Have you ever considered the advice you would give to your younger self? I thought about this the other day while working with some teen girls. The struggles they are experiencing nowadays seem to be very similar to what I went through many years ago! If I could give some advice to younger teenage me, this is what I would say:
Dear 16 year old Christy-
I know you think the things you are going through right now are the end of the world. You just went through a painful break-up, have body image issues, friend drama, and overall High School stress. As hard as this is to believe, it does get better.
The things that you think are so important right now really aren’t. This isn’t meant to minimize what you’re going through and the pain you feel. It’s real. I just want you to know there is a bigger world out there waiting for you. These four years of High School are not the best days of your life.
Don’t let the little things stress you out. Right now you walk into a room and measure yourself up against the popular girls. You judge your self-worth on wearing the “right” clothes or acting a certain way. You will soon find that there are people out there who will love you for you, as cliché as it sounds. They don’t care about the brand of jeans you’re wearing, the number on the scale, or the zits on your face.
The people you’ve been surrounded by are not necessarily the people you will choose to keep in your life. You will soon learn what real friendship is—the kind where a friend will drop anything to help you, no questions asked. The friends in the future won’t care that you sometimes had to drive a minivan in High School or that your family shopped at Aldi for groceries (Which by the way, now it’s apparently cool to shop at Aldi. We were apparently way ahead of our time!)
The boy you broke up with will continue to be unkind and play games. He’s not the right one for you. He will say the nice things that you want to hear, then turn around and hurt you again. Don’t let him continue to manipulate you. Eventually you will look back on this relationship as merely a learning experience. I PROMISE someday this won’t hurt so badly.
In a few years you will realize what life is all about. It’s about love, relationships, faith, trust, and hope. These are the big things in life. The relationships you build with your friends and family will be so much more powerful that you ever can imagine. The wonderful man you meet in a few years will not only become your husband, but also your best friend and biggest cheerleader. You will figure out what is important in life, and realize it has nothing to do with popularity, money, or things.
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
*Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling. Christy enjoys doing marriage/couples counseling, individual counseling, premarital counseling. She also provides family counseling, teen and adolescent counseling.
Journey to Joy Counseling serves the Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.