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A Lesson I Wish My Teenage-Self Knew

I wish that I knew what I know now

When I was younger.

I wish that I knew what I know now

When I was stronger.

(Lyrics from Ooh La La by Faces)

As my previous post indicated, I’ve been enjoying the recent addition of the show Gilmore Girls to Netflix. Rory, one of the main characters, reminds me a lot of myself in my teenage years – intently focused on her studies, aiming for perfect grades. The avid rule-abider. The “goody goody”. What I admire about Rory is her ability to accept a bad day as just that – a bad day. When I was younger I wasn’t able to do this. A poor grade, a boring day, a lesson that flopped – I interpreted these things as reflections of my character and my ability. I held a lot of this inside and let it wreak havoc on my self-confidence and my happiness. When Rory has a bad day she does get disappointed, but she is able to let it go. She might throw her school bag in the back of her mom’s jeep as they joke back and forth together. Or she might flop down into a chair in their kitchen and demand chocolate. Or she might relax on her bed alongside her best friend as they listen to music and talk about boys. I might not be found doing the latter nowadays, but the premise remains the same. Letting go of failed expectations and moving on – contently – with life lifts a huge weight off one’s shoulders. If only I knew this when I was Rory’s age, maybe I’d sit a little taller now. Maybe I wouldn’t have as many knots in my back.

Are you someone who kept a lot in when you were younger or were you good at getting out your feelings? Were you able to shrug off a bad day or were bad days a huge blow to your happiness and self-esteem? Has any of this changed as you’ve grown older?

 

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