Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Letter to My Teenage Neice (that I wish someone had written to me 15 years ago)

Last week, this photo popped up on my timehop (if you don't know about timehop, it's an app that shows you what you posted on social media in years past, I kind of love it).

I was stunned at how young Jason looks in a photo that is only 3 years old.  He looks more like the guy I started dating 9 years ago than how he does now.  We got to talking about how much each of us has changed and we agreed he has definitely changed more physically, but I've changed a lot in other ways.  Most notably, my confidence level is infinitely higher than it was 9 years ago.  When Jason and I started dating I was full of insecurities and couldn't understand why a guy as hot as Jason would even look twice at me.  Obviously he saw things in me that I was incapable of seeing because I was blinded by my own lack of self esteem.  

It pains me to see young girls dealing with the emotions I felt as a teen/young adult.  I still have my moments of doubt (hello, number on the scale that I've never seen before...I'm talking to you!) but I know now that things weren't nearly as bad as I played them up to be in my head.  Recently my cousin's teenage daughter, whom I don't know that well, has been posting things to her Facebook that I'm certain if Facebook had been around when I was a teen, I would have posted as well.  Her words were my thoughts (and probably my words in my old diary/journal)...

My life motto should be, "He's not into you."

Like instead of ignoring me, at least tell me I'm not good enough.

Not to be a typical girl, but I think I'm forever alone. No joke..

Why am I the most awkward person ever

I don't know if it would have made a difference back then if someone had told me what I want to tell her but I want to try.  I want to scream at her that she is good enough and she won't be alone forever but I feel like I don't have the words.  I want to tell her that these feelings will pass, and one day, she will find a man that will be worthy of her love, that one day she will love herself enough to truly be loved by another.  That she is a beautiful, smart, strong young girl who is worthy of all the love and respect in the world.  That she is perfect just the way she is, that she shouldn't try to change to fit some socially acceptable idea of what a teenage girl should be or what she thinks a guy wants her to be.

I want her to know that everything will work out and everything will be O.K., better than O.K. even.



Kara said...

I completely hear you. Remembering all that just reminds me that I need to talk to my daughter. My mom didn't really talk about all this kind of stuff. I want to be able to talk to her about everything - boys, sex, school, friends, problems, etc. I know she won't come to me with everything, but I want us to have a good relationship so she feels comfortable. I didn't have the best self esteem until after I got divorced. Then the attention and my independence and me realizing all the things I could do on my own (home DIY stuff and remodeling) made me realize I was worth something. I then realized that maybe I was worth that hot guy. I never would have dated my soon to be husband otherwise, because I would have felt like he was too hot for me. Weird how our minds work.

Marcella{The Life After "Trust Me"} said...

I know I for one, was always watching people instead of listening.
I wanted to know how they were living there lives and see how their choices turned out, instead of listening to what they tried to tell me.
I want to teach my kids so many things, but I know the best way is to lead my example.

teachme said...

Hi, this is off topic but did you ever find out if you had schambergs? I think I had it and I'm desperate to find out what has happened to yours

Rachel said...

Read Kate Connor's blog, peruse the blog in general, and then buy at least two of her books. One meant for the teenage girl, one meant for those working with/talking to/loving the teenage girl (and a third for teenage boys, I believe). Kate was a friend in high school and I am still in awe of her--all of her. AND Books are on Amazon.

Stephanie said...

I feel that teenage girls have it even harder than we did when we were that age. I know that I struggled with insecurities at that time, but now with the way media is, I feel that I would have faired much worse. I think we need to acknowledge girls at that age and give them opportunities to feel value and boost their confidence. how that looks, I don't know on a large scale, but I think there are tons of opportunities on an individual level.