Monday, June 9, 2014

What'll she look like?

I was sitting in my car in a parking lot several days ago and watched a familiar scene play out right in front of me.  A mom got out of her car, patiently waiting on her teenage daughter.  She patiently waited for a minute...two minutes...Finally her patience turned to annoyance and then exasperation as she waited for five minutes for her daughter to FIX HER HAIR.

OH MY LORD do I remember those days!  I certainly wasn't the most vain girl I knew, but my insecurity forced me to think and rethink every detail of my hair, my face, my clothes every moment of every day.  Behind every self doubt was the question lurking just barely under the surface: Am I beautiful?

This is the question I think every woman needs an answer to.  She needs this answer from her parents, her friends, her family, her husband.

So as I watched this interaction between mom and daughter, I found myself identifying with both ladies.  Although I am 27, happily married with a successful career and a beautiful child, I still struggle with the question, Am I beautiful?  As I transition into my mommy role, it's so important to me to remember my struggles as a teenager so hopefully one day I can help my children transition through their awkward phases.

I am not a naturally patient person.  Too often I get pressured by timelines and high expectations.  I think I will constantly struggle between settling for good enough when I crave perfection.  Fast forward 15 years and when our child is struggling with identity issues and self esteem, I hope I take the time to remember my own struggles so I can answer the question behind every action of every teenager.  You are special.  You are important.  You are loved.  You are beautiful.

If I could go back in time and tell anything to my younger self, it would be this:

Those lonely, nerdy hours of reading and studying will pay off when you confidently accept your degree as a PA and use your knowledge to help and heal others.

The painful moments of girl drama, gossip and meanness will shape you into a loving, compassionate woman who can build strong and lasting friendships.

That first painful breakup will help you guard you heart and protect it so you can give it to your husband, best friend, and father of your children.

Those tears of loneliness and despair will turn to tears of joy as you walk down the aisle and towards a life of your own.

That awful teenage acne will all too soon turn to the laugh lines and worry lines that accompany motherhood.

That awkward, changing body will carry and bear your first child.

Those fidgety, nervous hands of yours will all too soon be drying the tears of your own child.

So, cheer up, teenage Megan.  Things will only get better from here.

The inspiration for this post is THIS INCREDIBLE SONG BY STEPHEN SPEAKS.  Some people say smells can trigger a memory, but music seems to be the language of my memory.  The first few guitar riffs of this song take me back to those awkward teenage years, feeling ugly and unloved and wondering where my place in this world would be.

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