dear Bridget: introductions

Dear Bridget,

You don’t know me. But I know you, because I’ve been where you are. Sitting at your desk, trying to figure out who the heck you are and what you’re going to be. With a thousand voices coming at you, telling you who you should be and how you should act and what you should dream.

It’s a lot to deal with. Anyone who says differently is lying. (Or super old. Like, so old they can’t remember being under 40.)

Your life is complicated. And messy. And stressful.

I wish I could tell you all that ends when you hit adulthood. That somehow the pieces fall into place and you’ve finally got it all together. But I can’t. Because that doesn’t really happen.

There’s no magic moment when you suddenly feel like an empowered adult. But you will learn how to better manage the craziness. And you’ll start to figure out who you are and what you want.

But that doesn’t help you much right now, does it? That’s why I’m here. Consider me your cool big sister, giving advice from the other side, that place where parents don’t dictate/monitor my every move and males actually know how to carry on a conversation. That place where I have a job I like and a dream I’m pursuing and a husband who loves me.

I’m not saying my life is perfect. Life will always be a bit messy, I can promise you that. But it’s a thousand times better than high school. And some days, I wasn’t sure I’d get here.

But I did. And you will too.

So here’s what I promise: I promise to always tell you the truth, not random, crappy platitudes or parental directives. Just straight-up honesty. I promise to write with compassion and humor. I promise to introduce you to other awesome women so you’ll see I’m not the only one who made it through without losing my mind.

There’s a lot of change coming your way, Bridget. And it would be an honor if something I write helps you come out on the other side of your teen years a well-balanced woman who knows her worth. That’s my wish for you.

Love,
Halee

What’s Dear Bridget all about? It’s a new series, composed of letters to a hypothetical teen girl named Bridget. Why Bridget? It means strong. And it represents the current generation of young women. These letters are my attempt to break through the chaos and the crap that’s flying at today’s young woman in order to offer advice and encouragement, from me and other incredible women who remember what it was like to be in her shoes.

If you’re a teen girl and you’ve got a question or issue you’d like us to address, let me know. Just click on the contact button (that round envelope icon at the top of the sidebar) and send me your thoughts.

If you’re an awesome adult woman who remembers those teen years clearly and would like to write to Bridget, feel free to contact me and tell me about yourself.

That time when… I made Lizzie Borden look sane

Everyone loves embarrassing stories. Why? Because it reminds us we’re not alone in our dorky awkwardness, in our “did that really just happen” moments.

No, my friends, you are not alone. I’m starting a new category of stories here, called “That Time When…” It’s going to feature all the accidentally funny and nutty things I’ve done. Because if you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no right laughing at all.

I can laugh at myself.

And I do.

Sometimes out loud.

On one particular day several months ago, I was coordinating a two-day training session at my work. This involved being there at 7:30 in the morning, putting up signs, greeting participants to give them their materials, coordinating the breakfast and lunch catering, and generally making sure everyone had what they needed at all times.

It’s a lot to manage, especially when you factor in the general lack of sleep.

After lunch on the first day, I was heading down the stairs to the training room to check on things. After I carefully descended the stairs in 4-inch heels, I paused at the bottom to find one of the class participants sitting on a bench.

And looking at me with an amused expression. Then I realized…

I had been mumbling to myself.

In situations like these, I find it’s best to go ahead and address the elephant in the room. I used to avoid it and pretend I was normal.

I’m so over that.

“You just saw me talking to myself, didn’t you?”

He laughed.

“Let’s just pretend you didn’t see that, okay? Okay.”

And I swiftly exited stage right. Without tripping or doing any other embarrassing things. Which I’m sure impressed him greatly and more than made up for my crazed mutterings.

All in a day’s work, ladies and gents. Welcome to my life.