Growing up, I felt exceptionally average at everything except braiding my hair and stuffing school knowledge in my brain. An awkward floater where the only thing heavier than my backpack full of textbooks was my stress load. I may have embraced funky clothes and had no fear of public speaking. But, oh, how I wonder what life would have been like to give 16-year-old me a download from my brain ten years later.
What it would be like to encounter boys, teachers, and friends with my fiery spirit fully unleashed instead of shut up in a tiny box for safe keeping? To carry myself with the divine authority, confidence, femininity, and awareness that I now realize?
Would I have maintained my performance while feeling fully at ease, had a more engaged social life, or not worn so many freakin’ t-shirts?
To my 16-year-old-self, there’s one part of your personality that you longed for yet kept at arms length. Love and listen to her more because she will come to define you in the best ways.
Embrace The Rebel
Embrace your inner rebel. She might taunt you to the edge of trouble now, but she will save you over and over later.
She will scream and cry and push for you to break free of the confines of the standard white-picket-fence, 9-to-5 American Dream life that is staring you in the face. And rejoice when she succeeds.
She will demand that you create more for yourself than the inevitable mediocrity that terrifies you more than death. She knows that any sacrifice to escape this fate is worth it and will give you the courage to do it.
She will flex your willpower, guard your secrets, and erase your comfort zone. She will insist that you finally burn the mask of innocence she tolerated for so long and settle for nothing less than your authentic opinions and preferences.
She will teach you to ignore other people’s opinions and standards. She will keep you company when friends abandon you as your ascend your mountain and ensure you choose a partner that can lead you in the journey.
With brazenness, she will help you discard any shame, guilt, fear, regret, hurt, and disappointment when you’re ready to let it go and move on to your next adventure. She will compel you to give up the “shoulds” and “have tos” and “supposed tos”. She will free your heart and mind.
You will question everything and struggle to do what you’re told because your rebel isn’t easily satisfied by a narrative. She will demand truth and action and snap at the part of you that needs to follow all the rules to be quiet and get out of the way when she has no use for the rules. She will be your guiding light when the status quo bores you to tears.
She will remind you why you started and that what you left behind is no longer for you and that it’s okay to dream even bigger.
Let her free and you will fly.