I’ve been contemplating about this post for the past 2 months and for some reason I just felt like I didn’t know where to start. I think it would’ve been so much easier in video format, but writing down my thoughts is very therapeutic as well!
I’m pretty sure a majority of people had an awkward phase during their teenage years because I know I definitely had my fair share of growing in a state of confusion, pressure and being uncomfortable with myself. Any situation that you encounter as a teenager is extremely sensitive and heightened because we haven’t been exposed to the “real world” yet. Our mindset as an adolescent is so focused on pleasing and impressing others that we forget or lose ourselves in the process. If I had known then, what I know now as an adult I would’ve said to just not give a fuck. I don’t mean it as being indifferent, but more as accepting that being different is an amazing aspect to yourself! Honestly, this is a letter addressing my 13 year old self and what I would’ve told her today.
Learn to see your own worth and value because if you don’t, no one else will
You are important. You are valuable. You are worthy. I wish I told myself that growing up because honestly, it took until I was 24 to realize my own worth. Before entering a relationship whether its friendship, romantic or any form of a bond between two people, how can you expect someone to love you if you don’t even love yourself? You have to develop a healthy, positive, and loving relationship with yourself because it’s important to put your needs first!
You are enough.
Growing up, meeting your parent’s expectations and standards were not easy. You’ll have moments of doubt and question yourself when plans don’t go a certain way since you’re not graduating on time, finding the perfect job after college, or transitioning from a child to an adult. Yeah, this shit is going to be tough on you emotionally and mentally while job hunting. You’ll be rejected relentlessly, but don’t forget that when someone can’t see your value that DOES NOT decrease your own self-worth. It’ll take time to heal since this will be one of the most confusing moments in your 20’s. Just give it time. Go out in nature, breath in fresh air by the sea, talk to your loved ones and stop bottling your emotions because you’ll start to feel hopeless. When you’re in the right mindset, you’ll feel ready to open up and talk about how you’ve been doing. So cheer up girl!
Cut out toxic friends and family members if they are not adding value to your well being
Man, I know that dropping toxic people has gotten a lot easier when family or friends were disrespecting me or not adding any value to my well-being/happiness. I do not let that slide since I’m a confrontational person! If I know that person is trying to exploit, backstab, or just emotionally bring me down. Get. Out. Of. My. Life. That's it. Blood doesn’t mean shit and I could care less if you’re biologically related to me. I’ve made friends that have become my family members as I’ve gotten older and I cherish those that are close to me.
Not everyone is going to like you and that's okay
Girllllll, If I told myself that in middle school, I wouldn’t have been so stressed or sad when my friendships failed or when an acquaintance didn’t like me. That’s life. Not everyone you encounter will like you and that's completely fine. Those that are important to you matter the most. The rest that are insignificant who don’t add any value to your well-being doesn’t matter! Next!!
Don’t ever let an outsider dictate how you feel
I allowed strangers to dictate my mood and influence my feelings when they said or did something nasty or rude to me. Why let a stranger have the power over your emotions when the only thing we can control is how we react to certain situations. I’ve learned to let things go and move on with my day! Those 10 seconds of discontent when you encounter someone unpleasant can be changed with a positive “let it go” attitude and how you react that will guide how you will act for the rest of your day! So don’t ever let anyone have the power over you!
Love and embrace your body
Stop being so harsh on yourself and learn to embrace your body by not allowing someone to comment, disrespect, or allow negative remarks to enter your thoughts. You only have one body so make sure to take care of it by fueling yourself with whole, nutrient-dense foods. Stop looking at those little stretch marks and your belly, but focus on the good parts and what you can do to improve! Exercise and nutrition are all about balance! Remember when you were physically at your skinniest, but mentally you were unhappy with yourself because everyone around you was saying that you weren’t good enough until reaching a certain “standard” Fuck it. Embrace and own when you have!
Self-respect is one of the best assets you can have for yourself
Carry yourself with pride, respect, and confidence! Don’t ever allow another person to walk all over you and speak up when necessary! How can you expect respect to be given to you when you are not even respecting yourself?
You won’t know until you ask questions
We can’t read your mind. Period. Ask questions, speak up, say something if you’re unsure, and start up the conversation if you want a promotion! How will your higher ups know if you want to take your career to the next level if you haven’t even spoken to them about it? The worst thing they could say is no and that’s alright because at least you asked.
Stand up for yourself
You have a strong voice. Use it when you see injustice or speak up when you’re being treated unfairly. Speak up and have a backbone! Yes, your friends and family will always have your back, but you can’t constantly rely on them. You are enough, so use your voice!
Find out what coping mechanisms work when you’re stressed out
Don’t drink when you’re feeling down or angry. It's so easy to resort to drinking if things don’t work out. Exercise, hike, do something that doesn’t involve an escape in an unhealthy way. You’ll thank me later I promise.
Your 24 year old self Kathleen
If you made it this far thank you so much for reading. If you have any tips or advice you have to your teenage self, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Also scroll down to see my old pictures from my elementary to highschool! So thankful that my parents let me get braces! haha