Hope Wissel, Personal Causes

Dear Teenage Self

Do you know what today is????  Every time I say those words, I think of the camel on the commercial… don’t you?

This past weekend was a whirlwind of Thirty One parties and events which is awesome but believe it or not, there was an AHA moment or two for me.  I love when I learn at a party – not just about the products but about ME!

When I talk about Thirty One Gives, I share that “Thirty One Gives belives that confident girls grow up to become strong compassionate women who will be the driving force behind strong healthy families and communities.”  I was surprised to hear my hostess say “I must be from the generation that skipped that lesson”.  I realized that:

  1. I am not alone in my lack of confidence
  2. How blessed I was to be able to share “UR STRONG, UR TRUE, UR BOLD” with her as a reminder that although she may not have learned it as a young girl, through her challenges, that was how I saw her.

So, where was the AHA moment.  I saw myself in her.  I was the confident-less girl who despite my own issues was able to raise a strong, healthy, confident daughter who is a driving force in building strong communities.  Then I began to think about the differences between Belinda as a teen and me.  I came across another blog by the wonderful Traci Bild called “Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self”.  So, here are some things I would have said to myself AND that I definitely said to Belinda:

1. Better Self-Image – I have to admit, even though I wore glasses, I have been told that I was cute.  I am not sure when I went from the secure confident girl to the one who worried what others thought – maybe it was moving to a new neighborhood, or getting glasses or keeping the secret of my parents first separation or other secrets in my teen years.  Whatever it was, I would have told myself – YOU have not changed on the inside, be proud of who you are.  Learn from your mistakes and move on!

2. Stereotyping Others – This kind of goes along with the first one because if I had better self-image, I wouldn’t have let others influence the way I thought about people.  I allowed other people’s views to color mine – good or bad – because I wanted to be accepted by the group.  WOW!  How many people did I miss out meeting or getting to know?  How many things didn’t I do because it wasn’t cool?  How many things DID I do because it was cool?  So, I would say “Don’t let others opinions influence you, think for yourself”!

4. Get Involved in School –  I was involved in school but always behind the scenes – working on the Yearbook, French club and lots of float building.  Despite my involvement with my classmates, I didn’t really know them and they didn’t really know me.  I was afraid that if they did, they wouldn’t like me.

 5. Pursue What You WantOn the outside, I may have appeared to be going for what I wanted, but when I think back – I am not even sure I knew what that was.  I always told Belinda – “Want something? Does the opportunity appear out of reach – go for it! What do you have to lose? At least you can say you tried, right?”.  Too bad that I didn’t heed those same words.

 6. Travel Abroad –  WOOHOO!!! This one I did.  I was blessed in my Junior year to travel to France with about 10 other students along with Mrs. Schlegal.  it is a trip that I won’t forget.  I am glad that when Belinda had the chance to go to England, she did!

So, what are a few of the things that you would tell YOUR teenage self?  Look for some more things tomorrow.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

2 thoughts on “Dear Teenage Self”

  1. Great article!! There’s a lot I would like to say to my teenage self and my early 20s and 30s self 😉

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