The teenage years are a jumbled, messy emotional category five hurricane of
self-discovery and growing pains. There are people who wish they possessed
The ability to travel back in time. The minority pines to relive the good old days. The majority would like the chance to modify important, or foolish,
Decisions they made at the time. While I may
Not long for a command on time travel--everything moves forward, nothing moves backward--I would be receptive to establishing a psychic link between my adult and teenage brain.
Shall we mind travel back together?
Dear Teen Me,
Respect yourself. Someone may have more than you materialistically, but they are
In no way superior to you on a human level. We are all human beings who love, live, and dream, never allow another person’s words, or opinions of your cause, led you to label yourself as inferior or insignificant.
They have no right, and no higher authority, or specialized license certifying their expertise in such a field. Bullies are strange creatures with their all-consuming fixations on people who barely spare them a thought. The one with real issues in this scenario is beyond clear.
To quote a cinematic masterpiece titled Mean Girls we will one day adore --“Why are you so obsessed with me?”
Create or explore a life outside of school. You feel stuck, but the social ecosystems of middle school and high school are not the center of everything. There are a
A limitless number of whole new worlds are waiting to be explored at the other end of the teen angst tunnel.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is also a ton of work. A relationship in younger years is unnecessary. You may perceive them as glamorous and grown up to have a serious relationship, but a teen era spent searching for an epic soul mate is a teen life ill-spent. Real relationships require much work and maintenance to remain functional.
The teen verse revolves around pretending to enjoy everything your peers do. Reflecting back on a time when you and a large group of others were all trying to transform into identical clones of one another is bizarre.
The hive mind mentality is a ridiculous one.
Trust yourself. If it does not sit well with your conscience, or a bad feeling is nagging your gut, press pause. Teens try on personas like clothes, but your core self never vanishes. Whatever your chosen personality of the week or month is, the heart of who you are is there. Be mindful of it. Paying prices are a consequence of compromising yourself. Always.
Try not to fixate on one life plan.
Plans veer off course. They shift and the picture of your future is altered. Is the automatic result of a bad picture or simply a different one? Different does not equate to inadequate.
Not a single soul is ultra-confident during their teen years. Some people are just better skilled at faking it than others. You're a kid, but also not a kid.
You're old enough to plan for your adult future, yet cannot legally order a drink. You’re host to all these strong new emotions, but are unable to put a name to them, let alone know a proper avenue to take in expressing them. But trust me, no one has it all together at any age. Confusion is the epitome of the ordinary in adolescence. Be wary of which hands you place your trust in. Some of the most harmful individuals project harmlessness and vice versa. No need to be paranoid, but no need to be overly trusting either. As children, we found it fun to wear masks and play pretend. Some never quit playing--keep an eye out for those.
A lot of trivial things are important to you now, but all is not a signal of the apocalypse.
Laugh when you can.
Be decent, be kind. Granted, you have no obligation, helping another person’s life smoother. But you also have no obligation to worsen in.
Believe me when I tell you that none of it is forever. Time moves at a snail’s pace at your age, but as an adult a year is gone before you know it. You will taste freedom and feel far less misunderstood.
In the end, it's life experience that ages us the most. Hard lessons are learned, self-growth is imminent.
You live and get through things you never dreamed you could. You love unpredictably while thriving in moments where people swore you were going to falter. You choose the kind of person you want to be, and live with your choice; the beauty of adulthood is in the freedom to choose. I promise it gets better. Just hold on.
What would wisdom would you share with your teen self?
If you're a teen; what would questions would you ask your adult self?
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