This one is for all the girls out there who stand in front of the mirror wondering if anyone will love them. The ones who think they have to give their bodies away just to be loved. The ones who treasure themselves, but also long to have someone by their side.
I was a nerdy, dorky, glass-wearing, chubby girl…not much has changed! Boys in high school didn’t ask me out often. I didn’t have a rocking figure, a beautiful head of hair, bubbly personality, or any of the things boys seemed to find attractive during my teenage years. That didn’t mean I didn’t have an opportunity to give it away, or to have sex, though.
There were always those boys who would take you out once and expect something in return, the ones who looked at you as if they did you a favor asking you out and now it was your turn. Not all boys, but those guys are out there. Ladies, don’t fall for it! You owe them nothing!
However, I did date a little, and I chose to wait for sex until I was an adult. Maybe it was an easier decision because I wasn’t popular. My first boyfriend didn’t understand, and after a few months, he decided to take a “sure bet” to prom…one of his friend’s words to me, not my own. It made me mad as well as sad; I really liked him and wanted to go to prom together.
So, why did I wait? It wasn’t something like my parents expected it or for religious reasons. It was a lot more practical.
I worked at a store when one of my close friends from middle school came in with her mom and a baby in tow. I thought it was her baby brother. He was about 18 months at the time. I was surprised when she looked me straight in the eye and said he was hers. No judgement from me, but I could tell she was tired and struggling with the whole Mom role at 16. My heart broke for her; her teenage years of discovery and freedom cut short to become a parent at only the age of 14.
That was the day I decided to wait…to wait for the person I could see having a future with. I only ever wanted one love…maybe that was a little naïve to think, even then. However, in the end that wasn’t to be the case …so often it isn’t these days. But, waiting was one of the few things I believe I did right during my tender young age.
By the time I graduated high school, two more of my friends would face the same fate of being teenage moms, going to either an alternative school or dropping out and getting their GEDs. Bright, smart, intelligent girls, trapped into parenthood before they were 18. Both of them are doing great with children fully grown now, but they lived a difficult road starting their families so soon. I lost contact with my friend from middle school, so I don’t know how things turned out for her.
The question I asked myself when I was tempted back then was, “Could I handle being a parent?” and “Do I want this person in my life for 18+ years, should that happen?”
This is only a reflection on my experience to pass on to any girl, or guy, who is wavering on that fence. This is in no way condemnation of anyone who decides to embark on sexual relationships in their teens. I see my friends kids navigating through this territory now. My friends have prepared them as well as possible. This is advice I’d give any of my nieces and nephews kids when they get older: Be smart, use protection, and protect your heart. If you aren’t sure, step back and wait.