makes us believe that is who we are. We are more than what meets the eye, we are much more than what they tagged us as. Learning to redefine things as they truly are can be our key here. “Who was I before all these labels?” and if you can’t find the answer to that ask “who do I aspire to become?”
In moments that seem so insignificant and routine, find joy in the little things. Find peace in all that goes unnoticed. Smile at a stranger (and yes the likeness of the stranger smiling back is slim to none), Show love to the person you’ve been taking for granted, wake up an hour earlier than usual to prioritize a moment in quiet and go on adventures, it doesn’t have this awe-inspiring deed… it can be as simple as meeting up with your best friend or making yourself french toast at 5 AM (guilty). Make those moments that go unseen count, and make them joyful and fun.
Be unapologetic with who you are. I hope you realize how much power you have just being yourself. So what about “you’re loud”, “you’re too nerdy”, and “too opinionated”? If in those characters you are at ease with yourself (no harm done to anyone), you shouldn’t think twice. Don’t suppress that side of you – your side of you. So be brave in all that you are, and add things to your life that bring more meaning and joy.
Walk away from energy that drains you. Have you ever been around someone whom after you hang out with, you can feel your energy being sucked (probably to an alternate universe)? That is the type of energy you need to stay away from. How about those people that you can be yourself around, the people that make you laugh, and the people that help you grow? Constantly surround yourself with them.
You deserve to be around people who genuinely care, people that are uplifting and inspiring.
And be that uplifting person, be the person that people can come to and just exist with.
Life as you know it is not all cupcakes and rainbows. You think you have the hang of things, and you lose it all over again. you are at your climax one moment and the next you are barely hanging on, you feel indestructible and then the unbreakable in your breaks, you fail so hard that all you want to do is unpack at that moment and live there (permanently). We all know the inevitability of failure, but what if you fail forward? What if even with all that has wounded you, you can still be a better person from it, that you can rise above all odds and come back stronger. You would make such a resilient woman.
I can’t fathom the importance of a feeling felt. So many of us are suppressing our emotions and acting like they are not there, and we are good at it. You know those feelings that you swallowed even if all you wanted to do was express them? Yeah, those feelings are going to resurface the least you expect them to. Having healthy outlets for your emotions is an amazing thing you can do for yourself. I hope you find it, and I hope you love it.
Give yourself the gift of kindness. Be kind to yourself. When you mess things up, Be kind to yourself. When things don’t go as planned. Be kind to yourself. The way you talk to yourself matters, it always has and it’s never too late to change that.
I know you must be a little scared, I am too but what a world that awaits us. A world that we can change together, a world where a girl gets to tell her own story and inspire more girls to tell theirs, a world where things are still not sunshine and glitter but we strive better as a community, a world where potential is allowed to flow, a world where there is hope.