September 4, 2013 / Personal
First off, I want to say that I don’t have a lot of regrets.
But what I do regret, is not being a stronger person in my teens. It’s the whole, “If I only knew then what I know now” type of thing, which is obviously not possible. So why do we think like this? But, that’s another discussion!
Since it is back to school season, I was just thinking about how, in high-school, perhaps it was my sophomore or junior year, I don’t remember, I was so, so incredibly shy and insecure that I felt like I was barely alive.
There’s this one instance that is really sticking out at the moment. In my history class our teacher gave us an extra credit project; to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. I feel like this is an extremely difficult book to read no matter what age you are, but I decided I would read it because I liked to read and I wanted to be smart. A few weeks later in class my history teacher asked us if anyone was reading the book. No one raised their hand. So, I did not raise my hand. I could tell that the teacher was disappointed, but I never even told him in private that I had been reading the book and I even stopped reading it. I had enough issues with people thinking I was a weirdo, I didn’t want everyone to know that I was also trying to get extra credit by reading a book when it was so obviously “not cool” to do such a thing!
So, I regret this, and it probably seems silly, but I really wish that I had raised my hand that day and said, “Yes, I’m reading the book and I’m not afraid to say so. I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” But I didn’t. I was so concerned about looking cool, even though I never did “look cool”, that I hid everything about me that was cool deep, deep inside of me.
This is the thing about being a teenager, you do care what everyone else thinks. It can be such a hard and crazy time in ones life. This being said, I forgive my teenage self. I forgive myself for not standing up for myself and allowing people to get to know me because I was too scared that they wouldn’t like me. I forgive myself for not being a strong and outspoken teenager and standing up for what I believed in because I was too scared of being beaten up. I forgive myself for not raising my hand in my history class to say that I had indeed been reading the book that no one else was reading because I was scared that everyone would laugh at me. I forgive myself and I give my teenage self a huge hug and I tell her that it will be okay, because one day you will be strong and you will do great things and people will and do, love you!
I know I’m not the only one who has ever had regrets, so just take a moment to let go of whatever has had a nasty grasp on you and give yourself a huge mental hug, just because you are alive and beautiful and living on this incredible earth experiencing all of its magical wonders.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU ARE STILL A TEENAGER AND YOU ARE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING REALLY AWFUL, KNOW THAT THINGS WILL GET BETTER. HANG ON AND DO NOT BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT FOR HELP. STOP BULLYING.