My Story of Teenage Life
Time is interesting. So many days have passed since my high school experience, yet I can close my eyes and feel the memories like it was yesterday. I remember the urgent feeling on a summer day to start calling around for available and willing friends (with cars) that would want to head to the beach by 10 am. I was tenacious about getting people on board and not stopping until I got what I wanted. I was pretty disconnected from the pressure I would place on my friends to wake up before they wanted to and use gas money that they didn’t have to not only drive to the beach, but pick me up and drop me off.
I was ecstatic when I found a rhythm of “training” for the mile test in gym because I was excruciatingly embarrassed to walk-run the mile and not be able to complete one pull up. During that rhythm of training I slimmed down a bit and felt "pretty" for the first time (outside of church) since pre-kindergarten!
School and Peers
I was smart, school was not as challenging for me as for others. But I was hitting ceilings in my social circle because I was loyal, honest, and raw in my emotions. I was kind at my core and this made me vulnerable during the middle school and high school years. Well, I was kind and loose-lipped, so secrets did not exactly stay locked away. While “loyal”… I was kind of a leaky bucket. Three-way phone calls, utter discomfort with my pre-pubescent body- they are awkward …terrible memories! Let’s not.
I was magnetized to the mirror. It is crazy how much that switch has flipped since high school! I have very few mirrors in my house now! Sometimes I forget what I look like! And it is wonderful. But I would just stare into these grey eyes and wonder
what this person was made of?
Why was she so different?
How come she was unhappy?
What would make it better?
How could she excel?
How come others did not find her beautiful?
That girl was myself, but I didn’t know me. I was all the parts of me, compartmentalized with brick walls between. In his book Brainstorm, author Daniel Siegel, MD would say I was lacking integration. And I was. I was disconnected from myself, my family, my friends. I wanted desperately to connect and to have healthy relationships with –all of the above- but I was stuck in space watching my life from the outside in.
Push it to the limits
Toward the end of feeling so disconnected I began to push the limits. I wanted to experience my limits and to feel feelings. The more extreme of the feeling or experience, the more tempting. This got me into situations that were dangerous and are now my deepest regrets.
I have every hope for teenagers who are going through their own disintegrated time. They are lost in space and making choices completely against what they know is right. They will make it… because I was that teenager.
Because of the people who saw my potential and gave me grace along the way, I was able to begin to implement wisdom. My life choices began to align with what I knew was right.
There is hope.
Do you connect to a part of my story? I benefited so much from mentors who stood by my side while I made mistakes and came to my senses. I grew when I went to counseling. I grew as I counseled others. I grew as I lived with different people, experienced different cultures and entered a marriage bond. I grew when I had a baby and then another one. I grew when people that I thought would always be in my life died before their time.
I figured out some of the things that I need to have coherent thoughts and make decisions that give me life. I have pinpointed some of my weaknesses and triggers for dangerous behavior. I am growing in the arena of making choices that align with what I know is right. I am figuring out that happiness is worth pursuing.
You Can Do Anything.
Let's Team Up
It is a lifetime journey. And life can get hard! There were a few critical years in there where I can count positive experiences on one hand. I want to be one of those positive experiences for you or for the teenager in your life that you love.
If you relate to my story and want to send me a message, I would love to hear from you. I hope you will pass along my story to anyone that may benefit reading a story of hope.