Above, is a link to a recent episode of my favorite talk show, The Real. In this episode, the ladies sit down with #Dear15Me creator Dawn McCoy. She shares the story of how she started #Dear15Me and her ultimate goal to inspire girls all around the world. I was definitely inspired to write my own #Dear15Me. So here it is…
Dear 15 me,
The world can be a scary place, but there’s one thing you shouldn’t be afraid of: Failure. Failure is a part of life. It’s what makes us human. Just make sure that you fail-forward. Failure isn’t final, so don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself. Follow your heart and try something new. You don’t need anybody’s validation. Try your best and whatever happens, just happens. It’s not the end of the world. Things may not always go the way you planned, but don’t give up on yourself. You’re allowed to make mistakes. Sometimes experience can be the best teacher.
What are some of the things you wish you could tell yourself at 15? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’ve never seen the 2005 film, Odd Girl Out, then I highly recommend you take a look at it. The movie stars Alexa Vega (PenaVega) as Vanessa Snyder, a straight-A student in the eighth grade. This movie shows how easy it is to go from being popular and carefree to being a self-conscious outsider. Vanessa’s life takes a downward spiral as the girls whom she once called friends began to bully her both in school and online. The girls use their own jealousy of Vanessa as a tool to plant seeds of self-hatred inside of her, and it works. Unfortunately, Vanessa hits rock bottom before she discovers what real friendship is and how to stand up for herself.
Technology has changed so much since the release of this movie. We now have access to information at the swipe of a finger. Bullies have multiplied by the thousands, and are no longer just the girls we used to be friends with. They are faceless strangers that have never even met the objects of their hatred, and nobody’s off-limits. Bullies target anybody from the girl next door to A-list celebrities. In Odd Girl Out, Vanessa tried to win her friends back by changing herself, sharing her homework assignments, and then lying to protect them. None of these tactics helped her. The bullying didn’t end until she finally stood up for herself.
I’ve watched so many youtubers go through similar experiences with people who only watch their videos to criticize them. Their comments get reported, they get blocked, but they create new accounts and do it all over again. I’ve also seen some youtubers address the situation and stand up for themselves, but at the same time apologize to their viewers for standing up for themselves. Nobody should ever have to apologize for standing up for themselves.
It’s easy to stand up for yourself when you know that the things that are said about you aren’t true. If you lack confidence, then you will allow the things that people say to get under your skin. This gives people power over you that they don’t deserve. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And it’s true, here are a few examples of people who stood up for themselves, in spite of themselves. David was a small shepherd boy, but 1 Samuel 17 shows us how he stood up to a giant and defeated him. In Exodus, we see Moses stand up to his brother who also happened to be the Pharaoh. We see how Esther risked her life by standing up to Haman in the book of Esther. So know that you’re amazing and awesome, and never let anybody tell you otherwise.
Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Stand up for yourself. It’s clapback season.