If I Could Tell My Teenage Self...

If I could tell my teenage self...

I'd have quite a bit to say to my teenage self.  I'd say things like

  • Remember when you longed for braces and glasses?  You got your wish!  :-)
Visiting Nashville, TN
  • Don't worry about having short hair.  Halle Berry will soon come along and every long-haired girl whose parents will allow them, will soon chop off their long locks.  You'll be ahead of the game without even trying.
  •   That sign on the wall that reads, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" is actually true.
The smallest and best English class ever!  Because of 3 years with this teacher, English lit in college was a piece of cake.
  • Being short is not the end of the world.
Bulletin board at an elementary school I visited in New Orleans
  • Don't compare yourself to others because you do not know the real story of their lives and also, comparing yourself to others cheats you out of being the person you were created to be.
  • Having or not having a boyfriend in high school does not define who you are.
  • Practice the piano more....and get your fingering right.  It matters.
Playing the Beta Club song at the induction ceremony
  •  Don't worry so much about how perfect it feels that everyone expects you to be.  It's just not realistic.  You cannot be expected to be the example for teenagers all over the world.  Again, it's just not realistic.
  • Don't give up so easily on your fluent Spanish-speaking dreams.  It is possible to learn a second language and learn it well.
At a Foreign Language Contest.  I had to recite "Versos Sencillos" by Jose Mart√≠
  • Learn to embrace your culture.  Do not accept it when people say, "you're not really black."  Admit that does hurt your feelings and speak up. 
  • Be more assertive.
So, my teenage self had a lot of self-esteem issues that no one probably really knew but my family.  A lot of the issues had to do with how I looked or how I felt I looked to others and about fitting into the perception that others created for me even when I no longer fit.  One brave day when I was 19 (my last year of being a teenager), I walked into a barber shop and said, "Chop it off."  And that's what happened (more or less).  After that drastic move, I actually began to feel so much better about myself.  I learned so much in those years after that and dealt with many of those issues.  The rest I'm still working on at um, 35.  lol

This should be Thanksgiving 1997.  I was 20 in this photo, but I cut my hair on Labor Day weekend before my birthday.
I have a lot to tell my teenage self.  So, what would you tell your teenage self?

p.s.  I got this blog topic idea from The Not So Functional Housewife.

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  1. I love this post Libby! I think everyone who reads it will remember similar insecurities! The teen years and being around other teens were very stressful since we did not have much a of clue then! I feel I have come such a long way since those days and continue to improve over the years. Reflection like this is great for our mental improvements!!!

    1. You are so right. When we reflect we have the opportunity to know if we've grown over the years or still have some things that need to be worked on. Those years were hard, many tears were shed, but I survived! lol

  2. Love all the photos! I wouldn't want to be a teenager again -- unless I could retain all the knowledge I've gained since. I'd tell myself to be more daring. Take more chances, have fun, work hard, and dream big!

  3. Wow, not enough room or time to go through what I would tell myself. I'm just making sure that my kids know what is important and that they are the best person they can be. :)

  4. I love this post, Libby. When my daughter gets home from school I'm going to have her read it.

  5. Libby,

    I loved this post!
    Dreams and insecurity were part of my adolescence. Music too!
    I always like Soul Music: George Benson, Barry White, George Duke, Jocelyn Brown, Chic, Tavares, Aretha Franklin.
    Wow! People here think I'm african american. :)
    And the films? "SAUDADE"!
    "SAUDADE" - is an expression we use to describe a good feeling about what we left behind, understand?

    1. It's amazing how many experiences we can share even from different parts of the world. I think those feelings are universal. And sounds like you have great taste in music! Yes, I understand your word - Saudade. I like learning new things. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    2. I meant to add that I tend to play a lot of instrumental music in my classroom. I especially enjoy the sounds from Latin America. One day, one of my students said, "No offense, Ms. H, but are you all the way black?" I really did LOL. :-)


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