letter to a teen

Dear young one,

I was watching the other day as you stood just on the outskirts of the group, the leader holding court perched on the picnic table, the rest of you arranged in a half circle around him, all eyes focused at the apex of the arc. But you, you were just outside the half circle, shifting from one foot to the other, watching the king, then glancing around, observing. You were in the group, but not quite, and I could see you wondering if this was your place.

I saw you. I see you.
I know.

In high school, the group you choose matters. That group is everything. They tell you where you belong in the world. Where you stand at break, where you eat lunch, where you sit at football games, where you can be found on weekends. This group defines you. But, my dear, if this was truly your group, you would be defining them as well. You would belong.

Belonging means that people accept you and love you for who you are. Fitting in means changing yourself so that people will accept a masked you. God created us so that we could belong to each other.

Give it a try. Be who you are. Show them your truth. When you find a group that opens up that circle and stands by your side, you’ll know you’ve found your people.

But if they don’t? If they don’t, it might be time to move along.

I see you. I know you. I’m not sure they do.
Take the risk. Let them know who you are. You’ll be glad you did, and so will they.
It’s time for you to realize that being known is just as important as knowing.

In a few short months, your place at the lunch table ends. Your place on the fringe of the circle disappears. Your place in the world, though, is just beginning. Find yourself, trust yourself, believe in yourself, because you, young one, you are absolutely amazing.

love, me

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