If I heard it once back in the day, I heard it a hundred times- enjoy them, these are the best years of your life!
High School was hard. Not the courses, but the awkward teenage years. Everything and everyone changes and you feel like you don’t fit in anywhere. Every little inadequacy feels as if it’s spotlighted into a massive flaw.
At the time, I’d blamed much of my social ineptness on not being rich enough to afford the latest social fashions and losing my childhood friend because once you hit high school you couldn’t have a best friend who was a boy—unless you were a couple.
I was wrong.
We aren’t rich by any means, but my girls were able to buy brand name and wear the latest fashions in junior high—but it made no difference in their social ease or popularity. It didn’t stop them from losing long time friendships as girls became catty and hormones separated the strong from the weak.
I’ve never once told my girls these were the best years of their life, because that’s a lie.
Believing that would mean we peak at a young age and the rest of our lives are endured on a downhill slope. What would there be to look forward to? Despite how many times I tell my girls not to worry about these little things that seem so big, that there are so many more things coming, that they’re so much more wonderful than they realize— to enjoy these years but don’t fret about them— but they can’t hear me.
I’m just Mom.
The woman who won’t really know anything for another handful of years.
As I reflect back over my life I can finally assure my teen self that these things had nothing to do with happiness and popularity. I’ve long ago accepted the stunning truth that popularity doesn’t = happiness.
You only require one thing to achieve happiness, and once you have it you’ll no longer care about popularity.
It’s a little gem that can’t be bought or shared…you must discover this magic within. Sometimes you can’t unearth it and then you just have to fake it until you make it your reality.
Despite the pain at not being able to wave my Mom-magic-wand and make everything better as I could when they were small, I’ve discovered something blossoming within my young teens.
As they maneuver the senior high years, they’ve finally shed the chameleon shell where they blended into whatever they felt was expected from their friends. They’ve found their true selves and embraced their heart.
They might not see it yet, but I’ve noticed this little growth of confidence…these little changes inspiring them to follow their own path…and it’s beautiful.
So tell me, what little piece of advice would you give your high-school self?
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