If I ran into my teenaged self and she was looking for a spot of advice (or if my own teen was wondering), this is what I’d share: You’re going to mess some sh*t up. (And yes, I think I’d use “sh*t” — it’d get her attention.)
It’s going to happen. You’re going to mess things up royally plenty of times (and minimally plenty of times too).
You’ll probably feel embarrassed, ashamed, broken, bad. You may think you’re a failure and unworthy. You may think you’re not enough and never will be enough, that everyone else has it all figured out and you’re the dunce of the class, bumbling over your words and getting stuck, again and again.
It’s going to happen. More times than you’d think possible. Much more than you’d like.
It’s going to hurt a lot too. You’ll hurt yourself, and you’ll hurt others. You’ll hurt the person(s) you care most about in this world. And sometimes you’ll be trying to do so, though other times you won’t. It will happen.
AND — it’s okay. It’ll be okay. Messes will be made — and they can be cleaned up (and some won’t even need to be cleaned up).
You’ll learn that everything is figureoutable. (Thank you for “figureoutable,” Marie Forleo!)
Here’s the thing: You’re human. Mistakes happen. They’re part of learning in life. They are evidence you’ve tried. Heck, mistakes are the best teachers you’re going to have. Do you learn that much from doing things right or “perfectly”? No, not really. The gems come from the pickles, tight spots, falls, and scraped knees.
This isn’t to say to look for mistakes to make. However, it’s to note that you don’t need to run from the mistakes you make. When a doozy happens, look it squarely in the face as soon as you can and see what you can learn. It’s okay. Really.
And EVERYONE makes mistakes. Everyone. No one has it all together, no matter what it looks like on the outside. Everyone is a hot mess sometimes. We are all human.
What would you share with your teenaged self (or your teen, the moment comes up and there is interest)?