I spoke to a group of 40 high-school women this weekend.
40 of them sat in front of me and listened to a laundry list of my teenage mistakes and painfully true stories of rejection. This is something I’ve always wanted to do and that’s because I wish someone spoke to me, when I was that age, about the honest truth of what it’s like to “grow up”. When I was 14, or 15, or 16 and I had a mouth full of braces and a closet filled with clothes that matched the bright and bold personality I was suddenly developing into. I was asked: What’s one thing you wish you knew in high-school? Just one thing? I thought to myself… I wish I knew a whole lot. I wish I knew that the first guy you have a crush on and breaks your heart is simply just one of the many fortune people who will enter your heart in your lifetime. I wish I knew that getting a C in biology isn’t the end of the world. Right now, and for the next couple of years, your GPA is the number that you smooch with every organ of your body. But not forever. Eventually, there will be other more important numbers guiding your future (like your savings account). I wish I knew that at that age, even If I thought I knew everything, I truly knew nothing. I answered: I wish I wasn’t so scared of everything (..because I was). I tip-toed around opportunities and ideas because I was scared of rejection or of being wrong or of being uncomfortable. I guess that’s one thing I knew in college too – and probably even yesterday. The same advice we give to the 16-year-old versions of ourselves could be the very same advice we give to ourselves at 27. But there’s always still time to grow up. To change. To smack the scaredy-cat version of yourself back to Mr. Waksman’s 10th grade Chemistry class.
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