Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I wish I would've known as a teenager

I've been out of the teenage age for 6 years now but let me tell you, thought of raising teenagers terrifies me.
I have dreams about being in high school again but with the knowledge that I have now. Those dreams are happy because in them, I am focusing on friendships and on God and not on impressing boys and thinking everyone is out to get me.
I wish those dreams would've been my high school reality but they aren't.

If I could go back in time, there would be so many things I would tell my teenage self.
I would tell my teenager self to love God more and accept Him into my life. Life would've been so much happier back then if the choices I had made had been different.
 I would tell my teenager self that it's ok to be different. Unique is good. But the unique I focused on in high school was uniqueness from my family and not from the rest of the world.
 I would tell my teenager self that she is not entitled to anything. Once upon a time when I graduated high school, my oldest sister lived in Utah and I asked if she would let me live with her family while I was working at a wilderness program. I was utterly surprised when she told me they did not want to do that. How rude, right!?! It wasn't until I got married that I realized where she was coming from. I don't "deserve" things, I earn them. And in a situation like that, she was doing what was best for her little family, NOT what was best for me. And as much as I never would have realized it then, raising a teenage sibling when you have small children is not as easy as I thought it was going to be for her family and I know that she made the right decision {not that she ever doubted that}.
My teenage self was all about herself.
 I would tell my teenage self that she was skinny and she should've appreciated it more. And that even if she wasn't skinny or isn't skinny now, she is still worth a whole lot more than she ever gave herself credit for.
I would tell my teenage self that the approval of a boy should not make or break her self esteem. She was and is a beautiful soul and having a boyfriend or being proud of the number of boys she was kissed by means nothing a mere 6 years later. So I wish it wouldn't have meant anything back then.
 I would tell my teenage self that her annoying older sister was just looking out for her when she would constantly tattle on her, especially that one time when she was caught kissing a boy in the hallway. I wish I could tell that teenage girl that her sister is her best friend now and she missed out on appreciating her every second of her life as a teenager. There could've been so many more great memories had she appreciated the love that older sister had for her.
Most importantly, I would tell my teenage self that above all else, she is the daughter of a King. I would tell her to recognize her royal birth and act in a way that would please God and not in a way that would please her peers. She wasted a lot of time pleasing people who have not stayed friends with her and now she realizes what a waste that was. Because I know how important it is to recognize your worth, I would tell her a thousand million billion times until she really understood that she is a child of God and that He loves her no matter what.

So if you are a teenager or have a teenager, I hope you remember your worth and realize that these short times in your life are going to be gone before you know it. Enjoy them and embrace them and always remember that you are a child of God.

{PS: I know, I've been talking about this subject in the last few posts but bear with me. It is too near and dear to my heart to not talk about anymore.}


mindy said...

tearing up here!!! love you Suzanne!! I'm glad we were friends in high-school"

Glemser Family said...

Well said Suzanne! There are many things I regret from my teenage years.

Kelly said...

It's better to realize this all now and believe it now than to never have internalized it. You're ahead of the curve of the rest of the world in that way :) I tell my YW every week that they are direct descendants of their Heavenly Father and their worth is infinite. I wonder how much they understand and how it translates into the rest of their lives and actions. Hopefully more than it did for me when I was their ages.