When I was little, I wanted desperately to be a supermodel/actress.
They were all so pretty, tall, skinny, sexy, and popular… basically everything that I was not.
I was a nerd… scratch that… I have been a nerd my whole life. It wasn’t until recently that the moniker earned the “cool” star.
I had long, scraggly hair, teeth too big for my mouth, chipmunk cheeks, and was, therefore, not the most popular girl in Miller Creek Middle School.
One of my dreams, however, was to be flown to Paris as a model for Fashion Week.
I remember going, on my 13th birthday, to a “modeling school” (which was another word for “scam to get all your money”) that doubled as an agency in the city.
I was too short. I needed to lose weight. I needed to dress better. Why didn’t I wear heels?
They told me that I had potential, but I needed a lot of work.
I cried on the way home, wishing I could be enough as I was to become a model with their agency.
Why couldn’t I just be enough?
Now, as I prepare to go to Paris in 2 days, I look back on that time and wish I could just say to that girl:
You are smart. You are beautiful because you are the only you out there. Their requirements don’t mean that you are any less stunning as you are.
You don’t need to prove to anybody that you have worth. You are born worth it.
The 13-year-old me would look at the 28-year-old me and see how happy I am now that I have accepted myself, now that I have admitted to the world who I really am, and I think she would be happy, too. After all, that’s what I’ve always really wanted. To feel worth.
I didn’t realize that I could instill upon myself this feeling. In fact, I am the only person that can give myself worth.
I am earning my trip to Paris, albeit in a very different way than I planned as a 13-year-old.
I’m making my own way there.
One thing that 13-year-olds don’t often think about is the possibility that you’ll change your mind, and the possibility that the dreams you have are not necessarily the best for you.
At 13, you don’t see past the material dream. You don’t see the reason you want fame, just that everyone places you on a pedestal as a result. You don’t see the reason you want to be beautiful, just that people immediately love you because of how you look, no matter how ugly the inside is.
If you’re stubborn (like me), you may hold onto those material dreams for too long, which could cause devastating results.
Now that we’re older, we can see past those material hopes, and to what we actually wanted to achieve. For me, I wanted recognition because I felt invisible. I wanted to feel loved because I was made fun of at school. I wanted to have a voice that people would hear because I was so shy and scared of what others might think of my opinions.
Beauty, fame, and money were the means to get to those ends. What I didn’t realize was that the means were not set in stone.
Go back to your childhood for a sec. What did you want more than anything in the world? What were your dreams?
Now get a little deeper. Why were you aiming for those dreams in particular? Look past the material goal and see what qualities you wanted out of life. I bet those motives are still in place today.
To be able to understand your priorities in life affords you the ability to reframe the means to obtain them.
Remember: there is no reason why you can’t be happy now, instead of waiting until your goals are achieved to have the “perfect” life. Perfect is boring, remember?
The point of this breakdown of dreams today is to be able to understand more fully your actual priorities. I’ve talked about these before as “root goals.” These are the qualities you value most in life and are willing to fight for.
Take those childhood dreams, or even your current ones and get to the deeper dream. Do you want love? Do you prioritize adventure? Do you favor freedom above all else?
Here are some examples of common childhood dreams and possible deeper meanings:
•Fireman, policeman, doctor, nurse, or dentist: Did you want to help people above all else? Did you want to be a hero to someone?
•Pilot, flight attendent, or anyone else that travels often: Did you want to feel free? Did you want to see the world? Did you want to get away from your situation as it was (home, school, etc.)?
•Singer, model, actor, or host: Did you want your voice to be heard? Did you want to be seen and loved by everyone? Did you want to leave a legacy that the whole world would remember?
•Writer of any kind: Did you want to reveal the truth in every situation? Did you want your voice to be heard? Did you want to work by yourself without having any kind of schedule? Did you want freedom?
•Artist: Did you want to freely express yourself? Did you want to create beauty? Did you want to do what you loved for the rest of your life?
•Lawyer, judge, policeman: Did you want to ensure justice and fairness in the world? Did you want to make a lot of money? Did you want to defend victims? Did you want to persecute bad guys?
•President or other position of power: Did you want everyone to have to listen to you? Did you want to take care of everyone? Did you want to earn recognition that you earned the most coveted position in the USA? Did you want to be revered?
Obviously, there are so many more options that I haven’t covered, but this is a start. You can see how I’ve gone deeper into the motive of each dream, and how you can as well.
Now ask yourself if you still value those deep dreams. Are you still fighting to achieve those qualities in life, or did you get lost along the way? Have you achieved some or all of them? If so, what’s your next step? What qualities are you striving for now?
Do you think that, if the 13-year-old you saw you today, working toward the root dreams you were aiming for, she would be happy?
Are you doing what you’re passionate about? Are you being your true self? Are you happy?
I think the 13-year-old me would get a kick out of the way I’m going to Paris now, as an anti-supermodel. As a promoter of beauty from within in the form of strength. Because I believe strength is beautiful, and I am willing to fight for that.
How are you going to make your OWN way to your 13-year-old deep dreams, or do they make sense anymore? What are your priorities now, and how are you working toward them? If you’re not working toward them, how will you take this opportunity to refocus and take action?
Looking forward to hearing from you all! Like always, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!
An ending note: After feedback from readers and friends, I have decided to extend the end date for my coaching services. I am going to keep it open until I feel like I am in danger of not giving new clients my full attention and focus. I see that quite a few people have signed up, and I look forward to speaking with you very soon!
A post-ending note: If you missed my interview on Radio Enso of BlogTalkRadio.com, head over here to check it out!
8 Responses to “What Would the 13-Year-Old You Think?”
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