That Terrible Time In Your Life Called: Your Awkward Stage
Oh, yes. We ALL had one.
We. ALL. Had. One.
The beautiful thing about an awkward stage is that you do tend to forget about it as you get older, and only usually remember it when you look back at old photos or (as in my case) are actually asked about it.
I had a special little lady in my life (my friend's daughter) ask me last month if (and I quote) "If I ever went through an awkward stage." It caught me off guard because I wasn't expecting to be asked a question like that. But, yes. YES - loud and clear, I did go through an awkward stage. My friend confirmed to me that her daughter had actually been saying that she was going through an awkward stage, something my friend doesn't know where she got that term from or know where this "whole" thing about awkwardness came from, but she was looking to me for a little guidance and help (so she told her daughter to talk to me).
My friend's daughter is 12 years old.
Supposedly (a.k.a. according to her) none of the boys like her, she's not the most popular and she doesn't know how to dress cool like the others. As a 33 year old woman, I can look at her and say all of that is absolutely impossible to hear (boys would be crazy not to like her, being popular isn't the biggest deal on the planet and she does dress cool), but she isn't looking for those responses right now, she wants to hear someone else's story. So I did something a little different, something I hoped would help... I pulled out some photos of myself at around her age because like I explained to her, the boys didn't like me, I wasn't the most popular and I certainly didn't dress the coolest.
Here are some goodies, but oldies...
You get the idea, right?
I look back at those photos and just shake my head, kind of like... "What was I thinking?" LOL...
I do remember feeling all that my friend's daughter is feeling right now over 20 years ago, and it's a tough feeling to swallow at a young age. It's so different today than it was for me 20 years ago. There are more pressures. There are different (and not-so-good) role models for young girls. There's the wide world of the web at their fingertips. There's so much... so the only thing I wanted to share with her is this simple truth, we've all been there at some point in our lives. And I just wanted to share my story and my photos, hoping to make her see and realize that it's something you get through... (as I told her), I promise!
My friend is doing exactly what my mom used to do when I was going through this part of my life... she tells her over and over and over again how beautiful she is. Because she is.
I know someday my little guys will go through something like this, too... it's funny, even as I was finding photos for my friend's daughter of me - my William looked at one and said, "It kind of looks like you, Mom. You have the same face." I smiled, he's right. Those photos are me, all of me! As you get older you just grow into your looks more and begin to feel more confident and more beautiful as you know what works for you and what doesn't.
But those lessons... those aren't meant to be learned (or even absorbed) until you're a little older than 11.