Dear Teenage Me

Dear Teenage Me,

There are a few things that you need to know. I COMPLETELY understand how and what you feel at the moment, but you need to hear these things.  

1.You made the right decision joining choir. You will almost always be terrified to sing in front of large groups and that doesn't really change, but you found the best place for YOU. And that's important. You will feel lost for a while. You might come to think that you are so good at basketball and that you must be a pro-baller at some point in your life because BALL IS LIFE and you have the shirt to prove that. It's not and that's okay. You tried other things, but you love music. You will be supported by some of the most fantastic educators/musicians and your family will always be in your corner. You're successful and you work incredibly hard, so keep it up. It takes you extremely far.

2. The friends you make in middle school and high school will come and go, but you find a few who really stick with you. Even though some of them venture in and out of your life, you still love them and you will cherish them for a long time because they have seen you at your worst- your worst being that time you found out that really tall, super cute guy you had been crushing on in middle school for MONTHS wasn't into you. They also celebrate you. They celebrate so many birthdays with you, every victory- no mater how small, they even go out of their way to be there to listen to you. Not to help you fix things, they just want to listen. So, don't worry about being one of the cool kids. You won't be one. You're cool in your own awkward way. Even if you are in with that crowd, you don't really fit in and you will feel it and soon it won't matter. Yes, you care what they think and say about you, but you come to realize that it doesn't matter. You will even get the chance to help your students with their crazy friend drama. You offer up your advice because you know about friendship and what it looks like because you have great examples. 

3. Your mom is cool. I know. You don't believe it, right? You go through most of your middle school and high school life thinking that your mom is out to get you, but she isn't. Those times you put up a fuss about a dress that you absolutely need for homecoming or the shoes that you desperately need for your Senior Prom that you wore for about an hour- your mom got them for you, no questions asked. Why? Because she wants you to have everything you want and so much more. She fully believes that you and your sisters are the brightest lights in her life. She loves you and you love her. You won't realize how much you need her until you are finished packing up all of your things for your big move-in day for your freshman year of college, so you crawl up to her multiple times before you leave, in tears, thanking her for everything. She will always be there for you, so don't tell your friends that your mom is out to ruin your life because they're having a "let's complain about our parents" party. You're special. And she believes it. So, love and appreciate her because she is the best example of a strong, loving woman. 

4. You're going to sit around one day working on things for your program and you are going to overhear some of your students talk about dieting to get abs for Schlitterbahn. You're going to think it's absolutely insane because you're looking at them thinking, "What do you mean DIET?!?! You're fine the way you are." Here's the thing, you were there once. Several times, actually. You need to learn to love yourself. You're going to constantly struggle with this idea because you're going to want to compare yourself to your friends, family, Beyoncé...etc. Society's idea of beauty changes constantly and you won't ever be picture-perfect. So, just stop. Take a hard look at yourself and find something- one thing you love about you. Because you're awesome.

5. Boys aren't that important in your life right now. You will stress and cry about them thinking that they complete you, but they don't. Why? BECAUSE YOU ARE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL/HIGH SCHOOL. You don't know what love is. You know what a crush feels like and it's awful. Butterflies make you nauseous and boys make your head spin. You will figure out what it's like to be dumped in the worst way possible and you will also think you've found true love with one of your boyfriends, but you didn't. You made the right choices in life. You focused on what made you happy and you hoped to find someone to share that with you, but you shouldn't take it too seriously. Your high school boyfriends could be something down the line, but don't count on it. They're just as lost as you are. Just know that you don't have to have a boyfriend to be happy. You are worth it and you can't wait to preach this gospel to every single young lady that comes to you crying about a boy. You also can't wait to talk to your dudes about their problems/how to be gentlemen. Side note: you think it's absolutely adorable when some of your students insist that you meet their significant other. You sincerely hope that they stop obsessing over relationships and realize that there's something more to life than having a boyfriend/girlfriend. The important thing to remember is that you have time. You won't always believe that (25 year-old-you doesn't believe it at times), but you do. 

You will hate high school. A lot, but you have a few friends and some amazing teachers to get you through it. You grow up and you change. You have tons of obstacles in your teenage life and you won't always know how to deal with them, but you do. You are extremely blessed and you find your people. The hard work you put in will pay off. Trust that all of the craziness you encounter means something even if you don't know what it means at first. 

All the love and hope,


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