I’ve decided to do the Bloganuary challenge here on WordPress. I’ll be given a prompt to write about each day.
January 1, 2022 – What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Some background would help, I suppose. I grew up in very rural area in Pennsylvania, USA, first on a farm and then coming home from summer camp found we had moved. My father had finally had enough of his abusive father. Alas, we were still in the same rural area.
High school was tedious and terrifying for me. I was the purple plaid sheep, rather than just the black one. If you might read the origin story over in The Boss’s Office, you’ll also see that my church also tore itself apart during this time. That started me on the journey to being an atheist.
So, what would I tell my teenage self?
1. No one knows what they are doing either. We are all making this up as we go along.
2. You are one of those 20% or so of the population who is highly sensitive, and an introvert. You are also being emotionally neglected but your parents were too, so try not to blame them too much. You are an INTJ woman (valid or not, this describes me very, very well). All of these mean you are different and that is not a bad thing.
3. Crying isn’t bad and no one should make fun of you for caring about things.
4. You were expected to act like an adult since you were as smart or smarter than those adults around you. That wasn’t fair at all.
5. Failing isn’t the end of the world. (I did finally get this when I failed a ridiculous assignment from a teacher who demanded a book report that had to have 30 specifically written sentences in it, e.g. with gerunds, participles and infinitives, etc. I wrote a good book report, on “Brave New World” no less. And finally took control by saying “screw this idiocy”. when I got my paper back and saw the “D”, I just laughed and it felt *so* good.)
6. You will grow up and be a decent, humane, empathic human being despite everything. You will get married to someone who is perfect for you so you won’t feel so alone anymore. You also won’t be the anti-christ as you once thought since you didn’t hear any god talking to you like people around you claimed to do. They are making this up to fit in and to feel special; or they might just be nuts. Don’t waste any more time on that nonsense; you are far more morally good than that idiot god of the bible. No amount of apologetics will make it work.
7. Everything you do is your responsibility. Slow down. Think things through. Choose wisely. Your intuition is better than you think.
8. Occasionally, don’t think at all. Just do. It’s scary, but you can do it. You are strong, brave, thoughtful, smart, and you are the hero you want to be. Captain Kirk has nothing on you.