If you are reading this + you are in your 20's, 30's, 40's or 50's....dare I say more? I'd like you to imagine what it was like to be a teenager. Now add in Instagram, Facebook, Google, Twitter + any other social media platform you can think of. What would it feel like to know that what you do as a teenager might haunt you for the rest of your life because of instant uploading?
I think of the first time I tried alcohol. Then I think of the next few times after that and thank God there was no one recording me.
As a freshmanin college, I had alcohol poisoning. I had no idea what hard alcohol was or how it would react in my body. I just did what the people next to me were doing. Taking chugs from a fifth. I had no idea that after I stood up I wouldn't be able to walk or speak and would end up in a hospital only an hour or two later. If that lapse in poor judgment was captured on video it would've taken me even longer to heal from the humiliation and shame of drinking too much.
Going back a little further...to middle school!!! (Insert screams)
I can go right back to feeling like a 12 year old. I remember the hallways, the people and the feelings. The insecurities about my weight and skin. The teasing from the boys that made me feel special and stupid at the same time. The attention from men as I developed early. The pressure to fit in, but stand out as an individual. It was so confusing and hurtful. I remember a lot of times feeling like I would never be skinny, or pretty or that the acne would never go away. No one understood me. Adults would brush me off and say, "In 10 years, this won't even matter." But it did matter, because at that moment, regardless of my age, I was upset.
If my rebellion towards parents, teachers and authority were caught on tape, I'd be mortified.
So, to all the teenagers, high schoolers, college kids and early twenty somethings, you guys are awesome. Don't filter your life so much that it becomes unrecognizable. Remember all the moments that aren't captured, because those are the ones that you'll look back on and smile.
When my Mama said, "Stay true to you," I never got it. But now I do. Don't compromise your values, your truth or any part of WHO YOU ARE for anybody or anything. If what you believe in makes you nerdy, who cares? Nerds run the world. They are in charge of billion dollar companies. I wish I had that kind of intelligence, so don't give it away. Keep going. Stay alive + fall in love. Don't be scared to fail or make mistakes.
"We know what we are, but know not what we may be." -Shakespeare"