Dear Teen Girl –
Middle school sucks. High school pretty much sucks too. Everyone is telling you have fun and this is the time of your life. For your sake, I hope to God 16 isn’t the best year of your life.
Yes, go to the prom, hang out with your friends and meet cute boys. But having a boyfriend isn’t the goal. Having a boyfriend is someone fun to hang out with on a Friday night. But there are going to be nights where you are alone. Lying on the couch eating ice cream isn’t the only option to being by yourself. If you want to go out, go do it. Learn to walk into a room by yourself and be yourself.
Jerry McGuire got it all wrong. You don’t complete me. No boy will complete you. You will only be complete when you are happy with yourself inside and out.
Stop abusing your body and start respecting it. If you were 20 pounds lighter and three inches taller with curly red hair your life wouldn’t really change. Someone would still be mean to you, a boy would still ignore you and you’d still have no idea what your college major should be.
Your body is going to gain weight, lose weight, get wider, get smaller and go through so many changes you’ll lose track. That’s supposed to happen. Find some form of exercise now you enjoy. Appreciate being able to move your body at any size. Remember how physically strong you are as you navigate the curves and shape changes that will happen.
If you aren’t born with a ballerina body, no amount of dieting or exercise is going to give you one. If you were designed with strong legs, then become a runner. If you were built with strong arms be a swimmer. Focus on your strengths.
Don’t waste your time joining a club or doing something because you think its what is expected of you. What do you want to do?
Close your eyes, if you could pick only one thing for the rest of your life to do what would it be. One thing to practice at home, one thing to study, one passion to pursue what is it? If that one thing you found when you looked inside isn’t what you’re doing now, why not? Why are you working so hard to be something that you THINK you should be rather than working hard to be something you KNOW you are?
It’s ok to say I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to study. I don’t know what my job should be. At 16 years old you can’t possibly know what you’ll want to still be doing at 45. Stay true to your interests and follow the path set before you.
Remember the power you have inside you. It’s yours and can’t be taken from you. Never give it away. Learn to harness it and when the time is right unleash it. And when that happens, watch out world.