There should be people like you on this planet (yes - you). There should be people like me on this planet (yes - me) and there should be people like that dude in the corner of the coffee shop lining up his pocket coins in order of date (yes - Jason, you got a mention) (i'm kidding, I don't know any Jason's).
Getting to know a person is like staying with one, kooky creature in a zoo and just being with them all day. You might be drawn to the tiger at first, because they are a tiger for crying out loud! Then after close examination, you come to understand the Meerkat is cheeky, loyal and perceptive.
It's a wonderful thing when you come to a point of acceptance and love. When you figure out, who you are and who you are not. If you are not there yet, enjoy the process of growth but first things first, never apologise or make excuses for ... who you are and for who you are not.
Adolescence is a tricky age for most. It is that time in your life, where you question the world and you are still trying to figure out, 'you'. The transition of developing from a child into an adult is a very awkward experience (don't I know it). I like to call it --- adolescence --- adultlessons. This period of growth can be so awkward because we are consistently, second guessing who we are, who we want to be, who our parents want us to be and what everyone around us is being or trying to be. It's taking people a lot longer to find themselves these days because of the influence of peoples lives seeming more idealistic than our own on social media. It's great to have some visions about who you want to be but this often cannot be distinguished by a photograph on your feed (unless of course it comes with a backstory).
Looking up to someone because they represent courage, kindness and strength is far more maintainable than looking up to an online stranger that represents perfection and a great rig. When you begin comparing who you are to something based off selected photographs, you end up with a generation obsessed with the idea of striving for body parts that aren't their own.
Self-acceptance is a challenge and a hurdle everyone has to go through. It doesn't happen in a day but it can happen with smaller steps.
1. When you look in the mirror, do a power pose!
2. Give other people compliments for certain qualities that they have. When you start sharing your appreciation and love for somebody's uniqueness, you begin to understand the importance of being yourself.
3. Be grateful for your body and mind- it does so much for you!
4. Have a powerful morning routine that involves movement and exercise. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happy! If you can get these pumping in the morning- it will help you to shine, feel confident and energised throughout the day!
5. This one is very important. "One woman's/ man's beauty is not the absence of your own". Remember that we need people like her, people like you, people like him and people like that other dude. Stop comparing and start embracing.
6. You are never complete. I think the biggest trap for me growing up was, I had this perfect vision of the perfect Eddie in my head. I was so fixated on the perfect body, the perfect look and being the most perfect version of myself, that I was always striving for something in the future. Trust me, this only results in missing out on fun because you become so worried about not being the best version of yourself, that you end up creating these false expectations from your peers. Enjoy who you are RIGHT NOW because if you don't, you are going to miss out on life itself.
So please, stop waiting for some miracle moment that will change you. Enjoy the process and honestly, sometimes you've got to fake it to make it. What I mean is, sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is ignore those annoying, negative, gremlin voices ... walk into that new job, new day, new opportunity (said in inspirational American voice) and own yourself (even if you are spewing a little inside). Because, every one has them (you're not special), some are just better at ignoring them and some let them control who they are.
We need people like Sassy, Samantha who get the dance floor going, are the first to arrive and the last to go home. But we also need people like Patient Pete that come for a 'hi, hellow, how are ya' and go home at 7pm to his 3 pet turtles named Chopstick, Moo Moo and Salsa.
Respect who you are and who you are not ... because if you don't it's incredibly tricky for somebody else too.
The Meerkat never apologises for not being a Tiger. Unless he gets eaten alive for bringing nothing to the table.
----- Written for my Year 6 class who will be entering High School shortly.