I wasn’t all that bad of a teenager. Of course I had my occasional melt downs and dramatic soap opera worthy fights with my mom. But I was a stubborn girl who just wanted to fit in. I tried sneaking out (very unsuccessfully), and stayed out late just so I could say I broke the rules. But that didn’t stop me from being almost a straight A student and keeping up my GPA. I was always known as the “smart, quiet girl”. Keeping to myself was what attracted people towards me. I had a stable group of friends that liked me for who I was, regardless of what I had been through. So I guess it wasn’t always so bad to be… Me.
Even though all I truly wanted was to be a part of the popular crowd, I was always my own person. I didn’t blend in with those around me. You know how after a while of hanging out with the same people you can’t help but start acting like them? You talk the same, laugh at the same time, wear each others clothes. That was never me. Once I became interested in fashion (or what I thought was) I would occasionally be asked, “where can I find this?” Sometimes, I’ll admit, I lied about which store I was lucky enough to walk in and find something I loved right away. I didn’t want so-and-so to walk into school wearing the same outfit I just wore the other day. I wanted my name to stand out when it was called during morning attendance. In a room full of troubled teenagers, I wanted to be the loudest one.
No matter how hard I tried to stay away from the drama, it always found its way back to me. In high school, there was no way to prevent yourself from being “the talk” of the week. Whether your hair color was off or your clothes didn’t fit your body the right way, it was being talked about. Even teachers knew what rumors were being spread, and some struggled to stay out of it. Despite what people thought about me, I didn’t let it break me down. So what, my pants weren’t tight enough? I always told myself that my job wasn’t to impress other people. Who cares what they think? While I still fight this inner demon now, it was important for me to remember that my opinion was the only one that mattered.
If you are in high school, or you’re a parent of a high school student.. they will all go through what I just described above. It doesn’t matter if they’re captain of the cheerleading team who’s dating the quarterback. This is what being a teenager is about, and it’s hard to escape it. Now I don’t mean to put a damper on things. It’s not always so bad. This will only prepare them for the bigger and better things that will happen in their lives. My job is to prepare them for what’s to come, and your job is to be there when it happens.
If you take away one thing from this blog, let it be that you were meant to be here. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You were meant to see, to feel, to know, to love, to hurt. And in the end, you’ll always come out on top because you’ve been through it before. Be your own person and shine brighter than the stars in the night sky. In a field full of yellow daisies, be the red rose that stands taller than the rest.
Be YOU. I promise, we’ll all love you for who you are.