Tomorrow I will be turning twenty, thus ending my teenage years. Once upon a time I would have been desperate to be an official adult, but now I’m here I can’t help but reflect on what being a teenager has taught me. Not that I’m saying I would want to go back. Being a teenager was definitely the toughest part of my life so far! I’m looking forward to seeing what this next decade brings.
For me, being a teenager was all about becoming comfortable in my own skin. I’ve gone through the phases of heavy foundation and eye makeup. My hair has been highlighted, darkened, blackened, ginger and even purple. I’ve moved the furniture around my room countless times. I’ve met new people, fallen out with people, lost touch with people. I had my first boyfriend and my first heartache. I’ve taken my first part and full time jobs. Received my A levels and left education. Learned to drive and bought my first car with all my own money. I have taken responsibility such as paying board. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to be happy.
THAT was a lot to go through and now, at the end of it, I really just found that I don’t want to be anything but myself. I don’t want dyed hair and most of the time I can’t be bothered with my face or worrying about what I look like. I know how I feel most comfortable dressing and around people. I’ve learned that petty arguments and “drama” aren’t worth my time and being negative only makes me sad. I’ve learned to do what makes me happy even if that means destroying some expectations and lowering people’s opinions of me. At the end of the decade, their remarks don’t really mean that much to me anymore anyway.
As well as looking back, I can’t help but be excited for my twenties. Now knowing I can be comfortable on the inside, I’m going to have to find a way to be comfortable with the outside world. I expect a lot of challenges and big decisions will arise. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing or where I’m heading, but from my teenage years I know it doesn’t matter. If I were to meet my thirteen year old self, I don’t think I would like her anymore – yet I still love and wouldn’t change her for the world. She has learnt and she has grown. She’s got experience under her belt and that has improved her, but nobody’s perfect.
In ten more years, she will know a lot more and perhaps twenty year old me won’t be as loved. Maybe it will take a lot longer to reach where I’m destined, but that’s OK too. Life is not a race.
So, with seven more hours of my teenage-hood to go, here’s to an exciting new decade. For a future of taking new opportunities and leaving happy memories, let me be first to tell myself – Happy Birthday.
Finally, a message to any teenagers reading this post. Do not worry about anything. Take every chance you get to be anyone you want to be. This is the time for finding yourself so if you want green hair you have green hair. Wear as little or much make up as you want. Go enjoy your education and trying new hobbies. Make lots of friends and then fall out with them all again. Learn how to be happy.
Always remember, the only person you will have to spend your life with is yourself. Make yourself somebody to love and the rest will be easy.