Pouring My heart Out: A Letter to a Teen

Dear Teen,

I know it's hard for you to imagine, but I was once very much like you.

I did not always make the best decisions. (Hell, now, I don't always make the right decisions.) Many decisions I made just to display my independence. I was strong. I could do things on my own. I didn't need any one's help with anything. I did not fit in, so, I would stand out. But, most the time, I wanted to crawl inside my shell and hide. I dreamed of a perfect world where I wasn't an ugly redhead with freckles, and chunky thighs.

I hated school. I thought the world revolved around my social life, or the lack there of. I thought I would surely die of a broken heart when that boy chose someone else over me. And, sometimes, I even wished I would die because it would make everyone realize how much they miss me.

I listened to the same song over and over again, crying my deep tears of pain that no one else could possibly know or understand. And, sometimes, I hurt myself with the sharp point of a safety pin, I scratched my skin until it bled, carving initials and symbols into my skin. I wanted to feel a physical pain that would lift me from the depths of my sorrow. One that would bring me back to the reality of life.

I created an image. An exterior toughness that very few would get to see the other side of. I lashed out at my parents, who knew nothing about life. How could they? They were so old, and things were so easy for them. They could never understand what it's like to be a teen. To not have the right clothes, to not have the right body, to not be friends with the right people. They could never know.

I smoked cigarettes to be cool. I brought vodka to school. I shoplifted eye liner, reasoning that it came from the earth, so it belonged to us all. I skipped 1st period and 5th period just, because I could. I stayed out too late, lied to my parents, didn't do my homework, dated an older man...

And, I had sex because I should. Because I thought it would make me feel good about myself, make me feel loved, make me fit in, make me forget about me. And for a brief moment it did. But that moment was gone in a flash. When the act was done, I once again felt the pain of being me. But, maybe the next time would be better. The next time would be good. It would be like the movies; so perfect and romantic. But, it wasn't and so the cycle continued.

Each Summer break I envisioned a whole new me, one that would get my homework done, and get awards. A girl that would be in the running for homecoming queen, that would be a star in the school play, that would date the perfect guy. This year, I would get involved. I would run for Student council, and win. I would do everything right, this year.

But, it never happened. No matter how badly I wished it, there was no magical alignment of the stars to set my world right. I talked myself out of trying out for anything for fear of rejection and humiliation. I couldn't bear to be told that I wasn't good enough, so I never even tried.

It was easier to not be the real me. To not be the me I wanted to be, but to just be the me everyone expected.

I just needed to get through with High School, then it would all be different, it would all be perfect. Things would go my way. I would be a star. I would return for our reunion and I would show them! They would wish they hadn't been so cruel. They would see...

I was a teen. It was hard. I remember. I do. I haven't forgotten how it felt. I wasn't perfect. I wasn't popular. And, maybe I wasn't open with you. Maybe I should have shared the things I've done wrong. I just didn't want you to know the hurt, the heartache, the feelings of isolation. I hoped by keeping these things to myself, you would know only the fun and friendship of being a teen. I wanted you to have hope for your future, for you to have a life better than me. I wanted you to know happiness and love.

I wanted only to encourage you to strive for greatness. I was wrong. Instead of encouraging you to be better. I should have encouraged you to be you. To be the real you, the one you want to be, not the one that is expected of you. Your greatness lies within you. Your greatness is you just being you.

I once was a teen. I made mistakes. I did things wrong. I have regrets. But, I will never regret you. You are my greatness.


♪You are beautiful no matter what they say. Words can't bring you down♪
(Christina Aguilera)


  1. This is a beautiful post. I remember the feeling of being a teen- of having everything seem so big and important when now, I can't even remember the details of what I thought was a big deal then.

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. How sweet this is!! I also have a teen....well, she just became a teen, and I'm thinking how hard it's going to get from here. I'm not sure I can do it, but then again, don't all mom's feel that way??

  3. Amen!! Beautiful post!

    I wouldn't go BACK to being a teen for ANYTHING! And I faked that things were GREAT and got involved while I was being abused at home, shunned by friends when I didn't do what THEY always expected... made an EXAMPLE of when school administration THOUGHT I was going from an honor student to living on my own, working full time and trying to keep up only having .75 credits to graduate at the beginning of my senior year... They forced me to finish at an alternative school, which was further away and I didn't have decent transportation...

    Hubby and I don't always see eye to eye on the teen years. When they make mistakes, I try to make sure they know that I LOVE them no matter what and I'm there for them. I know hubs LOVES THEM... but they are maybe too much like me and we just don't respond well to that style. *sigh* We do the best we can... HUH?


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  5. What a beautiful letter, it brought a tear to my eye. I have a daughter who is going off to college this fall and had so hoped that she would escape the teen years unscathed by the girl drama. Well she is amazing and although she was the occasional target of some, she held her head high and was not swayed by the crowd. As a result her social life was not as active as she may have dreamed, but as I told her...this is how we build character. Although high school friends may seem like the end all at the time, I assured her that the average person remains in contact with very few on a regular basis. I have one that I still see on a regular basis, but most of my friends have none. Many college age kids report that even after only one year at college that they feel that they lose some of that connection with HS friends. Loved your post....it is really heartfelt and a labor of love for your daughter. Thanks!

  6. I realised that the advice my parents gave me was always the correct thins - and I love them for that. God has really been good to me.

    The times may change but if we are teens n any decade our problems are the same! Our parents do understand, and they try.....but it's just the nature of the beast that teens feel they are the only ones with angst!

  7. What a sweet post! Amen!

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
    Have a nice day!

  8. You have such a great blog! :) I'm now following you from Welcome Wednesday and would love for you to follow back at www.dandygiveaway.com!


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