Boost Your Blog Challenge: January 4, 2013
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January 4, 2013: "I would tell my teenage self…"
There’s nothing quite like looking back in time and thinking about all the stupid, immature, and irrational decisions that we made once upon a time. If you met my 16-year-old self, I can guarantee you would think we were two totally different people. I am sure you can say the same, too. How many times have I thought about all the comments that my parents made about how "I’ll get it — one day". If I had a penny for every time my parents said that I would regret, better understand, or discover that I was wrong "one day" — I’d be filthy rich and also have a swollen tongue as I bit down hard and admitted I was wrong.
My teenage self should have known that there is a consequence for everything that we do in life. I look back and actually praise my ability to think before I acted as a teenager, but I also shake and bow my head in disbelief that I didn’t weigh the consequences well enough as a teenager. Yes, I am contradicting myself, but I have always been the type of person that needed an action plan mixed with a borderline ability to act irrationally.
I would tell my teenage self that none of it and all of it will matter in the future. The decisions that you make as a teenager can weigh heavily on your adult self, but the road that you take and the friends that you carry won’t influence who you grow to become as an adult. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone is allowed a first, second, and third chance. Some people get many more opportunities to change paths or rectify their actions. Nothing that you are doing is set in stone. Don’t feel like this is going to define who you are — and don’t forget that this will define what you are going to become.
I realized that while my actions weren’t going to define who I would become, I could and would regret certain decisions. Teenage years are funny since we are somewhere in between the stages of almost being allowed to screw up, but having to take responsibility for our decisions, too. Things like my SAT scores meant that my entire future would rely on a few hours worth of testing on a Saturday morning. If I screwed this moment up — I would be homeless and a failure to my family. If I had only known that it isn’t worth sweating the serious stuff.
Things like SAT scores, college applications, and admission essays: Take this stuff seriously, but don’t break your back if you do less than you had expected of yourself. Life will go on. I do say this in hopes of my own children never reading this post, but I would want them to know that you NEED to buckle down and do well in school so that you can get into a good college. However, I also want them to know that however they do on things like SAT’s and college applications, I wouldn’t ever want them to feel like this is who I am and what I am going to become – because that’s not the case. Life gives us second chances so we can improve, do better, and change gears whenever we feel like it needs to be rerouted.
My teenage self needs to know that — no, they will not be there forever. Those friends that mean the world to you and would never (EVER!) let you down or turn their backs on you – will do just that. Friends will sadly come and go. Keep them close and be a great friend. Meet new people, engage and network with those that interest and match with your personality, and try to find the best in people whenever possible. Friends come and go, but that’s a part of life. Hold on for as long as you can, but never let someone step on you or put down who you are or want to become. If someone needs to be let go — let them go.
Moral of the story… tomorrow will come; tomorrow will be better; tomorrow CAN and will be different.
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