I know this is hard to believe,
But we ALL were you once.
We. Were. YOU.
We were Right, we were Cool, we were Confused.
We knew everything, haha.
We were lost, and alone.
Except we weren’t.
And Neither. Are. You.
Here’s something else that’s hard to believe,
we are Still much more like you than you think.
We worry about what people think about us,
even if we don’t want to, even if we won’t admit it.
We don’t necessarily know what we want to “be” when we Grow Up.
Even when we do know, it changes.
Sometimes over years, sometimes day to day.
Sometimes we change it, sometimes life does.
Words still hurt us.
Yours much included.
We get fearful, and we get confident. We have waves of happiness,
and clouds of loneliness, of anger, of uncertainty. Sound familiar?
We don’t “control our own lives”. The banks do, the landlords. The bosses, the spouses,
the bill collectors. The internet company owns us, the electric company controls us.
I know you think your life isn’t totally yours, your parents have say-so, your teachers rule your lives.
But you have much more freedom than you would know.
And as a parent, let me be clear.
You control OUR lives just as much, if not MORE than we control YOURS.
We wake up for you. We work for you. We cry for you, go to bat for you, we lose sleep for you.
WE DON’T MIND.
Shit, we signed up for this! We LIVE for it! It’s Good!
You know what we do mind? You Not Noticing. You Not Caring.
You acting like the five year old entitled Brats that
You NO LONGER ARE.
You’re our Babies, always.
But, you’re not Babies.
You’re Actual People Now ! , Smile.
You, you teens, are the most beautiful mix, Ever.
You’re this perfect blend of Beautiful Baby & Capable Adult.
It’s a wonderful thing. It’s a Difficult thing.
I wont bullshit you, and I wont apologize for SAYING “BullShit”, either.
You’re gonna hear this a million times anyhow, so let me just add to the pot.
NOTHING is FOREVER.
Your doubts will fade and change. So will your looks.
Your beliefs and values will ebb and flow over time.
Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, step-parents, parents, they’ll likely depart before you.
These people, if you’re lucky enough to have them, will impact you.
They’ll affect you, they’ll matter.
There’s nothing wrong with having a cool dad (stepdad or uncle or grandpa), a man in your corner who is crazy, or wild, or fun.
You may find this hard to believe, but your dad is only old TO YOU.
Anyone who’s young enough to have a teenager,
is still Young As Hell. Let him be so! One day you will be thrilled that you did.
Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with having a mom (step-mom, aunt, grandma) who’s beautiful, or sexy, or glamorous. One day you’ll look back at her in that light, and your heart will soar. Trust that.
There is also nothing wrong, or inherently demeaning about cleaning toilets or flipping burgers.
What IS wrong, & WILL demean you, is to look at such work as being beneath you.
What IS beneath you is to look down on a job that needs doing, as if you are better.
That is, unless you like to shit in filth.
As I was saying, we were all you.
Not one parent, step-parent, or teacher, grandma or grandpa, aunt or uncle got to where they are by skipping over the teens.
That shit kicked our ass!
Just like it’s kicking yours (and ours, TWICE FOLD, once again, thanks to you ; )
But Know This.
Even the worst, most despicable, disgusting teacher you have is there, because on Some level, they care about YOU. They want to try and help you better yourself. Not everyone is good at showing it, just like not every kid is good at accepting it.
But, nonetheless, it is so.
Every adult in your life, your family, your friends, your parents, grandparents,
their reason for being there is the same. Their reason is YOU.
I know your emotions are going crazy. I know you feel like you’re being treated like you’re 10 one minute, & 20 the next. But, that’s OK. & it’s also OK if you sometimes act like your 7 and sometimes like you’re 70.
That’s life, & more pointedly, that’s teen hood. It’s beautiful.
I am willing, as a thriving, living adult who has Been There, to cut you that slack.
My only request is this.
How bout you all rise to the challenge, and give the adults you will one day (very soon) be one of, a little bit of the same.
I GUARANTEE you, it would mean the world.
And Quite possibly, CHANGE YOURS.
aka, Your Future Selves