Growing up is tough business. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my middle or high school years. Navigating the social circles, fighting for my freedom, starting to find my voice, trying to shape who I am and where I fit in the world, meeting and losing friends, experiencing first love…and that’s before I’ve even started to tackle the accelerating homework and school pressure because college is just a few years away. Nope, I’m very happy to have survived that… The only thing that makes it worse is when there are bullies, “mean girls,” and tormentors amplifying the noise that already exists in an adolescents’ head. I had my fair share of experiences as a kid with these types of people–and it was agony–and I know from FB that most people have experienced it too.
I saw a Facebook update today that inspired this post. It was really simple: a message addressed to the posters’ 16 year old self. That got me thinking… Experience really is so illuminating, so what would I say to my younger self with the benefit of these last few decades of knowledge, mistakes, heartbreak, fumbles and successes? Of course this can’t benefit my younger self–that ship has sailed–but who might this be of an even modest interest to…? Full disclosure (I do say that a lot, don’t I?), as coincidence would have it, I too have found myself posing this question lately as nostalgia, womanhood, parenting and the regular course of life mash-up into a frothy mix of investigation.