For the next seven years, "teen" will be added to the end of your age. You have walked over the bridge of time from a child to a teenager. You are 13! These years will be unlike any other set of years you've experienced this far!
These years are vital to personal growth, tender yet rough, painful yet beautiful. This is the time you will transform within from a child's outlook into an adult's perspective. You may feel confused and awkward some days because you are straddling both worlds during this brief period. That's okay. Each day you're learning to see life through new windows and you will eventually shoot up, to the sky, fully ready to grasp your ambitions. Some days you'll feel mature and other days you'll feel like a vulnerable kid. This is because you are between two life stages. Growing takes energy but is always worth it. You'll be tired a lot, but that's okay. Be gentle with yourself and always gentle with others. We are all on a journey together.
Don't feel pressured to be like somebody else. It is a futile quest that will leave you unfulfilled and insecure. When I was a teenager, I thought it was a fun challenge to be as different as possible as the mainstream "cool", and that independence made me very happy and confident. It really works! Also, never let other people influence, dictate, or determine WHO you are. You were created with a signature-stamped blueprint of "the real you". No one else will have this special inside knowledge to tell you who you need to be. However, sometimes your mind may turn circles as you actually struggle with wondering who you are! Guess what? That's okay. It's all within, waiting to be discovered. I am an adult, and I still learn new things about myself every day as I continue to learn who I am. But it is a gift, waiting to be revealed to me as I falter and stumble along in life. God knows who I am and I know too, day by day. This will all be true for you too. So don't stress too much when you feel lost and frustrated. It's okay.
Cameron, always use courage in this journey. Carry courage within your soul to make a difference, to stand your ground, and to wage your battles. Some days you'll feel weak and you'll wonder why you mess up and make so many mistakes. That's okay. You're going to mess up. I mess up all the time. But we carry on, we just do. If you're down, let me know or let someone know. We can all stand back up and carry forward together. It's okay. Never let your spirit linger on your failures. Accept the failures as lessons and push ahead. Shine bright. We are each given unique purposes. However, one purpose humankind shares is to shine bright. Remember to be excited about your successes and to share your gifts. Celebrate the gifts that other's put out into this little-big world too.
Above all, know that I am here for you. You have my heart, unconditionally. I hope you use prayer and wisdom in your choices, but I will be here regardless, shining bright, celebrating you.
Cameron, is the BEST running partner! And when we were finished, leaning on each other's shoulders, he figured out how to make a heart shape with our arm shadows!
I gave Cameron a special gift on his birthday: a small journal. The purpose of this journal is to encourage goals and personal growth. A teenager is the ideal time to start smart habits and to recognize full potential. I wrote some thought-provoking questions in it to kick it off. Then I explained that throughout these years, whenever he wants new nuggets of wisdom or more thought-provoking questions to think about, he could hand me the journal and I'll write more in it for him to fill out. I hope it blesses him as he is propelled forward in his future.
I am also giving him this book to read: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I read it as a teenager and it was an awesome resource for me!
Check back tomorrow for his party details!
For more reflections of Cameron see:
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