10 things I want to tell every teenage goddess

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Teenagers art by FloPelz

Leonie Dawson is an author and blogger (you might remember her from this birth story we ran in March 2011) who is well known for her “Goddess”-themed life coaching. She recently wrote a short post about mentoring eight and nine-year-olds, and came up with this list of things she’d like to tell teens:

1. I know. School sucks.

2. It’s going to get better. It just gets better and better and better. Trust me on this. In fact, it’s going to be glorious.

3. Find what you are passionate about and makes you light up inside, and do it. Keep doing it. No matter what.

4. You can have a career doing something you totally love. There’s SO many opportunities and ways you can earn money now. I have friends who make money in the most gorgeous, wild, wondrous ways. It takes time & a whole lotta work, but if you totally love something, you can make it happen.

5. Embrace your inner weird. This is the stuff that makes you interesting and gorgeous and exciting to be around. Get excited about the stuff you love. Wear whatever you want to wear. Ignore what everyone else is doing.

Fly your freak flag. Go “yup, this is what I LOVE doing and this is who I LOVE being, and if you think that’s weird, that’s cool with me.”

6. Find a couple of people you adore and who adore you and hang out with them. Ignore everybody else. Handy hint: during teenage years, boys can be awesome to have as mates. They tend to be a bit less emotional.

7. Being 13-16 is like this wild time biologically where you get all these rushes of chemical and physical change. It’s like being a crazy hormonal pregnant woman. And unfortunately you’re at a school where there are 200 other pregnant women. So it’s totally understandable to be walking around, bumping into each other and crying a lot. My advice? Stay as chill as possible. Embrace the chillax. Remember you are pregnant with teenagerdom. Foot baths, chocolate & gentleness go a long way here. Be as kind and gentle with yourself as possible. Be as kind and gentle with everyone else as possible. They are all fighting their own secret battle.

8. When you get super pissed or anxious or are totally hurting, stop reacting – you’ll just end up an emotional, spotty volcano which feels even grosser. Go outside and put your hands and feet in the grass. Stare at the sky for 10 minutes. I swear to you, cloud watching is better than any happy pill. It’s REALLY hard to stay pissed when you’re staring at the sky.

9. The person who is happiest, wins. Happy people don’t bully. Happy people don’t give other people shit. Happy people are off making art under trees being kind to themselves and each other. Happy ALWAYS wins. Why don’t you be one of the gloriously happy weird ones?

10: Accept that there’s nothing on god’s green earth you can do that will make everyone love you, appreciate you or approve of you. And that’s okay, because that’s your job to do that. It’s your job to love you, appreciate you & approve of you. And it’s going to the best fun you’ve ever had in your life.

Read the whole thing, and check out Leonie’s website.

Comments on 10 things I want to tell every teenage goddess

  1. There’s a lot of good stuff on that list, but “school sucks”? Really? Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge nerd, but I can’t remember any time in my life when I didn’t love school. It seems to me that putting “school sucks” at the top of the list is a good way to alienate girls who love learning.

    • Our copy editor Caroline said the same thing when she read it! I liked school for the learning part, but not for the social draaaama part. Maybe that’s what Leonie was referring to? I’ll ask her. 🙂

      • I’m an academic and love learning, but I totally didn’t react to “school sucks” because school before university DID suck for me. I think it’s gotta be referring to the social drama, although it could be clearer. (And although “sucks” might downplay it too much, let’s not forget what an unsafe, harassing and abusive environment schools can be for many kids, even the ones who love learning.)

  2. yeah – maybe “school sucks but learning doesn’t” might have been a better way to put that… because school sucked for me though i LOVED learning. school bored me to tears because i was so far ahead of what i was getting. learning, on the other hand, was something i took on myself. sad thing that learning and “school” don’t go hand in hand anymore.

  3. I guess I’m kind of a Debby Downer (or maybe it’s just my stage of life – early 20s) but chances are you won’t be able to do what you love for a career – at least not in the way that everyone says, and certainly not 100%.

    I guess I’m just trying to say that every job has really sucky parts – but that’s ok. Hopefully you can find a job that has fewer sucky parts than good parts. I’m sure that even people who work for themselves have their fair share of sucky.

    This is something I wish people would have told me before I ran into the workforce thinking that everything I did would be wonderful because I enjoyed getting ready for it. Well, every job is a little sucky. 😉

    • Yeah. I wish I hadn’t been told that I could get paid to do the things I love to do, because it’s simply not true- or at least, not worth it. I can have a happier life making money doing things that are just ok and doing the things I love in my free time, then working incredibly hard for very little pay and no actual free time to make money doing something I care about. I wish I hadn’t gotten an expensive graduate degree, and the associated lifetime of student loan debt, before figuring that out.

      • I just want to share that, while having a job you love certainly is NOT guaranteed, being happily self-employed (like Leonie is — and I am, for that matter) is not an unrealistic goal. It’s a goal that takes a lot of work to achieve, but I don’t think it’s fair to say being able to have a job you love is “not true” or “not worth it.”

        Don’t get me wrong: all of us will have to work shitty jobs at some point, and self-employment comes with significant challenges. But I think it’s reasonable to make sure children know that working towards gratifying self-employment (as opposed to magically having someone hire you for a “dream job”) is totally a valid goal.

        • I was just talking about myself, what is true and worthwhile for me based on my own loves and experiences, but looking back at the context I can see that my statement sounded like a generalization. That certainly was not my intent.

        • See, the problem with that thought is I think we’re all working from our small angle of experiences. In my little sliver, working for yourself is possible – but only in the ‘creative’ industries (blogging, crafting, etc.).

          Everyone else that I know works for some sort of company/organization, unless they’re business oriented and working on creating a growing company, and I see that as different than working for yourself.

          It’d be a little hard to work for yourself as a nuclear physicist 😉

          • Totally fair — but I know tons of self-employed lawyers, software engineers, and health care practioners who definitely are NOT in the creative industry.

      • While I certainly don’t think that it’s a good idea to talk about some magical dream job, I do wish someone had pointed out that there’s lots of different ways to make money in life. I ended up going through school for a computer’s degree. Now, I enjoyed coding a fair bit, but there was also this thought in my mind that the vast majority of jobs out there are 9-5 desk jobs where computer skills are needed. When I graduated, my parents went “We always thought you’d become a Park Ranger.” and I went “Wait, that was an option? Why didn’t I think of that?” Now that I’m in the computer industry, I also think that I might have liked to be a librarian. Or own a coffee shop. Or maybe even be a teacher. But in reality, someone told me in Grade 11 that I basically had to pick my career right then. And I panicked and played to the odds. And there’s so many other interesting options out there that had never even occurred to me.

        • I agree with this, and also think we need to add that it’s not always about money. You should find what fulfills you in life, and if that means being a stay at home Mum, volunteering with an organisation that you love or being the carer / supporter of people you love then that’s just as valid though might mean compromises and balancing acts. And more than that, you don’t ever have to be just one thing. We can all have multiple ‘careers’ happening at once, and they don’t all have to be of the traditional kind – eg my husband is an IT genius 9-5, is a fire fighter, foster carer and scout group leader. Take out one part of that and he’d be missing something from his life. My life is even less clearly divided than that and all our income comes from his IT work.

  4. I get the whole “school sucks” thing. I loved learning, but hated the whole assembly-line, cookie cutter structure of school. And of course the social drama was sometimes unbearable.

    As my mom told me, though, school is a series of hoops you have to jump through to get where you want to go. That’s been a helpful thing to remember in college, my career, and life in general. Learn how to jump through the right hoops to get to where you want to be.

  5. Great list. I love Leonie. I read all of her archived posts when I was on maternity leave. As I recall, she didn’t just start having an awesome career as a full time Goddess – I remember her writing about her nine to five and feeling blah and trying to figure herself out. I take great satisfaction in her success, because she’s right on about number 2: It gets better and better and better. When you work at it.

  6. I love #9: The person who is happiest, wins. Happy people don’t bully. Happy people don’t give other people shit. Happy people are off making art under trees being kind to themselves and each other. Happy ALWAYS wins. Why don’t you be one of the gloriously happy weird ones?

    If I could add one thing to the list, it would be ‘Trust that voice inside of you that tells you when something ain’t right. When you’re young and feeling unsure of yourself, it’s easy to ignore your instincts and second guess yourself, which can put you in danger. Trust that voice and listen to it when it pipes up.’

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