I saw myself today. Well, a younger version. A teenaged girl, gathered with her friends...sobbing. Mascara-filled tears streaked down her face. She seemed so lost, so confused, so upset.
I brought over tissues and asked if everything was okay. But I knew the answer: boy drama.
I said something like, "stay strong, this will happen for a while..." with a chuckle.
But here's what I'd like to tell you, young girl:
You're beautiful. Whatever they say behind your back or whisper to each other...know inside, that you are beautiful. When you smile, it lights up a room. And someday, that same smile will bring people to their knees, and you'll have a hard time fighting them off. You'll long for the simple days, when things were easier. You'll want those same boys, who are now men, to value your intellect, your talents, and not just your looks. But for now, know that you are beautiful and exquisite, just as you are. And you don't need anyone else to tell you.
You're powerful. You have no idea how powerful you are, in fact, because you probably haven't seen it yet. But you will. If you could focus your mind on yourself, and shift away from what the boys think, you will find that you are embedded with such wonderful things that make up who you are. Your heart, your soul, your gift that waits inside you. I would tell you to think about what makes you the happiest. Who do you look up to? Who would you like to be in the future? I would tell you to work on yourself, to cultivate a dream, to make yourself a roadmap and to honor it. Honor yourself and your dreams, believe in them. The right boys will find you and respect you all the more.
You're sacred. You are a divine creation, a gift to the world. You are unique and wonderful, just as you are. The hormone-frenzy of adolescence is powerful -- it's such a tricky time. I know, because I was you. I remember. I felt so deeply, both the compliments and the let-downs, the dreams and the doubts. And I know the longing, the need inside, to fill that hole. I know the desire for acceptance, for approval, for some validation that you are enough. Sweet, young girl...you are loved, you are sacred. You are so much more than enough. Know that you have value. Do not give in to every boy who likes you. Know your own worth. Be kind, but be smart. If a boy hurts you or is selfish and cruel, he is a boy that you shouldn't associate with anymore. Let him go, and know that you deserve better. Treat yourself better. The fact that you feel things so deeply is proof of a living, beating heart that is capable of such beautiful things, and yet so much pain. I know it hurts, but it will get easier to understand, I promise.
Cherish your friends. Your friends through this time of your life can be like gold. The ones you can vent to, laugh with, dream with, and cry with. Be there for them, let them be there for you. You may be friends for a long time to come, and you'll be so grateful for them later.
I know that it's hard. I know that it hurts. You are no longer a child, but not yet an independent adult. Don't rush. Don't force it. Embrace where you are, and know that you'll be okay. You are young and have so many years to plan and dream and even to love. If a guy doesn't give you attention, then forget him. Do not diminish who you are, for some boy who doesn't even notice you. The boys that will hurt you, lie, make excuses, cheat on you, take advantage of you...are not worth your time; don't give them a second thought. You are too important for their games. Your sadness, pain, and willingness to fall in love again, now and for a long time...are all proof of a beautiful heart. Take care of it.
You are smart, you are beautiful, you are worthy and capable of so many great things in life. Take your time. Enjoy these years. I can't give you that much advice, because you will learn everything you need to as you grow and experience more things. That's how life works. We're all learning, so get used to that. And be glad for it. But I wish for you to know, that you are strong enough to get through it. That there are days full of laughter and silliness that are so very special and won't be forgotten for many years. Just as there are days that break your heart or make you want to hide away and not trust anyone again. Know that you'll be okay, know that the sun will rise, and the feelings will pass. If you just take care of yourself. Remember that you are loved, by the world that waits for you to grow, mature, and lead us, when your time comes. Give yourself the respect, patience, and care that you deserve. You will do great things.
Pay attention to these years. Hang on to those dreams, those big ideas. Play with them, nurture them. They will teach you how to dream and set goals for years to come. Find things and people that make you feel good about yourself. That cherish you, honor you, and love you at your best and also your worst. Notice the people who roll their eyes when you talk, and the ones who absorb everything that you say. This is how you can distinguish the people who really care about you. Your real friends will get excited about your dreams and want to hear more, and they'll push you toward them. They'll see when you're sad and sit with you, and maybe even run out for ice cream. Know who is important, and let go of who isn't, don't waste another minute of your time and love on them.
On the days when you smile, smile big. You change people when you smile. You help them to smile too. On the days when you're sad, reach out to people you trust and talk about your sadness. Get it out, get past it, and wait for your smile to come back. It always does. And if you can't get the words out: go for a jog, learn yoga, dance, start a journal, read a good book that resonates with how you're feeling. Anything to help you know that you're not alone in your thoughts, because sweet girl, you're not. Every woman I know has been where you are. You're going to be okay.
Listen to yourself. Learn to find quiet moments with your thoughts and pay attention. See how you feel about things. The world, people, yourself. Work on the things you don't like, and celebrate the things that you do like.
I know that you'll be okay. I know that you'll find your time to shine. If you could see yourself the way that I see you, the potential, the fire in your innocent eyes...you'd move mountains. But you'll get there. On your own, in your time. Don't rush it. Enjoy these years and learn as much as you can. Improve yourself, but have lots of fun and build memories. Find something to build towards. Find a dream that calls to you, and listen. Work toward it, in tiny steps. Your future is waiting for you. And you have it in you. But you won't hear it if you focus all of your precious time and energy on boys that don't treat you right.
Learn how to answer your own questions, how to think for yourself, and how to set healthy boundaries. Because it only gets more challenging as you get older; but it also gets so much more rewarding and special. Take your time, but pay attention. You're exactly where you're supposed to be. You're beautiful. Be good to yourself. Make good choices. The world is waiting for you and rooting for you. We know you'll get there. xoxo