Itís almost impossible sometimes to be a teenager. There are things we say to each other that scar us for a lifetime and it feels almost impossible to get ahead when there are so many obstacles in our paths. Fortunately, even in the midst of the teen years, if we take a step back from the edge of sanity, we can see how much we really have grown and changed over the years. In my case Iíve seen a few life lessons develop in just the last year or two.
Once upon a time I wanted everything to stay the same. I wanted to have the same friends, I wanted to eat at the same spot in the lunch room and I wanted to have the same boyfriend. I fought change tooth and nail and freaked out when I felt like things were falling apart. Now I know that nothing is permanent and everything changes Ė sometimes dramatically and sometimes more gradually. To think that Iíll never grow apart from old friends or meet a new guy is silly, even if it doesnít feel that way at the time.
Rather than fighting change, I look for opportunities to steer the change in the direction I want to go. Iíve relaxed about lots of things and Iíd strongly advise you to do the same. Rather than being an island with the sea of life flowing around you, hop into a boat to ride the waves. Just do what you can to prepare for change ahead of time Ė make new friends, never burn bridges with friends or old jobs and learn as much as you can about everything you can just in case.
Everyone Changes, but Thatís Not a Bad Thing
My greatest fear in my early teens was growing apart from my friends. We did everything together and I couldnít imagine things changing. But they did, of course. And then when I had my first real boyfriend, I panicked every time we were apart thinking that something was going to be different later. It was, of course.
Everyone changes, but unlike what I feared, it wasnít a bad thing. Change is an inevitable thing, much like the situations that life throws at you. Youíre supposed to change as you grow up, but the most valuable thing I learned about people changing is that you donít have to do anything about it. You can have a great friendship or even better, loving relationships as both of you change over time. The trick is to stay in touch and have real conversations so that you know whatís important to the other person.
Nice Works Better
Finally, after surviving the middle school years (barely), Iíve learned that being nice to other people is a much better recipe for success. Itís amazing how much you can get done with some basic manners. Reaching out to help someone instead of tearing them down not only makes them feel better, but it makes you feel better, too. At the end of the day, youíll have an ally down the road instead of an enemy, simply by being nice.