There are 3 pieces of pieces of advice that, if I could, I would go back in time and give to my teenage self. My teenage self was a girl full of hopes, dreams and big ideas. But looking back, a lot of those ideals were built around low self-esteem, big emotions and a fear of the unknown. If I could go back in time and give myself some advice, these are the things that I would say.
Advice on Self-Image
Teenagers, and especially teenage girls, are notorious for horrible self-esteem and self-image. But guess what? So are women in their 30s, especially after having children. My teenage self had a horrible self-image. If I could go back and give her some pieces of advice, a lot of it would center around how teenage me saw myself.
First and foremost, I would give her a giant hug and tell her to be easy on herself. My daughters and I were having a conversation the other day about body image and the women that we see in the media right now. I was explaining to my girls that when I was a teenager all of the models were super thin and small. Back then I often thought of myself as “fat” and “funny looking” because I was comparing myself to my sister (who was smaller than me), my friends, and of course, Hollywood.
I have looked at pictures of my teenage self so many times and thought, “Man, I wish I could tell her to think better about herself. I wish I could tell her that she is so much prettier than she thinks. And I would definitely tell her that she’s not fat, not even one bit.” Even though I’m now 35, it is sill hard to type this. I still have times where I don’t believe it, and I know that there are other women out there that think like I do. But what I’ve learned lately, and what I would pass on to my teenage self, is that self-image and self-love is so much more than how you look. I would tell my teenage self to focus on the things that made me feel beautiful, inside and out.
Advice on Independence
Something that I’ve always prided myself on is the fact that I’m a very independent being. I have worked well by myself for as long as I can remember. It doesn’t bother me to be alone for hours at a time, and jobs that I can do alone are ones that I often prefer.
But being independent while great can also be hard. My teenage self didn’t know that it was okay to ask for help. This would be another piece of advice that I would give to her: Be independent, but be okay with relying on other people from time-to-time. I’m almost positive that my teenage self thought that it was a toxic trait to need other people. Now that I have kids and a husband I have learned that it’s actually the opposite; it’s a toxic trait to never ask for help.
As a mother and a wife, I learned this the hard way. During my earlier years as a Mom I felt like a failure when I had to ask my husband to help with little things. But FINALLY I am learning that it is okay to ask for help with things like the dishes and the trash. My teenage self would’ve been like “Pshh, you don’t need a man to do that for you.” But guess what, I totally do.
Advice on Love
Love has been one thing that has been hard for me for as long as I can remember. I come from a family where we don’t say “I love you” often or show affection towards one another. Even to this day I have a hard time showing affection towards people that are not my husband or kids. It just makes me…uncomfortable.
There are so many pieces of advice that I could give to my teenage self about love, but for now I will stick to this. You are definitely capable of loving other human beings. You will be more than okay creating those relationships and making them last. It will be the most natural thing in the world to say “I love you” once you have kids and a husband. Things don’t always have to be like they once were. There were so many times that teenage me would say, “I am definitely not getting married or having kids.” Well guess what teenage self…surprise! I ended up doing both.
So Many Other Things to Say
There are so many pieces of advices and other things that I could say to my teenage self. I think as adults we often think back to our younger years, and we wonder why we thought certain things. I know now that a lot of my thinking back then was molded by my own self-image. My family dynamic at the time had a great effect on my thoughts, as well. But here I am now in my 30s. The things that I have accomplished as an adult are things that my teenage self probably would’ve laughed at and said “yeah right!”
What pieces of advice would you give to your teenage self? Are you where you thought you would be as an adult? Let me know in the comments below!