On the evening of my 13th birthday, my mother came into my room to have a "chat". She told me that the next few years were going to be really hard, that we would probably argue a lot, that I could expect gigantic mood swings, lots of stress and serious self-esteem issues. I was WELL looking forward to becoming a teenager...

Anyhoodle, here I am on the evening of my 18th birthday and I can't help thinking that in a lot of ways she was totally right. Being a teenager is hard work and most of the time it's because you're constantly seeking everyone's approval, including your own. Everyone wants a piece of you: school, the media, parents, friends, sports/music clubs etc. What really bugs me, is how people respond to teenagers. There seems to be two extremes: on the one hand, you have the people who think all teenagers are thugs, sluts and good for nothings - they're wrong; and on the other you have people (especially teachers and youth leaders) who are like "wooooh I love working with teenagers" like we're some sort of alternative species - they're just annoying. Teenagers just want you to respect them, for you to be their friend and not just because it's "alternative" or "the right thing to do for the future generation", but because you genuinely like spending time with them. I'm lucky enough to have adults in my life who treat me like one of their peers, something which I really, really appreciate.

I'd like to think that I'm coming out of the whole approval addiction phase, but I'm still trying to live up to the standards that I have set for myself...maybe I'll never get over that part. For all the bad aspects of being a teenager, I've had a pretty awesome ride. On the evening of every birthday I like to read over my old journals and just remember all the amazing experiences and adventures I've had. Tonight, as I read through them, I couldn't help but notice how God has always been in every single moment, how he has worked every bad situation for good and how he has put some incredible people in my life to help guide and support me. I feel so lucky, lucky, lucky! I'm not really that bothered about being 18, age is just a number and I just like birthdays because they make you feel all special and appreciated. So this blog...really doesn't have much of a point. Anyways, I'd like to leave you with a quote from a book I read this week, I think it's a pretty interesting thought on life and teenagers :-) Enjoy!

"When adults say, 'Teenagers think they are invincible', with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so cannot fail"

Looking for Alaska by John Green (Excellent book. EVERYONE READ IT!)


  1. All I have to say is:
    "James Doc likes this"

    "Tonight, as I read through them, I couldn't help but notice how God has always been in every single moment, how he has worked every bad situation for good and how he has put some incredible people in my life to help guide and support me." - AWESOME! :D

  2. I absolutely know what you mean about the youth leaders treating us like a seperate species. It's annoying.

    I offer <3 to you and luck to you.

    "Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations." I love John Green!

  3. This blog made me laugh alot!

    I would however, like to defend all youth workers as a person who worked alongside one and is now getting older/realising that my teenage years are coming to an end (or are well and truly over.)

    I get what you mean about seeing teenagers as a different species but I don't think it's fair to critise youth leaders for being excited about teenagers' potential or to say that they're just doing it because it's the "right thing". If youth leaders never inspired us, gave us opportunities to flourish, planted vision in us then there would be far fewer teenagers doing anything purposeful with their lives.

    So many people in the world have no one that believes in them, encourages them to develop their potential or go for their dreams. Yet when youth leaders do exactly that, get excited about their job and say that they "love working with teenagers", they get critised for only doing it because "teenagers are the future" or "because it's the right thing to do".

    If that were the reason that youth workers got into their profession, I think they would quit fairly promptly. As opposed to criticising youth workers (which I've been guilty of), we should be glad that there are people that want to spend time with young people and not everyone has a negative view of teenagers.

    As you quoted "teenagers think they are invincible" whereas old people "get scared of losing and failing". Maybe that's why youth workers like working with teenagers... because they're not afraid of taking risks and dreaming. Because youth leaders have the opportunity to support young people in a time of their lives when they make important life decisions, when they are still "impactable" and deciding what to do with their lives. So in some ways, teenagers are an alternative species...

    To summarise my opinion, youth workers do an awesome job (particularly as they get very little praise for all the effort they put in with teenagers).

    I hope you had an awesome birthday Ellie. Your oakwood photos are lovely!

    Heather xxx