Today’s blogging challenge is to answer the question: What advice would you give your teenaged self… if you could go back in time and share that advice. So… what advice would I give Alice when she was a teenager?
I think that I will write her a letter, with a few suggestions from an older human. So… here goes…
You don’t know me yet. Some day, you will know me quite well, but, right now, I am a stranger to you. I look like you and I have a lot of the same mannerisms that you have, but we are not the same person. Not yet, anyway. I’ve lived a lot of years and have learned something about life in those years. At least, I’d like to believe that. I think that you know more about life than you believe. I think that you know yourself better than you realize. As I see it, your main challenge is that you don’t believe that you understand yourself and your world as well as you do.
With this in mind, I will give you the following suggestions:
- If bullies say rude, judgmental things to you or about you, consider the source and disregard the comments! Nice, friendly people are not bullies! People who have confidence in themselves are not bullies! You don’t need to believe the commentary of a bully. In fact, one way to deflate a bully is to agree with everything that the bully says. Here is a sample conversation:
Bully: You are ugly.
You: Yes, you’re right.
Bully: You are really ugly.
You: You could be right about that, too.
Bully: You are stupid.
You: You said it. It must be so.
After a while, the bully will be so frustrated by your lack of reaction and your bland responses that he will give up on you. Once he starts bullying someone else, be kind to the victim of the bully and encourage that victim to respond in the same way that you did. Eventually, the bully will run out of victims and will have to face his own insecurities. And, yes, bullies are insecure.
- Enjoy each day as if it is your last. Have fun! Make this moment count. You are living in a beautiful world. Relish nature. Go outside and jump in the leaves. Collect leaves and press them. Write a poem or a story. Remember what you just learned by being in the play, “Auntie Mame.” “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Don’t starve when you are surrounded by this sumptuous banquet.
- Explore your talents. Leave yourself open to discovering something about yourself that you didn’t know. Let other people support you and encourage you. You have hidden talents. Let them shine!
- Tell people whom you love that you love them. Tell that to them often, even when they are unlovable. Maybe that’s when they most need to hear it.
- Avoid the word “can’t.” When you say “can’t,” you are limiting yourself. Other people may propose limits for you, but why should you do that to yourself? Reach for the sky and, who knows? You may catch a little stardust.
- It’s OK to be sad when confronted with sad things and angry when confronted with injustice. Use your passion wisely and channel it well. You have the potential to do great things because you are a passionate person.
Well, that’s about it for the next few years.
Remember that you are loved.