Dear Teenage Self...
Hey Teenage Self.
I’m here in the future!
Life has been interesting but beautiful in every way. I know teenage-hood is a roller coaster but you are doing a perfect job. Being young is an adventure in its own. I know you may be wondering what the future will hold and I’ll tell you that you will realize a lot about yourself.
Here is what I wish you knew...
1) You are amazingly gifted – beyond the system.
Girl – you do have so many amazing gifts that the world needs. The systems of school and skating judges don’t get the final say in declaring your talents. It’s the way you use your brains, beauty, artistry, athleticism, intelligence and friendliness to serve the world and meet others’ where they are at… that’s what declares you talented.
So you mess up. Stress takes over. You get frustrated in the system.
Take a step back and realize that the ultimate system is the Universe. And the Universe is working behind the scenes to declare to the world what makes you so unique and impactful.
2) Just because they’re your family – doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Yes, they are your parents. And yes they do love you! But your intuition that this is unnecessarily painful at times is correct. Your frustration is warranted. It’s not a healthy environment to simply embrace as your “normal”.
You are going need to break out of this mold - of what your subconscious mind is used to - and re-discover what it feels like for two people to engage in a healthy and sacrificial way.
Take what you’ve learned and be thankful but re-discover the design and intent of marriage and kind, compassionate intimacy that is possible!
3) It’s okay not to be “cool”.
I know you aren’t going to parties trying to drink your face off so you fit in. Well, you didn’t technically get invited to those parties. But I see you worrying about where you sit at lunch and frustrated that you don’t seem to have a realistic chance with any of the hot guys. Your missing tooth makes you feel embarrassed at times too.
But I’ll tell you something – you didn’t miss nothin!
None of those people define you. Popularity can be fabricated but respect cannot. And your demeanor and staying true to yourself earned you respect.
The people who did not recognize that you even went to their high school when you get older are not worth your time. It’s okay to wish someone would treat you a certain way but your worth is totally based on you being you. You won’t notice if those people are on your Facebook or not in 10 years.
And in fact, your ability to be comfortable being happy without anyone else is the greatest gift in life!
4) You don’t need a boyfriend. But when you do – make it count.
Dating in your teenage years is not a necessity to success in life. The smiles, laughs and talks you experience on a daily basis with your guy friends are just as fulfilling as having one specifically labelled as yours. Whichever one you are currently obsessed with really isn’t “the one” so you need to relax your focus just a bit.
Maybe put the binoculars down at least.
BUT I will say that when you do decide to go over to a guy’s house and become vulnerable in every way – it does impact you. Your mind gets used to the type of guy and behaviour you tolerate for that attention and feel-good endorphins.
Don’t settle for a guy who is hot but not emotionally and spiritually intelligent enough to take you out for a date and honour your beautiful heart. Create healthy patterns from the get-go.
5) It does get better. Your brain is still developing.
I know you don’t know what the heck is going on with your brain right now. Things changed in your life and all of a sudden your thoughts are out of control and you are secretly really suffering.
A few quick fixes just ain’t cutting it and everything you try and do to ease the struggle is not making the right mark. University is still a struggle and you are pushing through one day at a time.
But there is good news – your brain is still developing.
You don’t have to feel like you have life and your mental health all figured out. You will slowly find the resources and treatment and community that you need to reveal to you what is going on and how to help yourself. Keep talking to others about it. Don’t just rely on one person’s advice, but seek the wisdom of others that truly resonates and brings healing.
6) God sees you.
Whatever eyes you wish followed you around – none compare to the big G!
When you play hooky during that school assembly and sit outside in the freezing cold behind a tree. You aren’t alone. God sees you.
He sees the tears and the dreams. Nothing is in vain. And you are going to discover the power and love behind His eyes and be changed forever.
So don’t worry about who checks you out, who notices you, who may overpass you. Because the One who matters – He does not turn away.