Tuesday, March 27, 2012

To My Seventeen Yr Old Self--AND...A Cool New Book!!


My wonderful friend, Jennifer Lane, has published her second novel, Streamline! And I am proud to offer a blog post in her honor. Below you'll find a wicked cool blurb for her novel. And just check out her cover!!! Then read what advice I'd give my adolescent self as my blog post in her honor. I hope you enjoy all three!

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Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.


Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.

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And here's my post! Hope you can relate:

TO MY SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD SELF:

Your parents love you, but they’re only human…and they make mistakes.

We have this idea as kids that our parents have all the right answers—and, indeed, we’re all too often taught that by well intentioned elders. But this leads to issues when they mess up. This inevitably ends in that coming-of-age moment when we realize that our parents are flawed. It can shake up our whole world. The idea, however, isn’t to have all the answers served to you on a fool-proof silver platter. It’s to take from our parents what makes sense to our hearts, and leave the rest. It’s up to each individual to navigate his/her own life.

You are not at all, today, the person you’ll be in ten years.

A lot happens in a decade. You face your peers and your fears, and you start to forge both a solid identity and a backbone when it comes to who you are and what you want. Don’t sweat the small stuff now, because the older you get, the more you realize that there are more important things in life to worry about—and bonus points, you’ll better understand what’s worth getting riled up about.

No matter what your circumstances are now—things always, always change.

In the moment, tough times can seem like the end of the world. But everything gets better, even the hardest situations. That might mean you have to take positive action to get yourself out of a space that is causing you pain, but if you have faith, determination and a good outlook, you’ll rise above and beyond anything this life can throw at you—and that’s a promise.

That reminds me… a positive attitude does a lot more than just make you feel better.

Optimism attracts all kinds of helpful opportunities and people in to your life, so fight that emo funk temptation and opt for a sunnier viewpoint. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you and it never stops getting interesting, from 20 to 110. Every decade offers more amazing things to become, to do and to see, so smile and believe in the goodness of life! It will keep you healthy and happy.

And lastly, don’t focus too much on material things.

You’re kind of buried in shallow things as a teenager, and it doesn’t get much better in your twenties unless you’re aware of it, and that can make it hard to recognize the truth of who you are and what your purpose is. Save yourself some trouble on your way into your twenties. Enjoy your “stuff”, sure, but remember that possessions are only one part of this life—not the whole. You need balance, which means that when you start to feel stressed or pressured in ways that feel contrary to your well being and peace of mind—buck the system. Be a rebel and follow your heart to find real happiness, and never be afraid to shine your best self on the world. Some people will have a hard time with it, but we all grow at our own pace, so be patient with folks who just don’t get you. A strong sense of self combined with compassion for others will get you far.

And there you have it! I'm sure I could come up with lots more, but I thought I'd leave that to you. What do you think? What would you tell your teenage self on the brink of adulthood?

Love,

Jen

5 comments:

Jennifer Lane said...

Jen, I love these wise words. I wonder if I'd listen to them at age 17 (probably not) but they sure are worthwhile. It's been great to grow a backbone and stand up for myself, which was tough for me at age 17.

"In the moment, tough times can seem like the end of the world."

I think this can help explain teen suicide--the lack of life experience to know that things do get better. If you're feeling sad, you'll feel better. If you're feeling happy, you'll feel worse. ;)

Thanks for being part of the party!

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