I have been thinking about being a teenager quite a bit lately as I write a book chapter on female adolescent and young adult development. For all of you I can only imagine leapfrogging over other hungry little readers in line to get their hands on a copy of a developmental counseling textbook, I’ll make sure you know how to get your fingers on one! Not need to harm one another with your clamoring. I’m especially nostalgic-nauseous as I’m writing when I think about the time I spent during that decade of my life wishing to be something other than I was. Happier, thinner, prettier, shorter (yes, shorter-don’t judge), and on and on and on…it was endless.
My circle of gal pals graciously sent me their thoughts about themselves as teenagers, and I was totally overwhelmed with my own remembered insecurities. I was launched back in time with the sharing of their own hilarious and heart wrenching stories that also line my path from adolescence to adulthood. I am blessed to know such courageous women. I am also blessed that social media did not exist in its current form when I was a teen.
Sweet Lord, I can only imagine the parental heart attacks that would have ensued if many of us had the type of digital imprint that this generation has. The decade from 13-23 were not easy years by any stretch, but I am humbled to look in the mirror today and see that scared to teenager peering out in amazement at the strong woman standing there. She is mesmerized to see how tough edges and soft lines work together now where they used to grate. That feeling is worth every battle scar, every broken heart, every giggle I can muster out of an embarrassing story told about those years. Perhaps I’ll tell those stories with a little more reverence now for the girl trying to figure out how to be a woman. Tough little punkette with the purple hair, the choices you made then started the journey that got us here. A thousand shades of hair dye later, we’re happy, healthy, proud to stand tall, and feel most beautiful wrapped in the love of the many people we get to love. Thank you.