I scrolled through my daughters Instagram account. There were things about school, her siblings, her parents and her loves. It was her. Her emotions. Her feelings. Her thoughts. And I was hurt and angry. In that fifteen minutes that it took me to read posts and comments about how life, and school sucked, I thought, how could this be? Why does she doubt herself? Why doesn't she see what we see? She's beautiful, smart, witty, strong, independent. We've given her everything we possibly could? We provide, we support, we love. Why is my teenager uncomfortable in her own skin? Why?
I wanted to respond to each post. But I didn't. I wanted to make smart ass comments. But I didn't. I wanted to argue. But I didn't. For the rest of my day I thought about the things she'd posted or said, and somewhere along the way the answer of "why" finally came to me.
Because she's a teenager.
I'm not of the old adage that boys will be boys, or in this case, teenagers will be teenagers, but I do remembered the days of me against the world. I remembered how that one girl didn't know I existed. The feelings of insecurity, loneliness, anger, and love as a teen. Sure it's a bit different now because of social media, but she's still a teenager trying to figure it all out. And to add insult to injury, she's in a new school this year. A big school. A school that already has cliques and popular kids and barriers.
I want all my kids to be able to "find" themselves. To be who they are because that's who they want to be, not because that's who I tell them to be, and because of this I stopped following her account (her mother still does).
Back in my day we had journals and diaries to bitch about our parents and schools. Today they have social media and blogs, but it's still the same life struggles. It's still teenagers being teenagers.
This e-mail message is intended only for the use of the intended recipient(s). The information contained therein may be confidential or privileged, and its disclosure or reproduction is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please return it immediately to its sender at the above address and destroy it.