Being a teenager is all about being flawless. It’s about perfection, not letting them see you sweat, and being sure to cover up every crack, scar, and unsymmetrical attribute. It’s the constant shrouding of everything different, weird, or out of the ordinary. That’s flawlessness, and it’s unattainable, unreal, and impossible to actually achieve. Teenagedom is about finding your flaws, being aware of them, and owning them. You’ve got this, you’re not perfect, but you’re as close as it gets – this is flawless.
Flawlessness – it’s not something that’s actually tangible, it’s not a thing, and it’s not something you should strive for. Everyone has something to hid, everyone has imperfections, and things that they would want to change about themselves, but that’s for them to worry about – not you to add on to. People have enough going already in their lives and getting criticism about things like appearance or just being super judgemental is not going to do anyone any good. Keep your thoughts, if they’re not helpful or have the possibility to hurt someone’s feelings – to yourself. There’s this concept of intent versus impact. While you may intend to say something a certain way, you can’t determine how that will make someone feel. Even if you have good intentions, the results can be disastrous. That also goes for saying to not things personally – if you’re talking to me, about me – then how am I not supposed to take what you’re saying personal? That makes no sense whatsoever. You can’t control how other people feel, think or react – what you can do is prevent those conflicts, awkward moments, and struggles. Nobody’s perfect, just like nobody’s flawless.
Monday started off with another hilarious breakfast in the office - when you've got 8 people in one office room, you know there's going to be just classic collegiate ridiculous. IRA executive board, so Sam, Terra, Eric, Anna, Felicia, Bret, and I worked on our recruitment posters like nobody's business. In between we would open the door for the girls' soccer team as they passed by. Soon our monetary guru, Laura stopped by to give us the lowdown on the budget and get us going when it came to matters of the wallet. We discuss a little bit how we want to budget and the process for dispersal of funds and headed off to lunch in good ole Harris-Millis. Truthfully, the only reason I like whole dining hall experience is being ogled by the RA's - why yes, I'm looking sessy, you're welcome (Awkward's Sadie voice). We meet with OSCR (office of student & community relations) and plan some epic program to engage on campus students with the surrounding community. We take a break to pack our bags and meet back at Harris-Millis for din-din (as in reused Turkey slices & the obligatory up and down looks from errrryyybody else) before loading up our sketchy black van and heading on our retreat. We make a pit stop at Hannaford for some serious snackage (9 people shopping with one cart, you know it was a mess). Off to Bishops' Booth conference center where we all drop off our stuff and head off to water front to frolic in the warm water and photoshoot like nobody's business. You would of thought we were professional models or something. We head inside and do a teambuilder with a Blue Lagoon style prompt on ranking items for survival importance - let's just say we we were all over the place. We did a discussion circle where people opened up and mentioned their flaws - which was powerful in and of itself. We did canvas prints of what defined us and huddled into one massive room (Harry Potter style) to bunk all together. Nobody's flawless, being aware of your flaws makes you stronger and observant.
Tuesday started out with some turmultous sleep and a slow wake up from the group of us retreating. I got dressed and went to grab breakfast. I go to sit down and just break a chair on the patio - like it's NBD. More than done with my clumsy self - the cran-apple juice was strong as eff and I was just not having it all. Our advisers, Drake and Learie, lead us in exploring our leadership styles and what it means to be a leader and be in a leadership position. We go over more aspects of our group dynamics and take our afternoon break to head to the beach. You're probs thinking, WTEff what beach on Lake Champlain - North Beach would be the response. The sand was blazing hot and water calmingly cool. I play on the playground a bit and swing like I love to. Everyone except Felicia, Learie and I lay out and do some tanning (ooph #whitepeopleproblems). We spend a couple of hours and move back to our retreat site. We play zip-zap zop (ice breakers anyone) and it gets super competitive (as it should) and we come up with our community standards. We take our single and group pictures on the water front before piling into the van and heading off site to dinner. Let's just say picture taking was harder for some of us than others. Looks are a such a touchy subject for most everyone, you can say that you don't care what other people think, but we all know it always gets to us, and it knocks us down. The thing is ... nobody's flawless. We eat at Skyburger and by that point I was just not feeling it, and I was just keeping to myself, keeping quiet and doing my own thing. You all know when I'm not speaking there's got to something wrong, but sometimes I'm just tired, overwhelmed, or most likely offended or not about that. We eat and everyone has a great laugh and we return to our retreat. Everyone stays downstairs to watch Ratatouille while I took a break to gather myself, play some Roller Coaster Tycoon and plan a room design contest (that's what I do when I'm bored, I plan programs and make posters ... because I'm weird). Bed time comes around and I sleep well like it's my job. Everyone has a flaw, no matter who you are of where you came from - it's what's makes us all unique.
Being a teenager is all about realizing that you’re human. This whole down to Earth thing may be hard to sometimes grasp, the fact that we aren’t capable of doing everything. We may need help from time to time and we’ll have to accept it. It can be difficult, but when you realize you are flawed, fatally almost like those classic story characters with that hero complex and that trait that brings their inevitable downfall. You’re not flawless, so what – you’ve still got more than enough to work with and be proud of. Do you, forever and always.
My blog post question for the day is … what’s your biggest flaw? I would have to say that I let people get to me, and I need to be able to move past it – it’s not the end of the world, but it sure feels like it.