Megan Frazer is the author of the 2009 release Secrets of Truth and Beauty. Here she is telling us what she wishes she knew when she was a teenager.
In honor of Hope's sixteenth birthday, I dug into the journals I kept through my high school years and found the entry I wrote on my own sixteenth birthday.
The first half is all about boys. Man, I was one boy-obsessed teenager. Specifically, obsessed with finding a boy.
Once I got that out of the way, the entry veers into self-reflection and, frankly, a bit of self-beratement:
Why am I like this? Why can't I be normal and just worry about normal things? Why aren't I the happy, outgoing girl that everybody sees? Everyone thinks I'm sweet, innocent old Meg, but they don't know me.
Hope asked what we wished we knew when we were teenagers, and this is what I wish I'd known: that everyone else was feeling the same way. There's not a teenager for whom the person they really are, the person they want to be, and the person people perceive is the same. Even that girl who seems so pulled together, or the guy that everyone loves to hang out with – at least some of the time, they, too, are wracked with self-doubt about who they are and how people see them.
The disconnect still would have been difficult, but knowing that others were feeling the same way would have helped a lot. If nothing else, I would have realized that I really was normal after all.