I know girls. A few of them. All around the same "teenage" or "tween" age. Some of them share blood with me. Some of them don't, but I love them just as much. And they're all different. Each one. All unique. All amazing, wonderful, beautiful girls.
I was their age....not THAT long ago. I remember it vividly. I remember the heartbreaks. The "instant messages" which are now texts. I remember wanting to be cool. I remember wanting the popular girls to like me. I remember it all like it was yesterday.
But here's the thing. I wasn't cool. At least not to the "cool kids". The popular girls didn't hate me, but they didn't want to hang out with me, either. The "cute boys" didn't like me, hell, they probably didn't even notice me. When my name was read at graduation, I am fairly certain that a large number of my fellow students probably said, "Who?".
And there were days when all of it was horribly painful. I wanted to be pretty. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted everybody to love me.
And these girls I know, whether they admit it or not, all feel the same way. For some of them, it's not painful at all. Nope. Because they ARE the popular one. The pretty one. The one all the boys like. Some of them are more like me. Not hideously "unpopular", but not invited to the hottest parties every week either.
I could turn this into a big spiel about how much more I relate with those girls. Because let's be honest, I do. But I'm not going to. Because at the end of the day, what I want to say is for ALL the girls. Cool, uncool. Popular, unpopular. Cheerleader, band member. Whatever they are.
And I know that what I'm about to say is so much easier to say now that I'm through it, and it's over for me. But....if I had known then what I know now, maybe I wouldn't have spent so many nights crying to friends over SILLY things. Because while they seem huge to you now, I promise you, they aren't.
That cute boy that you're "in love" with? The one you are crying over because he likes that "other" girl? He most likely won't be your husband. You'll probably never see him again after graduation. Your soul mate is out there. And probably not sitting two rows ahead of you in English class. Don't sweat it. Really.
That pretty girl that all the boys like? She probably won't marry any of them either. So don't envy her. She seems perfect to you because they like her. But you have no idea. You don't know what it's like for her at home. You don't know why all the boys like her. And trust me, if they like her for the wrong reasons, you do NOT want to be like her. I promise.
And if you ARE that pretty girl? Stop trying so damn hard. Any boy worth your time will like you for (drumroll please....because it's about to get corny) your PERSONALITY. Not your boobs hanging out of your shirt. Or the bottom half of your ass cheeks hanging out of your shorts. The boys who like that want ONE thing, and I promise you, it's not to live happily ever after with you. And being vulgar to get their attention? Not cute either. Maybe it is to them now, but one day, when your kid is asking you why there are naked pictures of you online somewhere laced with curse words and awful things, you'll regret those five minutes of popularity it all earned you.
You don't NEED to go to the party and get drunk on Friday night. You really don't. Hanging out at home won't kill you. In fact, it definitely won't. That party might. Don't be dumb. Might be "cool" now, but it won't be later. Trust me.
Middle school, high school, none of it lasts. It'll be over before you know it. And then what does being "popular" mean? Nothing. Sorry. Doesn't help you in college. Won't help you in the real world. Your awesome bubble will pop the day you're out of that school. So I'm hoping that your bubble is filled with good grades, true friends, and lots of laughs, and not sleezy pictures, drunken nights and pregnancy scares. (No, you don't want to be on Teen Mom....those girls are NOT what you need to be aspiring to)
Some of these girls I know will read this. Some of them might say to themselves "Ok...I really am ok. I'm going to be something someday and high school doesn't last forever". Some of them will roll their eyes and say "Oh my God, she's SO lame. She IS such a loser". Whatever you say, that's ok. Just remember it all. Because one day, when you're sitting in your kitchen watching your kid play and make every animal noise in the book, while you wait for your husband to come home, you'll realize that I'm right.
To the ones that do read it, and take it in, I love you. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, know that I'm always here. You are perfect just the way you are. Don't let anybody tell you any different. And please, do trust me when I say..... your life will turn out just the way you want it to, if you work for it. If you stay focused, and you make the right choices, you WILL get exactly what you want.
To the ones who think I'm "like the biggest nerd, ever", I love you, too. I only want the very best for you, and I know exactly what you're capable of, and exactly what you're worth. And it's more than the vodka and mini skirts. You are BEAUTIFUL, and you don't need to flaunt it so much to be just as gorgeous. And your heart is amazing.....let someone see THAT first. Please. I'm here for you too though, if things go too far one night and you feel like shit in the morning. I'll pick you up, cry with you, whatever. But be prepared for reminders that you are better than all of it.
And to the mama's of these beautiful girls, you're amazing. You have phenomenal daughters. Remind them of that daily. And remind yourself, too.
To the Daddy's, give these girls love, lots of it. Don't make them search in the wrong places for the wrong kind of love. Give them the right kind, constantly. Tell them they're beautiful, that you love them, that they are your world. Because I know they are.
And to Landon, be the "good guy". Like the "other" girl. The one who isn't always perfect, but the one whose real. See her heart, not her body. None of them will ever be good enough for you in my eyes, but don't drive me to heavy drinking with your choices. Make your mama proud.
And to any future daughter that I may or may not be blessed with, you're perfect. Gorgeous. Listen to mommy when I say you don't need to be extreme to be loved. And know that your father should ALWAYS be your number one guy. Until you have a son....then it's ok for him to be 1.5.
"This ones for all you girls about thirteen, high school can be so rough, can be so mean. Hold onto your innocence, stand your ground when everyone is giving in. This ones for the girls, who've ever had a broken heart, who've ever wished upon a shooting star, you're beautiful the way you are. This ones for the girls who love without holding back, who dream with everything they have, all around the world. This ones for the girls."