You’re Going to Be Okay

I saw a music video this morning that moved me, mostly because as a teenager, I could completely relate. I am so grateful to not be a girl growing up in this day and age of social media, of everybody scrutinizing every little physical thing about you, of cyber bullying. How in the world do you keep your teenage daughter safe and confident today when the media sets impossible standards for her?

When I was a teenager, I had some pretty serious self-esteem issues. I don’t think anybody really knew because I hid them very well, but I grappled. I changed schools three times, the last time in my senior year, so I didn’t have many close friends. I was not popular. I was not unpopular. I was kind of…nobody. Just there. I did end up making friends, friends I still have today, so don’t feel bad for me. I did just fine. But when I see or hear something that reminds me of that time in my life, I’m touched, I’m a little melancholy (remember that scene in The Breakfast Club when Anthony Michael Hall asks Molly Ringwald if they’ll still be friends on Monday and she says no? Crushes me. Every time.). That being said, I realize that compared to today’s girls, I had it easy.

Loving yourself is hard. At least it was for me. It took me until I was well into my thirties to feel good about myself, and even then, my attitude would shift. It still does. I think once you have self-esteem issues, you always have them. You always fight them. Today, at 46, I have a healthier view of myself than I ever have and I like me. A lot. I’m a pretty cool woman. But it took a long time and it was a hard road. And every so often, that little voice starts to whisper in my head. You’ve put on weight. You’ll never be attractive. You have no talent. Why are you trying so hard? You’re not good enough. You never will be. Nobody likes you. And I’m fifteen again, sitting quietly invisible in the back of the classroom, taking notes like a good girl, watching the popular girls sitting a few desks ahead of me and wishing with all my might I could be a part of their group. It was silly. It wasn’t important. I know that now. But fifteen-year-old me didn’t know that. If I could go back and talk to her, I’d tell her not to worry so much, to relax and breathe, to stop trying so hard, that everything’s going to be just fine, and that she’s going to be all right. And to smile.

Here’s the link to the video that got me thinking this morning. It’s by Colbie Caillat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

4 Comments

Jen Silver

This is so true, Georgia. Your high school experience sounds much like mine. I did end up with two very good friends – but we were the misfits. I really don’t think I would have coped well with social media if it had been around then.

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Beth

Even reading this blog make me squirm when I look back on my high school years. I was the outsider, the lone kid from my Catholic grade school who went to a public high school. The awkward girl who wasn’t sure where I belonged in the world. I kept my head down, got good grades, got involved in the production of the yearbook…..which was a wonderful “family” to belong to.
Into my 30’s I struggled with “who am I” questions and finally, when I hit 40…life seemed to make sense to me and I truly believe that each passing year strengthened my belief in myself. Now, having just turned 60, I’m comfortable with who I am and I look back and those earlier times that I felt so awkward and alone and know that those years were the seeds to my growth as a person and a woman.
Thanks for writing on this subject, let me assure you, you’re a fabulous adult and author!

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Anne Fete

I, too, really felt this video was touching and inspiring. It made me realize that someone had given this young lady – and anyone who got to see the video some valuable tools to work with in life. My Grandmother and my Mother taught me that Loving myself and being my own best friend was a very important life goal – as it sets the standards by which all others treat you (that you actually “allow Into” your life). Thanks for re-sharing the video and your gutsy share about yourself. You are Loved by many, Hun !!!

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