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_octinoxate
Hey everyone. With support and enthusiasm from the community forum, I'm bringing back an awesome thread from back in the day: Growing up GIRL! For those of you who weren't around when the thread was, it was a neat place for BUSTies to offer their sage wisdom, to comment on lessons they've learned as they've gone through life and gained new perspectives.

I still think about something that one of the old BUSTies said about insecurities and fears: they are not things to be coddled, sheltered, and protected, but rather to be exposed and challenged. I've been trying to keep that in mind lately as I try new things outside my comfort zone. (Who said that, BTW? Are you still around the lounge?)

So, bring it on, ladies! What have you had to learn the hard way? What do you wish you had known way back when, when you were Growing Up GIRL?
doodlebug
Yay, octinoxate! I missed this thread! Thank you for re-creating it!!!

I wish I'd known that it's okay not to have all the answers.

I wish I'd known that nobody else has all the answers, either.

I wish I'd known that I really am the only person on this planet who knows what's best for me, and I wish I'd learned how to trust my instincts more a long time ago.

I wish I'd known that it's okay not to be in control all the time.

I wish I'd known that it's okay not to know your destination, as long as you make the best of the journey.
nickclick
yes, thanks octinoxate! it's good to know from where we came to see how far we've come. (okay that sounds like it came from my 7th grade diary. der.)

growing up i wish i had more girl friends. as a budding feminist i poo-poo'ed everything girly, which meant i never wore a skirt and hung mostly with boys, trying to be like them, to be taken more seriously i guess. now i see we can have our cake and eat it too, and that i need my girls around me to survive.

and maybe that's also why i'm 31 and my cubicle is tricked out in rainbow brite and hello kitty.
_octinoxate
Hehe, I'd love to see your cubicle.

I did the same thing growing up: rejected everything "feminine" because I didn't want anything to do with the bullshit that I felt I was supposed to buy into as a woman ... but maybe ended up throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I've had some super girly phases and some super anti-girly phases since then, but I think I've found a comfortable ambiguous place that I very at home in now. Still, I need more girlfriends. That presence is so very important, isn't it.

Here's a new one I learned today: I used to think that trust had to do with the other person-- is he (or she... usually he in my case!) trustworthy? Can I rely on him? Can I show a weak spot? But what do ya know... it turns out that it's actually about trusting myself to handle whatever could go wrong if I trust somebody and he doesn't do what he's supposed to.
nickclick
well octinoxate, we've got plenty o' girl friends here!

boy friends seemed more low maintenance, and probably still are. like if i bailed on hanging out or something it was not as much a biggie as with girl friends. maybe still true now, but i learned their friendships are more worth some of those hassles.

oh and i'd be nicer to my mom, would have held back on more of those fights about getting a perm or needing another pair of chucks.... i guess listening to the cure 24/7 made me a moody teenager....
ginger_kitty
I did the whole anti femme/tomboy thing when I was younger to. I still tend to be that way, but I have grown to like being girly sometimes and realize it doesn't make me weak or less intelligent to be feminine.
I wish I'd known that back then and had more girl friends, too.

I wish I'd known everybody ends up doing things they thought they'd never do.

I wish I'd known things would could better with age.

I wish I'd known people would like me, if I was just myself and let go.
zoya
I wish I'd known that guys don't give a crap if you sleep with them or not on the first date if they're really interested in you - and if they throw you attitude because you didn't, they're not worth getting to know.

I wish I'd known that guys who make the best friends are most often the last person I should date.

I wish I'd known that anti-depressants are not scary, but a good thing in moderation!
nickclick
i wish i'd known to date the geeks. cool guys were (and still are) often too cool for things like being a grown-up or being a good boyfriend.
EllaMinnowPea
I wish I'd known that my own happiness and others' are not mutually exclusive.
happykatfive
I wish I hadn´t thought that feminism was unnecessary anymore. It wasn´t until I was contemplating career and family that I began to realize how much I needed feminism in my daily life. I was certainly affected by it previous to that, but that´s when it really became obvious to me that I wasn´t just "one of the guys" like I thought I was. I guess sexism didn´t seem so blatant to me until then.
girltrouble
you are always, smarter, stronger and more resiliant than you think you are.
Beauty & her Bass
Only the people who don't really like you for you care about what your outside appearance is.
bunnyb
To wait for the one you love and who truly adores you in return.
freckleface2727
that when I was in my angsty teens that it would take another 15 yrs or so for me to really like myself but it would totally be worth the wait.
jkat
to grab opportunities that suddenly appear, even if i am uncertain where they may lead.

to take advantage of connections people offer me
notwearingwords
i wish i had developed a better relationship with my sister. we have so many of the same old wounds, but we've always kept one another at arm's length.
girltrouble
growing into that person you are in your heart of hearts, isn't something to be scared of...
kickitkickitkickit
QUOTE(notwearingwords @ Jan 15 2007, 11:36 PM) *

i wish i had developed a better relationship with my sister. we have so many of the same old wounds, but we've always kept one another at arm's length.


I wish the moron still staying in my place had a better relationship with his sister. I seriously want to deport him back to Canada.
nickclick
my first love would not be the only or the best love i'd ever experience, and that fairy tales are for the birds!
tesao
i wish that i had listened to my father and started making investments sooner. i'd be able to retire by now!
doodlebug
That the majority counsellors, therapists, shrinks, will spend copious amounts of time trying to convince people that it's okay to be weak....but very few of them will tell people that it's okay to be strong, too.
starshine
That no matter how badly I have screwed up, someone has always done one better - and more importantly, that the world does not end by this mistake! (and then this moves into the ever cliche, though cliche for a reason, a mistake is really just an opportunity....)

And if I ever have a question, or am unsure about something, guaranteed someone else is wondering the same thing, so why not stick my neck out a little and just ask, because if someone else doesn't appreciate it, I certainly will....

Oh, and there's so many more. I was on a grrls road trip this summer and we spent a good portion having the discussion "what will you tell your daughter that you were never told" and we came up with so many, most centering around trusting and respecting one's self. For example, why stress on whether or not s/he likes me, when more importantly, the question should be do I like them?!!!
culturehandy
I wish I would have known to not take things so personally, and that is someone doesn't like me, it's their loss and fuck 'em. I didn't realize that until last year, and through counselling!
nickclick
glad to learn that even tho i have bills and a 9-5 job and dr. appointments and a 401k and a coffee maker, it doesn't mean i'll probably ever feel like a "grownup."

old maybe, but not grown up.
maddy29
not sure if this quite belongs here-but i've been thinking lately of all the old dudes who were sexualish to me as a girl. i wish i'd known that was inappropriate of them-the cross country coach who took pictures of us in our bathing suits in an outdoor shower and made us run in our suits on the beach (easy for me-i had no boobs-everyone else was bouncing around)

the family friend who looked me up and down when i was 15 and proclaimed "You have a swimmer's body" (whatever the fuck THAT means)

the high school teacher who gave girls A's if they wore short skirts on test day.....(i studied for my A's)

the college TA who started each section off with a sexist joke-i wish i would have known that not only is that not ok-but I can report him and DO something about it.

I wish I'd known that everyone wants girls to shut up, and I wish I would've spoken up a LOT more.

Moonpieluv
Even though I feel my journey has just begun, and I suspect I always will, I may feel more grown up if I can juggle it all and still manage to do with a relative sense of calm and balance.

I'm a goat trying to make my way up a very tall mountain. If I reach even close to the peak, I'll yoddle so loud, I may even poot a little. laugh.gif
Marinegal
Haha, what do I wish I knew way back when...I wish I knew one doesn't really know themselves until their mid to late 20s and that unless both people really know themselves and are ready to settle down then you shouldn't. I still probably would have married that asshole, but I wish I hadn't moved to quick with the relationship. Oh well, not worth crying over spilt milk now.
juls
I wish I would have known that some things are best left as a sweet memory... dating my high school crush 5 years later was one of my biggest regrets... what an asshole...
skinwithoutscars
i wish i'd known, all the time i was busy being Mommy's Little Feminist, that it's good to be loud but okay to be quiet.

i wish someone had said to me, a lot sooner than last night, instead of you not being good enough for him, what if he wasn't good enough for you? (what a revolutionary thought that was! and it's true, he's an emotional wreck who wouldn't know how to nourish a houseplant, let alone me! why did no one point this out?)
zoya
QUOTE(skinwithoutscars @ Apr 6 2007, 10:46 PM) *
i wish someone had said to me, a lot sooner than last night, instead of you not being good enough for him, what if he wasn't good enough for you? (what a revolutionary thought that was! and it's true, he's an emotional wreck who wouldn't know how to nourish a houseplant, let alone me! why did no one point this out?)


skinwithoutscars - amen, sistah. I was just coming in here to write something like this. What a revolutionary thing when I finally, in my 30's, realized that I don't need to be, do, or act like someone I think a guy might like in order to be with him. - Rather, I just need to know who I am and be who I am, and then the right people just seem to fall into place.
zoya
wow, I didn't realize I made the last post! anyway, I love this thread and I decided to revive it.... I think a lot of busties have been going through a ton of growth in the last year and probably have a lot to add!!


That you should always strive to make your actions match up with your words (in other words always put your money where your mouth is, or don't say it in the first place)

Don't spend too much time talking about yourself - ask other people about themselves - they love to tell you, and you'll make close friends faster

ask yourself every so often "would I want to be friends with me? Close or just an acquaintance? why?"
kittenb
That whatever you want to do sexually, and I mean whatever, no matter how weird or even conservative, as long as done with your full consent and joy, is going to be worth trying. The past be dammed.

And drink less Coke. Yes, it is Southern Champagne, but indulge a little less. rolleyes.gif
Moonpieluv
that being direct is the best approach, not stewing all day long in your own cauldron of sensitivity and insecurity.

that impatience will not make an adjustment period happen any faster.

that some people ARE that self-righteous, and the only thing you can do is remember who YOU are and not to compromise yourself, especially if you may not be getting the same compromise in return. Don't be trapped into thinking you are always just too sensitive, therefore any or all irritation is not valid. Step back and see things more objectively.

that you can choose to be content (relatively) by doing things that make YOU happy, instead of relying on others to "entertain" you.




crazyoldcatlady
that She-Ra was right. you actually DO have the power.
geekchickknits
That my mother was right.

About everything.
damona
i wish i had known how to stand up for myself better. i spent my childhood being the smart. weird kid that nobody liked and i came home crying at least once a week. i was in 6th grade before i ever stood up for myself and i will never forget how good it felt. or the look on that girls face! it was like the doormat had just sat up and bit her. it was the best feeling ever, i just wish i'd learned how good it felt sooner.
humanist77
dance lessons.
I move like Elaine Benes now.
culturehandy
geekchickknits, so true!

My father is a good person to talk to about what's troubling me.
zoya
that nice guys are not so bad.
bunnyb
that the mistakes you make will live with you forever.
roseviolet
Do your homework. All of it. I know it's boring and I know it isn't fun, but you'll feel so much better about yourself if you just do it. You won't feel so guilty and your grades will improve, too. And good grades are as good as cold hard cash when it comes time to go to college. You always wished you could get paid for good grades, right? Well you can. They're called scholarships and they are woooooooonderful things! Really!

Stop worrying so much about what people may or may not think about you. Instead, just go for what you want. When you're doing what you really want and what you really love, you'll feel so much happier and so much more confident. Believe it or not, most people won't stand in your way. In fact, you may find support in some very surprising places.
girltrouble
it's ok to jettison friends who constantly bring drama in your life. really. you'll see how good life can be when your friends are positive and not trying to create friction.


don't worry so much about the friends you lose being yourself. i know it's a cliche, but they really aren't your friends.

be yourself. i know it's easier to be the person everybody thinks you are, but eventually it brings you down. it's not worth it.


if someone tells you you can't do something, don't take their word as golden, instead, redouble your effort and prove them wrong. your self-esteem will rocket.

oh, and you will pay tomorrow for what you do today. so if you think you are getting away with something, you're not. it will catch up to you.
damona
spend less time worrying about what people think and more time being comfortable with yourself.
pollystyrene
QUOTE(bunnyb @ Jul 1 2008, 05:39 PM) *
that the mistakes you make will live with you forever.


Amen, honeybunny! Some of them, anyway; some things, you gotta get over.

That when your parents tell you, "you should save your money for when you move out", they're right.
starship
Instincts are there for a reason

2nd chances are fine, maybe 3rd, but after the 4th 5th 6th...take a hint
persimmon_grrrl
learn to walk out during the middle of dates sooner.

you don't gotta fuck nobody you don't want to.

learning how to listen to my body.

shit will get better. really bad, then better. then shitty again. but better eventually.

don't ever give more than you get. this doesn't mean be a stingy, weird, emotionally withholding person.

just know that not everybody can love as deeply, well, and in such a nuanced way as you, and aren't as open, honest, and sharing.
find people who can.
also, learn to make hang-out buddies.

don't be afraid of your heart.
probably a lot more, but i can't remember.

you're beautiful! don't be afraid of it. and don't give people's looks and eyes any power. you matter.
pay attention to how you feel around people. don't let people dominate you emotionally. they're not worth it. they really don't hold any magical keys over your survival, your lovability. trust yourself.

you don't have to make yourself smaller in order to be nonthreatening! no way. if people are threatened, that's their problem, not yours. stay your wonderful open energetic loving inspired passionate inspiring self.
vixen_within
Those are great ones Persimmon Grrrl.
dolor
The single most important insight that I've come upon... and this happened late in life, some years ago, during a particular conversation... is that there are people who don't want to be happy, who don't know how to be happy, who don't believe that they are entitled to happiness. (Usually, this is taught to them by their parents, or by a lack of parents.)

It was hard for me to see because... it's so paradoxical. Everyone wants to be happy, right?
Not so.

This insight then brought me to many other adjacent insights...

I'm not talking about myself. While I'm do have a depressive side, I always wanted to be happy, and felt that I was entitled to it. I don't know if it would have been easier or harder to come upon this insight, if I had been caught up in it.

But I am vulnerable to someone saying (in effect) "I'm unhappy... and it's your fault!" While I don't want to run away from my faults (they are there!) I've now learned to re-think such recriminations, not simply swallow them at face value. And also to avoid those who go through life tossing out this accusation, instead of taking responsibility for their own happiness.
kittenb
I wish I'd know that I could actually throw a good party.

I just wouldn't meet anyone worth inviting till I was well into my twenties.
Kpasa
I wish I would have known that no one really cares about your embarrassing moments as much as you think they do, and those incidents are often forgotten in everyone's mind but yours.

I wish I would have gotten my driver's license sooner, and known that I wouldn't have to parallel park on the driving test.


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