Most of us were ushered into our teens by the big bully ‘adolescence’. There were boobs, acne, the hoarse voices, name it. The only thing anyone ever took the time to prepare us (the girls) for was the periods. There were those Always ads, I don’t see so many of them these days. There was a way they almost always aired when everyone was seated for supper…father, mother, big sisters, little sisters, brothers. You would imagine everyone’s eyes on you, of course they weren’t. But you would imagine a big placard hanging on your forehead reading…She Is Next! The long awaited day would finally come and we all had our different embarrassments, some of us much less than others. But, what made the first few periods bearable was the fact that everyone had warned you about it, starting from the science teachers in primary five to the annoying Always ads showing blue blood ( I sort of always imagined it to be blue).
We were prepared for it. No one told you about the other changes your body would go through, the body shape changes, the acne, the attention from the opposite sex, the mental instability, the bodily desires, and how much everyone would try to relate your manners, or lack of them, to THE STAGE! We all reacted differently to these things and it is on these reactions we have forged our current years. Some people get a second chance, start over and redefine their paths in their twenties, but for the rest of us, the teens are the foundations we are building our current and future lives on, no matter how weak they were. These are things I wish I knew in my teens that I do now.
1. Don’t worry too much about how you look
It gets better. When you are a teenager, it actually matters whether you have a slim waist line. Of course, it should not, but at that age it is important. Girls diet to get and maintain that slim waist line, some even wrap things around their waists to get it, only to lose it to a teenage pregnancy! Of course you should care about your body (it is the Temple of God!), but adolescence is just a transition phase, you will eventually become the full woman you are meant to be. Your skin gets better after, the body gets better, the ass gets fuller, and for Chrissake, don’t bleach! Those are sins you pay for in your post-menopausal years.
2. Only 0.1% of high school relationships end up in happy marriages
Okay, I made up that stat up but let’s face it, chances that you will marry that boy you are arguing with your mother over are even slimmer than that. Let’s break it down; for one, his interests are dancing and kissing girls behind the school main hall, yours are reading novels and playing scrabble. You are probably going to end up a lawyer, something like a Julia Ssebutinde of sorts ( okay, may not be that fancy, but we are allowed to dream), and he is probably ending up as a music video vixen ( I don’t know if that is the name for those very cute guys in music videos). So, your chances are similar to those of Kagina ending up with Radio Moze. Teenage relationships are fun, but don’t let your teenage years be about them. Have fun, be a child, but also focus, work hard, learn a sport or a new skill.
3. Talent is not everything
In one of my high schools, we had fancy school plays every year and we would have auditions for the actresses. You should have seen how the judges shattered girls’ dreams! Believe me if you still have doubts, Shark Tank is not acted, there are people born exactly to shatter dreams. High school was a time to decide who could do what and who couldn’t. It was decided I wasn’t a sports person, and I believed the crap. I still use the excuse to talk myself out of jogging to keep fit. But now I know if Taylor Swift had not worked hard at her music, she would probably be teaching Nursery School somewhere right now. Everything can be learned, and you can be whatever you want to be. Talent is overrated! I happen to personally know so many talented artists, but if I told you they have ever publicly exhibited anything, I’d be lying. We all have a drop of greatness in us, it is up to us to shake it up and make it shine. Don’t let anyone tell you you cannot do something, that is your conclusion to make. Try out different things, and whatever you are passionate about, keep doing, it will pay off someday. Just don’t quit.