When you see a pack of teenagers huddled together at the Mall, do you squirm or smile? Does it evoke warm memories of your high school prom or distasteful flashbacks of gossiping girls? For the most people I know, adolescence was wrought with uncertainty, judgement and fear of standing out. For me there were certainly good times, but for the most part, I secretly longed to be older. I was tired of being judged, I was fed-up with “rules” I didn’t understand and I had no clue how I would turn out on the other side. I just tried to get through it. (Perhaps you can relate?)

I was quite lucky. Throughout the years I have been taught by some incredible individuals. Some in my family, some at my universities, and some later in life. People who inspired me and showed me how to live to my full potential. My life is a testament to their mentorship. I am forever grateful for their guidance. Would I go back? No way. But I sure would like to help teens who are in the thick of it right now.

When I was fourteen, I wish I knew that I didn’t need everyone’s approval. I wish I knew that painful experiences would fade in time. I wish I knew that I didn’t have to pretend everything was perfect. Easy to say now, but harder to understand then.

I am embarking on a journey to meet today’s teens and hear their stories. To mentor their journey. To help them through this time. My question is simple. What did you wish you knew then, that you know now? Take a moment and share your thoughts in the comments below. Your input is invaluable! Many thanks…

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