13 is Tough – We Know

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Dear Awkward Teenaged Girl,

It totally sucks, I know.

Every single day you wake up and look in the mirror, analyzing yourself and picking out every single imperfection.  You spend countless hours online, on Facebook, looking at other girls and trying to figure out how their lives are so darn perfect.  Their hair is never out of place and they almost never seem to have a bad day.  But, don’t worry.  They do the same thing.  They may seem perfect, but trust me; they too have image issues just like you.  Try not to judge them too harshly.  Don’t call them names and don’t hate them.  Try to talk to them and find out what you have in common with them.  They are not your enemy and you may find that you have a new friend.

It seems crucial to look pretty all of the time, but I promise you, despite what you see on television, looking perfect is truly impossible.  And the other day when you decided to stop worrying about your hair and you picked up that violin, you transformed.  Your spirit lifted and your eyes were shining.  You are so talented already and there is still so much to learn.  Keep learning.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  That is the very best way to learn!  I know you long for a day when you pick up your instrument and play the perfect sonata.  Take your time and remember that practicing is important, but so is hours of belly laughter with your best friend.

I know how badly it hurt your feelings when the boy you had a crush on made fun of you in Algebra class.  It must have felt like a punch in the gut with everyone laughing at you.  Try your best to not spend too much time crying over him.  He is also going through a lot of insecure moments.  I don’t know why he said those awful, mean things to you.  But, he is also scared to admit that he likes you, too.  He may never ask you to the dance and he may never tell you how much he thinks your eyes are the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, but he will always remember you and how kind you were to him regardless of his insults.  However, if he picks on you too much, don’t be afraid to stand up to him.  Cruelty is unacceptable and you deserve to be respected.  Do not allow it to go on and on.  Do not be bullied.  Sometimes it is hard to determine what a silly boy is versus a bully.  Ask someone for help.  Ask your friends or your sister.  And if you think he is a bully, don’t be afraid to tell your teachers and demand action.

Go ahead an audition for the school play.  I know the last time you spoke before an audience your voice was shakey and your lip quivered uncontrollably.  But that was over a year ago!  You are thirteen now and you’ve grown and matured and found your voice.  Own it.  Speak up and speak out.  I promise you someone wants to hear what you have to say.  You are not invisible despite what you think when you walk down the hallways of your school.  Your presence is acknowledged and would be missed if you were to disappear.  Believe me when I tell you, even if you can’t roar, your meow is so striking that when you stood before your English class and stated that Reverend Dimmsedale in “The Scarlet Letter” failed to take responsibility and the guilt he felt all those year is what it ultimately took his life, your teacher was impressed and shared it with her colleagues.   She had been waiting for someone to come to that conclusion since she was teaching it at the high school.  You were her favorite student that year.

Thirteen is tough.  Your body is changing and your peers are starting to act differently toward you.  Even some adults are starting to whisper as you walk away.  Keep your head held high and don’t allow it to affect your unique spirit.  You are becoming a young woman and it can be a very rocky path, indeed.  But, keep your friendships nourished and always tell your people how much you love them.  They are the ones who see you change each day, but continue to love you just the way you are in those moments.  And when times seem unbearable, let yourself cry.  Have a come-apart and understand that times will change, and they will change quickly.  Enjoy these last few years of childhood and do not rush through them.  Once they are gone, you will never have these moments back.

Finally, I want to you know one thing; no matter how tough it gets, how deep the heartbreaks are, or how difficult it seems to push your way through the hardest times, we are here.  We are looking out for you and trying to pave a way so that you may grow in to the amazing woman you will one day become.  Sometimes you don’t notice us because we are busy working or taking care of our own adult issues.  But we notice you.  We keep an eye on you and are working hard to make things equal and fair so that when it’s your turn to take the helm, you return the support to us.  We are always around, always watching, and always looking out for you.  We have your back, little sister.

Sincerely,

Awkward Middle-Aged Woman and Survivor

 

Post by Carrie

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