I’m writing to tell you that I see you. I see you struggling to find your place in a crowded room. Afterall, it can be really hard navigating all of those complicated social circles. One misstep and you could potentially end up being the highlight of everyone’s Twitter feed. I wonder if you feel the same way I do when I hear someone say that kids should enjoy life while it’s “SO easy” for them. I’m not sure what’s easy about being stuck at an age where most of your identity is wrapped up in a pressure-filled game of image charades, but the reality is that social media has evolved over the last decade or so. As adults, we’re doing our best to merely keep up…not truly understanding the possible real-life social landmines that you’re navigating each and every day.
I see you trying to find your independence. In fact, sometimes it’s hard watching you. I see you attempting to learn how to stay afloat in the deep-end but at the same time being too proud to ask for a flotation device. I know it has to be hard though. No one teaches you how to push the adults in your life just the right amount….enough so that you grow but also without getting into too much trouble for pushing.
I see you trying to find that happy middle ground in between playing the part that’s expected and throwing what other’s think out the window. I wish I could tell you that the delicate tightrope that you are walking vanishes once you reach adulthood—it doesn’t. It will still be there but that doesn’t mean you have to be a prisoner to it. The same holds true for you today. I could just tell you (and most of the adults I know) to be your own kind of wonderful and embrace all of the oddities and challenges that make you uniquely you, but we both know that’s scary. Well, here’s the thing about fear: It’s not always such a bad thing. One of my favorite quotes reads:
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. JoyBell C.
Sure, embracing who you are and accepting life’s complicated lessons is risky, but it just might be worth it. Who wants to pretend to be something they’re not? I haven’t done any actual clinical research on the final reflections of those nearing the end of life but I can’t imagine that many people looked back and thought about how happy they were that they maintained whatever image ideal for the sake of other’s opinions of them. So for now, and for all the days that follow—through the ups and the downs of real life—please try to remember:
You are perfectly imperfect.
You are enough.
You have inherent worth.
You are not alone.
I see you.