What I Learned As A Teenager

On September 2nd of 2018, I had to say goodbye to my teenage years and hello to my twenties. I personally feel like my teenage years ended when my mom cancelled my Seventeen Magazine subscription. It was a weird feeling to not have my age end with “teen” anymore. It feels bittersweet. I also find it weird that this is the decade I will have to truly become an adult. I have no idea what these years will hold but that makes me excited. I may move across the country, land my dream career, could potentially get married, see my friends have kids, and all things in between. Yikes.

I would say I have had the “typical” teenage experience. I experienced a lot of “firsts” from first “date” to first “heartbreak” (lol), skipped school to go to McDonalds, went on midnight drives and adventures with friends, sent those risky texts, had a room full of J-14 posters, went through a black eyeliner phase, spent summers at the lake and in my backyard with my best friends, turned the legal drinking age, had a Twitter fan account for various celebrities (which I have been forced to use because Twitter locked me out of my original account), and just truly lived my best life.

It has definitely been years of exploring, loving, and learning. One thing I am proud of is through all of this transition is that I have not lost myself. Being a teenager can be a really hard and a confusing experience. You don’t really know yourself and are trying to find out while juggling life.

I can proudly say I am still the Taylor Swift Loving, Concert Obsessed, Lost and Insecure, Sushi and Starbucks Loving, basic white girl you all know! I have dreams of living in a big city with my dream job and having a lowkey Hannah Montana life raising a family in the countryside. I want to open my own agency and potentially start my own magazine. I never would have thought my love for all things pop culture could lead me to this whole field. I hope to travel the world doing what I love and continue to live my best life. I hope one day I make an impact on someone’s life for the better.

Now, on a serious note, I decided to make this post to reflect on what I have learned and experienced through the years of being a teenager. Whenever I post something, I hope it helps someone in someway.

I hope you take something away from this post that could benefit you, help you from not making the same mistakes I have, blackmail me, realize you are not alone, anything.

Now, I present you the journey I have experienced as a quirky and relatable teen!

Take A Chance On Life

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Something I have learned is to give everything a try, even if it may turn out really bad.

I regret skipping out on a job interview when I was 15 because I was too nervous to go. I could have started gaining experience and breaking out of my shell earlier on, but my mental health is alwaysgoing to be more important. Thankfully I have come around and am not afraid of taking chances.

I wish I didn’t care SO much about what people thought about me growing up. I would not want to wear certain things, dye my hair, and many other things because I thought people would secretly think it was weird.

Here is my first story: I decided to be a wild pre-teen and add blonde streaks to my hair in the 6th grade. People definitely thought it was weird, even telling me it looked like “Halloween.” I kept that hair till grade 9. I think people were just so used to seeing me as the same person all their life that me doing something drastic threw them all off. I also used to have a unibrow, that someone “kindly” pointed out to me in elementary. I tried to fix it myself in my mom’s bathroom and ended up shaving off half my eyebrow before my softball windup party. Honestly, I am blessed with the thick Italian gene brows that people strive for these days, so I should have embraced it. It wasn’t until last summer that I truly realized I need to put MYSELF first. Wear the clothes you want, cut your hair, love who you love, and all the things.

I am so thankful that I got over my freshman year of university shy self and joined a sorority sophomore year. It has brought me a community of support and I do not think I would be enjoying the whole university and life as an adult experience without them. I am currently very content in where my life is at right now. I am happy I can say that.

I am so for the whole “shooting your shot” mentality when it comes to dating and anything. I mean… it has failed for me every time I have tried but it is still worth a try! Slide in their DMs, ask for their number, apply to that job, just do it! I see all of this as, what is the worst that can happen? Rejection sucks but the sooner you try the quicker you can get over it and move onto the next. You will learn if you are wasting time that you could be putting into something better.

Balancing The Obstacles

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I have dealt with a lot growing up. Some things I am not comfortable sharing. One thing I have learned is to take a step back and pinpointing what is important.

One ongoing obstacle that I am slowly feeling ready to open up about is my problem with my body and eating. Ever since I can remember, I have always had a hard time loving the way I looked and allowing myself to eat certain things. It is still something I deal with today, but I have learned it is okay and will take time to find a balance. It was hard discovering social media at such an early age and seeing all of these perceptions of what the expected body is and the look you need to have. Social media has changed the perception of my body. It is really hard to look past all of it and love who I am, but I make sure to remember I am doing the best I can and not feeling too guilty about how I may not be “living up to the idea image.”

Balancing my studies and social life has been awkward. I definitely found myself living a more social life this past fall semester and having my grades slip. I have such FOMO and do not want to remember my university years missing out on things I won’t be able to do in a few years because I have to do a reading. This upcoming year, I am going to make sure I find a balance and use my planner efficiently. I will find ways to allow myself to have a social life but making sure I maybe do a page or so of an essay before then. I blame my high school for making me a major procrastinator.

I think it is hard to help people find a balance, because we all have our own priorities. Knowing what is important in your life and letting yourself be wild can take time to balance. Education and mental health is important.

Take Risks, live in the moment (“My parents live in Ohio.” I had to), set goals, and take control of your life.

The One Where I Cried In A Club

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Now, probably the most *tea* filled part of this post and adventure during my teenage years that I just needed to add because it was just… so dramatic.

A little disclaimer- You know I love you, but I kindly ask you to not message me questioning who these stories are about. (If you know, please do not leak it HAHA). Although part of what I do is producing content on the internet, I do have a private life and a lot that I do not share. You know I am always down for a conspiracy, but I share what I feel comfortable with and have (hopefully) moved on from the situations and would not like to relive them. But, as always, I have a lot of saved tea to spill for some future endeavours… so I will share all eventually (in detail), but for now, this is the only cup filled.

Inspired by one of my favourite content creators, Katy Bellotte, she wrote a post on her blog thekatyproject.com titled Almost-Lovers, and it basically talked about all of the boys she has had “things” with that could have potentially been lovers, but of course, has ended the same as they all do. Ghosting, second choices, ignoring you at parties, and all things inbetween. Every person has left us with a moment they cannot take away. After recently listening to her podcast (Thick & Thin), I have decided to share the first time I truly felt a “heartbreak.” A.k.a I discovered I do have a heart and can feel things. Crazy!

Well, this is not the story I am telling (mainly because I forgot why) but in the first grade something happened with my “crush” and all I remember is laying on my parents bed, faced up at the ceiling, and aching inside. I really wish I knew why but that was the first time I FELT heartbreak. How random. ANYWAYS, this is my more grown up story of the time I cried in the club over someone who I thought felt the same way I did. (Narrator- we still do not know if they did, but that is besides the point. At the time, I assume THEY DID NOT).

A month or so before I was literally the “I don’t know why I’m crying in the club right now” meme, I met someone who I instantly felt a connection to. I ignored the feeling at first because I haven’t experienced that feeling in years. Since then, I still haven’t. It wasn’t until a few people came up to me a week later telling me they noticed it too and asked me about it.

I do not trust anyone these days. Even the thought of them being interested was not enough to make me BRAVE and talk to them more. Little did I know what was going to happen in the months to follow.

I pushed the feeling aside and ignored it. I was not going to go through another ninth grade dance watching my crush sway with my friend to “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 and having a single tear roll down my cheek. CLASSIC. My best friend still makes fun of me for it TO THIS DAY and we decided to make a playlist of all the songs I have cried to. (You’re Welcome.).

ANYWAYS.

My friends event was coming up and I was really excited to see everyone again and go out. The day before, this person messaged me asking if I was busy that day. I will never forget seeing “ This person is typing…” for the first time since we met and feeling like I was in some Taylor Swift song.

Of course I was busy that day, so I told them but we had a plan to meet up later on and just say hello. 

I was not comfortable going out alone, so my friend was going to come with me but got sick and did not stay long at the club and at this point I was already drinking and there was no way I could have gone.

I was messaging them throughout the night and it was going really well. But, here is the downfall: When I was in the club, I told them I couldn’t leave because I was, well, not functioning, and did not want to leave my friends. They were trying to find ways to see me but ultimately it was just not going to happen. I could feel something coming.

All I remember reading was “Okay. Whatever.” and I was SHOOK. It felt like everything that could have potentially happened was destroyed and they had given up on me. I thought I ruined something that could have grown.

My friend that was with me messaging them was like, “are you okay?”. I say “yes”, as tears are streaming down my face. If I have learned anything these years it is that I have MASTERED hiding my crying. There have been so many times I have been in the car or in public bawling and no one notices. Maybe no one cares about me but I like to think I mastered the art of hiding my emotions.

Through the loud music, people dancing, friends giving me the classic “You are so much better! He’s not worth it” pep talks, I felt an overwhelming about of emotions I have never experienced.

It was later when I got home (after finally finding a taxi. @Vancouver, why is it so hard?) I realized it was the beginning of what was going to be a new found feeling I have never experienced before.

I sat on my bathroom floor like the dramatic teenager I was and cried to “Getaway Car” and “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift. Random song selections, I know. I laugh at it now but at the time I was so sad! Tragic.

I ultimately got up and continued to live my best life because I had to go to work in a few hours. But since that moment, I have seen this person here and there. The feelings are not as strong, but something has stayed consistent and has worn off. I have seen people in between these times, but I have not found anything close to the feeling I found. And that is okay. I looked at this as being thankful I even found a feeling worth holding onto and know it is out there somewhere.

So moral of the story is: Feelings are weird and I am not a fan. I have definitely grown a lot since that moment and thank this summer for giving me the time to realize my worth and learn. The Emily at that moment thought this was the end of something special, but today I know there is so much more to experience and it is not worth the tears. I can now say I will not settle or fight for anything I feel is not reciprocated. I know love is out there and time has been my bff.

Even though this was a dramatic experience with an awkward ending (a story for another day), I thank this person for helping me realize my worth and discover this feeling. As Katy said:

“He or she was not just a failed attempt at what you will eventually have with someone else. Every potential relationship is either love, or a lesson. Don’t look at it any other way.”

Like, Realizing Things

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I guess ultimately I can say that it is WILD how nothing truly matters.

Everything I cried about, was worried for, and thought I would never get over, eventually wore off. I think I have just become numb to everything that used to bother me and I am kind of glad.

Of course, there are some things I do need to worry about. I will worry about them when the time comes and continue to just live in the now.

Life is hard. Being a teenager was hard. Trying to find your place in this world and living instead of just existing has taken some time but I am happy with where I am at.

A Special Note

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I just wanted to say thank you to my family, friends, sisters, mentors, teachers, and everyone who has played a part in getting me to where I am today. I am so lucky!

I Am Left With This

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  • I am a firm believer of dress like you are okay with that outfit being your ghost outfit for the rest of your life
  • Elle Woods is my queen
  • Appreciate your family
  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • School work is not worth the cost of your family
  • It is okay not to know what you want to do in life
  • Order your favorite dessert
  • Send that text
  • Be unapologetically yourself
  • Quality over quantity
  • Surround yourself with the best people you can grow with and conquer life with
  • Give everyone a chance
  • I will be on a reality show one day
  • Be confident
  • LIVE
  • Spend all your money on concert tickets
  • Remind people how much you care for them

In my 20’s, I am not letting anything hold me back. I am taking this time to be unapologetically myself and live the best life I can for me.

*All photos are my own*

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