To Every Teenage Girl,
Whether you're 13 or 19, you can agree with me that this time in your life is the most confusing, important, wonderful, and frustrating. As I am approaching my near end of the teenage paradox, I am here to share some things I have picked up along the way.
Let me start out by saying that YOU are the MOST IMPORTANT person in your life. At this age we are so caught up in the idea of spoiling someone and showing someone off. We are so caught up in the idea of pleasing everyone. I'll tell you right now, you can't please everyone. I have learned that you should focus on pleasing yourself. Everyone says that you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you and you have to find happiness from within instead of from other people. While I agree that you should love yourself and you should find happiness from within, I believe that others can be a great factor in helping you achieve these things. Don’t ever think that you have to live up to society’s standard of girls. You don’t have to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. You don’t have to sing like Rihanna. You don’t have to be as athletic as Carli Lloyd. You just have to live up to the standards you set for yourself. Lastly, just because the world disappoints you sometimes, doesn’t mean you should give up. Fight until you get where you want to be.
"It's only you." "I love you." "It's not you, it's me." "She's just a friend, babe." "I've never met her." "I was just with my friends." I can assure you that if you haven't heard all of these yet, you will. The problem with society these days is that it makes every guy/girl who says any of these things, seem like a liar. Don't get me wrong, not everyone is truthful and genuine when it comes to relationships, but there are a select few who are. One thing I have learned is that you should never date anyone with the hopes that you can change them. You should date someone for who they are and if your love changes them for the better, that's great. Never use the term "love" lightly. I know when you are younger, you are so excited to have someone to put in your bio and to post pictures with, but don't be quick to jump to something that might not be there. Love isn't about red roses and dinner dates. It's about the adventures and the way their smile makes you giddy. It's about how you treat each other after a bad day and doing things you never thought you would. "Love isn't pretty and romantic.. Love is just stumbling through life with your best friend." My last concern: sex. All I'm here to tell you is to wait until you're in love; wait until it has meaning. You don't want to regret your first time.
I will not lie to you, girls can be bitches at this age. You could be the most innocent girl in the world, but there will always be that one girl who will hate on you for everything you do. I am going to tell you right now, be kind to her. I'm not one for the cliches, but I know from experience that hardships can make people bitter. As you go through school, you friends vary every year depending on what classes you have. When you reach high school, you create real friendships. The deeper into the friendship, the more problems seem to arise. My best advice would be not to talk about anyone behind their back; it will ALWAYS get back to them. Every time you get upset about something, you need to just take some time before you say or do something that you will regret in the long run. It is 100% true when people say that you need to "pick your battles." That one text message you send when you're angry, could ruin a lifetime friendship. And over what? A class project? A boy? You need to sit back and put things in perspective. Rate things on a scale of how forgivable they are. As I went through high school, I realized that I really didn't need a hundred friends. I had two or three really close friends and a group of friends that I hung out with. You should have people to associate with in every class, but they don't all need to be your best friend. The last thing I want to comment on is that when you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, NEVER EVER forget about your friends. DO NOT isolate yourself or them. It is not fair to anyone by any means. As much as you love your guy best friend, don't worry his girlfriend. Hangout with him in a group and NEVER ask him to sneak around his girlfriend for you. If you are good to people, people WILL be good to you.
Family will always be a very important thing in your life. Take the time to get to know your grandparents before it is too late. Spend time with your aunts, especially if they don't have a daughter of their own. Support your siblings. Let your dad protect you, while he still can. Most importantly, learn about your mother. I know that teenage girls are said to not get along with their mothers, be the daughter to change that. As I found out very often, all any mother wants is the best for you. Every mother wants to be close with their daughter, contradictory to popular belief. At this age, we spit out attitude like we breathe air. For your mother's sake, be conscious of it. She doesn't want to discipline you, but she wants to raise you right. If you're the oldest child or even the oldest daughter, you have to realize that your mother is learning along with you. Cut her some slack. Anyway, I think getting close with my mother was the best thing to ever happen to me. You have a best friend who truly does love you unconditionally. What more could you ask for?