Ten things I wish I’d known when I was a teenager – part 1

I was a messed-up teenager. Shy, emotionally confused,slightly overweight, somewhat nerdy and wanting desperately to be cool. Wanting to be someone other than myself, someone better, or at least someone different.Because I didn’t know how to love myself as I was, because I had emotional pain I didn’t know how to deal with, I was trying all these random things, hoping something would help me find happiness.

I took a lot of wrong turnings. And a few excellent ones.

There are some things I wish I’d known then, things that could have made my life easier. Some of them may sound obvious, some may sound like platitudes, but for me they’re all hard-won truths. If any of these ideas resonate with you just a little bit, maybe they can help make your life-journey a little easier, a little more joyous, a little more magical.

I’m breaking my list into several posts because it grew too long. Seems I have a lot to tell my teenage self 🙂  Number One today.

1. You are amazing – just exactly as you are


Doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, or what colour your skin is, or how you style your hair, or what clothes you wear. You are already more beautiful than you can ever imagine. You are an incredible collection of atoms and molecules, of memories and experiences, uniquely combined to make you. You are a living, breathing miracle. You are so full of potential. And every day, you do something amazing, just by being you. Everytime you do something to nurture that amazing being that is yourself, or when you connect with other people, or when you look up and appreciate the beauty of the planet we share, you’re doing something a tiny bit marvellous.

It’s so easy to take our amazing selves for granted, or to find reasons to put ourselves down. If you have a vigorous inner critic who likes to find fault with you, check this out. I’m not really religious, but I love the wisdom of this pastor. She is one awesome human being… and she has great tatts. (No, you did not misread. I’m talking tattoos 😊).

My books feature people with actual magical powers, though they often have a hard time accepting who/what they are. But I think all of us are capable of creating magic, in our own way.

What amazing thing did you do today? I made eggs for breakfast, I went for a walk, I cuddled our two kittens, I spent time with my family, and I wrote this. It’s been a good day.

Update – inspired by Mary’s comments below, I created a new challenge for myself.

The Five Day Tell-Yourself-You’re-Amazing Challenge.

It’s a behavioural experiment. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s fun. Tell your friends, or don’t tell anyone – either way works. All you have to do – if you accept the challenge – is to tell yourself frequently through the day how amazing you are. Whenever you think of it, whatever you’re doing, stop and think – wow! This is amazing! I’m amazing. I can do this! I’m doing a fabulous job here.

And see what happens. To your mood, your productivity, your attitude to life and work and people. Maybe you’ll discover the idea sucks and you hate it. That’s fine. It’s an experiment. You can quit anytime. 

 And… maybe good things will happen. I’m going to give it a whirl for the next five days – check in to parts 2 and 3 of this post to see my results. I’ll aim to be as candid as possible. I expect there may be good and bad days, because life’s like that – but let’s see!

And if you fancy trying the challenge yourself, I’d be so happy if you let me know and post your results in the comments – I’d love to hear how you got on!

Click here to read part 2.

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2 thoughts on “Ten things I wish I’d known when I was a teenager – part 1

  1. Loved this post. I sometimes wish I could bottle number one and feed it to everyone I know, myself included. I also love your list at the end of amazing things you did. I got 11,000 steps (so far), read 50 pages for a book I’m beta reading, and got a revision of a newsletter off. I will try to reprogram my brain to think this things are amazing!

    1. Wow, you had a pretty amazing day, Mary!! This is something I need to tell myself more often too. It’s too easy to forget and start beating ourselves up for not achieving more with our days. Which gets us pretty much nowhere, except frustrated or depressed… It would be cool to do an experiment over several days and see whether our productivity increases or decreases when we remind ourselves how amazing we are 🙂 I may just do that this week…watch this space!!

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