Bloganuary – “What Advice Would You Give to Your Teenage Self?”

Sometime during the month of December I received an email from WordPress announcing their first ever “Bloganuary” challenge – write a post a day based on the prompt/directive they send out – in order to jump-start your new year blogging habits and connect with other bloggers.

Of course I was interested, though deep down I doubted that I would be able to maintain the one-post-a-day habit; I often start such challenges with all the best intentions, only to fall behind, lose hope of ever finishing, and then abandon the project. But since we all start out a new year with the best of intentions, I shall dive in headfirst and see what happens!

The classic question “What advice would you give to your teenage self?” is one that I’ve pondered for years, my answers constantly changing. As a teenager, I was wrapped up in various theater productions, hanging out with my friends, reading all the books, competing in Irish dance, and whatever else tickled my fancy at the time. I was living in a home with wonderful parents and the best twin brother I could wish for. Life was comfortable. Life was good.

As I grew older I of course began to run into situations that weren’t nearly as comfortable as what I had previously enjoyed. College classes were stressful, planning for my future caused me to worry, and in multiple areas I was faced with bullies who would repeatedly make me feel small and worthless. I began to doubt in myself, my abilities, and who God created me to be.

I guess I would tell my teenage self that her worth isn’t determined by people, but by Jesus. I’d tell my teenage self to focus on improving herself and growing closer to Christ. I’d encourage my teenage self to continue reaching out to those who – like her – felt left out or lonely, as she will both find dear friends and show Christ’s love through these interactions.

Looking back, I am proud of the person I have become, and I strive to continually improve and grow stronger each year. The last two years have basically sucked, but I am determined to make 2022 a year that I will be able to look back on and say, “Yep, that was a good year!”

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