Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Would You Say to Your Teenage Self?

The influence for this post comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky.  Her second book, Graceful, which is directed towards young women, was just released about two weeks ago.  On her blog this week, she prompted her readers to write a letter to their teenage selves to inspire us to remember what it was like when we were young women coming into our own.  Perhaps by writing them, we can rediscover the things teenage girls struggle with and use our current knowledge and wisdom to help young women in our lives today.  What would you say to your teenage self?  I'd love to hear it!  Here's what I would say:

Dear Teenage Me,

I am so proud of you.  You are one of the few who are managing to stay positive in a world where negativity rules.  At least it does in high school.  The popular kids complain and act pessimistic about everything, but you don’t care about being popular.  You just care about focusing on what is good and honorable and makes you feel happy.  Sadly, the older you get the harder it will be to hold onto that frame of mind.  Do your best to hold onto it anyway.   
When you were younger, you made a pact with yourself that you wouldn’t be one of the kids who got engulfed by peer pressure.   Because of your strong will, you’ve never smoked, you’ve never done drugs, and you’ve never gotten involved with people who could lead you to bad decisions.  You are confident and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choice to be a good girl.  That is something to be proud of.

Despite not being popular, you really do have it all.  You are an A student, you are the leading flute player in the band, you have many friends and are liked by your teachers, and you are an awesome volleyball player.   You are smart, talented, social, and athletic.  Who can ask for anything better?

You can.  You are confident, but you still feel a little left out.  Boys seem to stay away from you and you don’t understand why.  You think that having a boyfriend would be so great because he would take you out and romance you and buy you flowers.  Girl, let me tell you that you are in high school.  Boys don’t have the money to take you out or buy you flowers, and few of them even know what romance is.  Trust me when I say that you aren’t missing out. Those boys only want one thing anyway, something you don’t want to do.  Your time for love will come, and I promise it will be worth the wait. 


You know that girl who told you that you are naive?  Well, you are.  Extremely.  You weren't sure if you should be offended or not, but believe me when I say don't worry about it.  You just keep going about your life with your naive self because once you realize how the world really works and the things people actually do, you will be so happy that you didn't know about them earlier.  They will just distract you from focusing on the simple things.   
For now, embrace this time of your life.  Cherish the little responsibilities you have, but don’t falter on the responsibilities you do have. Keep staying positive and don’t let anyone try to bring you down.  Enjoy the things you love and don’t worry if they aren’t “cool”.  The best things in life are never cool to kids in high school anyway. 
Continue spending time with your family.  It won’t always be so easy to see them.  Treasure your grandparents and talk to them about life.  Ask them many questions and hug the often.  They won’t be around as long as you think.

Stand up for the things you believe are right.  Instead of giving up your senior year of volleyball because the coach is a jerk, talk to him and come to an agreement on how you want to be treated as a player.  You have the leverage to do it because he needs you on the team.

Smile more, and don’t take life so seriously.  It is so easy right now.  Now is the time to do what you want to do and be who you want to be.  The older you get, the harder that is to do.  And let me tell you, the years are going to keep going, faster and faster each year.  Before you know it, you will be married with kids and trying to keep up with the daily responsibilities of adulthood.  You don’t believe me, but it’s true. 
Look around you.  Take it all in.  Keep dreaming big and work hard to get there.  Most importantly, learn more about God.  You already know he’s with you, but there’s more to it than that.  Study the messages in the Bible, pray often, and look for Him in all things.  You will soon learn that life actually is difficult and it is your faith in Him which will give you the strength to overcome obstacles and find peace.

Your 30-year-old self 


  1. Love this and can't wait to read everyone's tomorrow!

  2. Hi from one Lisa to another... I was once called a goody goody and a Daddy's Girl too so I know how that feels. Even though I did some silly things (like steal cigarettes from my mom once when I was 15 just to try it out) at the heart of it I remained a person of high values...which didn't make me popular. Now I have teenaged daughters and they're the ones in the hot seat. It was fun taking part in this and very enlightening. I think I can be more patient with my daughters from the experience. Thanks for sharing!