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Seen in Nashville yesterday.

Dear Teenage Sister-in-Christ,

I turned 23 last week, which means I’ve had a few years to process some things that I did- or did not- do right while I was in my teens. I wish I could go back and encourage myself that life is short and tedious, but to not grow weary and take every moment captive. I can’t though, so I’m writing you, hoping that maybe you’ll learn from my perspective things that I wish I had studied or skills that I’ve been so grateful I’ve developed:

  • Learn food photography. There WILL come a time you need to do it well. 
  • Go the extra mile in math. You may need to figure out how many pounds of sand you need to buy to level out under the swimming pool someday.
  • Learn good housekeeping habits, even if you’re not naturally inclined towards tidying up. 
  • Don’t use Bath and Body Works products. The smell of Twilight Woods is not worth the toxic load on your skin. 
  • You probably won’t get married young. 
  • Learn house/table/product staging. Like food photography, there WILL come a time when you’ll need that skill. 
  • Read the classics. Read the poets. Read about art. Learn about your city. 
  • Learn how to sew with excellence. 
  • Learn web design, even if you’re not “techie”.
  • Learn how to do hair.
  • Redeem your time with audio books. Still one of my fondest times from my teenage years was listening to Augustine’s Confessions while sewing Reformation Day costumes for my sisters and me. 
  • Loosen up on the eyeliner. It doesn’t make you look older. 
  • Acquire a basic understanding of needlework, even if you don’t have the patience for it. 
  • Study the golden ratio. 
  • Don’t ignore “the little kids”. Some of my best friends now are younger girls I had to grit my teeth and “put up with” when I was 15 and they were 11/12. The older we get, the easier it is to forget that there’s an age difference. 
  • Learn Photoshop, video editing, and typography. You may not plan to ever have a business, work as a graphic designer, or blog, but the chances of you being asked to make a flyer for a church event or help your husband with t-shirts for his company, etc. are preeeeetty high. 
  • Explore your interests. Draw, paint, sculpt, sing! Economics, politics, theology– it’s all profitable. 
  • Invest in your siblings. They will be your best friends. 
  • It is better to be quiet than to fill silences with meaningless flirty chatter. 
  • Enjoy family time, but making the effort to hang out with friends will also be a big blessing in your life. 
  • Learn to read sheet music.
  • Don’t say derogatory things about guys. Build them up with your words and actions.
  • Learn some pop culture. 
  • Pinterest is great! In moderation. 
  • In social gatherings, relax. 
  • Keep a journal. 
  • Learn the art of story-telling. Whether it’s entertaining company, sharing a life-lesson at a Bible study, or simply making small-talk, being able to tell an interesting (and not super long) story will serve you well. 
  • Instead of filling your hopechest, simplify your stuff to leave time, energy, money, and space in your life for ministry, hospitality, and friendships. 
  • Cook a real meal at least once a week. Cooking is a muscle that has to be exercised. 

But most importantly, memorize Scripture, talk with Jesus, and share your joys, hugs, and struggles with your mom. She can be pretty great.

Do you have any advice/skills you would add? I hope this has encouraged a few of you to take life by the horns and enjoy the day. πŸ™‚

96 thoughts on “Let’s Talk | List for Teenage Girls”

  1. I turned 24 last month, and I totally echo the sewing point. I didn't start learning until I was 19 and OH BOY. Even the basics help a ton. I cannot believe how many family/friends had some type of hole or rip in one of their shirts/pants and they were just like "Hmm, oh well, guess I'll just toss this $40 clothing item away now!" NOOOOOO! Haha. I've saved so many clothing items, it's pretty ridiculous.

  2. Hey Olivia-
    I am wondering what your skincare routine was when you were a teenager? I definitely don't have acne but I still get one or two zits a month and am curious if you ever had acne or pimples and if so what did you do about them? Thanks!
    God bless,

    1. Hey Sara! I didn't really have a consistent routine except to wash my face when I showered and spot-treat with a hot hot washcloth when I felt a pimple coming on/when it appeared. I still get one or two hormone-related zits a month, too, and I can't seem to find anything that keeps them away. πŸ˜›

    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply, Olivia! It's really encouraging to know I'm not the only one getting a pimple or two every month! I have one more question for you. I am 13 (I'll be 14 in a few months) and I am wondering at that age what did you wear for make-up (if any)? So far I don't wear any make-up except a little concealer if I am dealing with a pimple.

      Btw you are really pretty!

    3. I just turned 14, (on the day the previous comment was posted actually!)
      I wear makeup, and I like to experiment with different looks. I personally think (and some people will disagree with me on this, and that's perfectly fine for people to choose their own standards) that wearing makeup at this age is fine, as long as you don't use it the wrong way. I found this saying a while ago and think it fits this situation quite well: "Makeup should be used to accent your natural beauty, not cover it up." So I think that wearing makeup is fine, as long as your not using it to hide your beautiful face! (I also believe that it's okay to cover pimples, lol)

  3. Happy belated birthday! I turned 24 on Sunday and we celebrated by going to Nashville for the day! I thought of you as we passed the Franklin exits, thinking of all your posts where I've seen you roaming the cute shops there! Hope you had a great birthday doing things that you love. πŸ™‚

  4. Olivia – Thank you for this blog. I know that as you have your own business you must be SUPER busy, but thank you for taking the time to encourage the little people. I am only fourteen, but I am greatly encouraged by your blog and this list πŸ™‚

    So thanks from us little people!

  5. This is such a great post! Thanks for taking the time to write it up!

    Recently, I keep thinking, "I should learn to cook…" but never having the motivation. Now, I think I might talk to my mom about me helping her with the lunches that I'm home for. πŸ™‚ I REALLY want to learn photo editing, but I don't have any good software. πŸ™ But that's definitely on my list of things to learn!

    Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  6. Food photography? What would you do with that besides start a food blog? (And there are several hundred too many of those as it is.)

    I would add "learn a foreign language" to that list, especially one that can be used in a missions setting: Spanish, French, Arabic, Creole. One of the best things I ever did for myself was stick with my French classes in college, even if it meant that I graduated a little later.

    1. Haha, you are so right… waaaay too many food blogs. πŸ˜›

      I've needed to take pictures of food on-the-fly so many times. Everything from helping with photography at a wedding, shooting product images for my sister's GF baking mixes company, documenting our family Valentine's breakfast, fancy dinner party spreads, the occasional hey-I-loved-this-recipe-lets-share-on-facebook fun, and even just knowing how to plate food so it looks good for company. πŸ™‚ Every time I'm thrown in a situation like that I wish I had studied it more. Still learning!

    2. I know. I'm a (beginning) food photographer and even I know there's too many food blogs. πŸ˜‰ But if you share a recipe for someone or take pictures for a recipe to post on your 'everything about life' type of blog, or countless other situations being a food photography is great! Also, I'm hopefully going to do some photography for restaurants/whatever for a side job one day πŸ˜‰
      Some people think it's weird to take a food photography course or study food photography but I've been able to use all I know and I'm so happy I've learned! I love all photography too, so that helps with the motivation. If you are willing to spend a little money on learning food photography there's this great course by Minimalist Baker:
      I've learned so much from this course and have loved every minute of it. It's totally worth the money, especially if you look at it as something you can use to bless others with your skills later on!

      Elsie Reagan

    3. I am a teen and first of all, thanks SOOOOOO much for this post! Very encouraging and inspiring!
      I am just starting to take an interest in photography, and food photography looks so cool! Especially for photos to go along with recipes – it can be a great skill!
      I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas how to begin learning food photography? I don't know where to start. How did you begin?

  7. At 23, you are still (very) young and still have plenty of time to learn all these things and many more others. So don't look back with regrets, but look forward – the future is bright and waiting for you to make it happen :).
    Also, the focus shouldn't be on marrying young (and again, you are young), but on marrying the right person for you. Finding that person takes time, but it's key to a happy marriage.

  8. What a great list! Thanks so much for the encouragement and tips. I'm going to do some of those things. Basically, make the most of life, and don't while away the teenage years wishing to grow up!
    I'm only eighteen, but I already feel I could've made more of my teenage years. They don't last forever.

  9. Olivia, such a deep thoughtful post. All very good advice. Most of all don't be to serious, enjoy life, laugh and have fun All things come from God above at the right time. You have a lot going for you, don't be so hard on yourself. Blessings Stephanie Means

  10. The key takeaways I find from this are 1) Be educated, and 2) (as is your incredibly inspiring wont :D) Do all things with excellence.

    Thanks for posting, Olivia! I always love finding a new post from you on my Blogger dashboard.

    Dance A Real

  11. Oh, Olivia, this is wonderful! I am nearly fifteen and I have already been wondering how I could live my life better, being more productive, more God honouring and using my time more wisely. πŸ™‚ I thought I might add I've been reading your blog for….4 years? I'm not sure, but it's been a long time, and I don't believe I've commented once. I have read every post though. πŸ˜‰ You are a very encouraging person and I love how down to earth and humble you are.
    I am from Australia, and I come from a big (Christian) family and am home schooled. I was rather happy to see quite a few of these things I'm already doing (cooking main meals once a week, trying to do my hair, reading classics, keeping a journal, make family time etc) but all the others sound very helpful too. Thanks for the post. πŸ™‚
    ~Miss Meg March

  12. I'm 32 now, and still have so much to learn! I would definitely add exercise to the list. I wish I had learned the importance of exercise MUCH sooner! Also, get your thyroid tested. Regularly. So many women, myself included, spend years and years in less than great health (exhaustion, being too heavy, being too thin, having blood sugar go all over the map and messing with moods and even relationships) just because we didn't know to get our thyroid tested. We thought the doctor would test for whatever was necessary…and that's just not a standard test even though so many people have imbalances in that area. So, to sum it up, you are never ever too young to pay attention to your health! Read about it. Educate yourself. Take good care of the body God has given.

    1. Spooky, Erin. Scrolling thru this partly to disyract myself. Woke up feeling like caca, and was just thinking a few min ago I need to bite the bullet and get my thyroid tested.

  13. These are really good lessons that a lot of teens can't seem to grasp. I really like the one about storytelling, but so many of those skills can be used all your life, so you might as well perfect them as a teen.

    A lot of these tips kinda sound like they come from "Preparing to be a Helpmeat" by Debi Pearl haha.. Have you read it?


    1. I have heard a lot about Preparing to Be a Help Meet, but I was wondering if you (Andria, or someone else) had a suggestion on what age would it be appropriate to read? I am a young teen and I was wondering if a book like that would be "too old" for me or not πŸ™‚

    2. Hoping to get and finally READ that book for my 18th! πŸ˜€ (Coming up next month… woohoo!)

      Had to say that. πŸ™‚


    3. I think that any girl over ten years old should read Preparing to Be His Help Meet. It's NEVER too early to start learning about what will undoubtedly become the most important and long-lasting relationship in your life. As someone who has read both this book and the one for married women, Created to be His Help Meet, I would encourage every young lady to read and learn from these books and the godly older ladies in your lives. Prepared gives advice on growing into a godly lady in general (which will make you into a good wife), while Created goes much deeper into the actual husband-wife relationship. Both are very well-written and have extremely applicable, Biblical advice. If you're a young teen, start with Prepared; then read Created when you're an older teen/young adult. I plan to keep my copy of Created all through my married life ("planning" because I'm not married yet :P) and re-read it periodically. It has SUCH excellent advice!

  14. Thank you so much for writing out this post, Olivia!
    I've been thinking about a lot of this stuff lately and it was great to hear what you think is valuable to be spending time on in this stage of life. πŸ™‚
    Thank you for continuing to encourage all of us!

    ~Your Sister in Christ,

  15. Learn how to manage finances! I'm learning how to do that through Dave Ramsey, and I am SO glad I am so that I am so I can avoid mistakes that my parents and the majority of the nation has. Being financially wise makes for one less thing to be stressed about when I am an adult.

  16. Good post, Olivia–very encouraging. And it's good to see so many teens reading and taking this advice to heart.

    Spinning off "You probably won't get married young"…in fact, you mayn't get married at all. Don't assume (as I did) that your "Someone" will come a-courtin' as soon as you hit eighteen or twenty.
    Leading a full and God-honoring life isn't limited to marrying and raising a family. I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 7–Paul has some food for thought on how single women (and men) can serve the Lord.

    Find out what your talents are and polish them. God gave you your abilities; see if you can make money doing the things you love and eventually support yourself financially (or at least supplement your family's income if you live at home). Or perhaps learn new skills that interest you, that may be more conducive to earning you a salary.
    And don't let ANYONE tell you there's something wrong with you because you're single. Everyone is on God's timetable, and He grows and matures us all in His time, not society's.

    I know, easier said than done. I still struggle with loneliness and wondering what my purpose is in life. But God has me where I am for a reason; I just need to find that reason and serve Him to the best of my ability.

    In all things, seek God's guidance and be open to His leading. Be strong in the Lord, Sisters, and press on toward the Goal!

    Love in Christ,
    ~R.R. Goodwill
    (30 and single)

  17. I'm 18 and am thankful for my mom teaching me to SEW, and COOK and CLEAN and keep a house running somewhat smoothly. I'm still learning to prioritize my time lol! And I am randomly very excited to hear you encourage people NOT to use Bath and Body. My mom and I are only learning how horrible things like that are for your body.

  18. Olivia, I love this post! As a twenty-something, I totally agree. One thing I'd add (there are many more I'm sure, but the one that pops up in my mind) is learn the sciences: the basics of chemistry, biology and physics. It will come in handy when making good health decisions, figuring out the validity of advertisers' claims, or even fixing things around the house πŸ™‚

  19. I think this is a great list for you, Olivia — obviously, these are things that you are passionate about. But, I am not sure this is a universal list I would recommend for every teenage girl. We all come for different backgrounds, abilities, etc. I think the most important skills for a young women to acquire are how to love and serve others and use the gifts God has given you to build his kingdom. Many of the skills you mentioned help you to do just that (which is fantastic!) but not all of them do. Being a wife and mother (and Christ-follower) is about finding true life by "dying to self" and I think we can never practice that enough. And, it is good and healthy for us to look back at each stage of our life and see the "things we did right or wrong." It is a sign that you are growing in grace and maturity.

  20. Thank you so much for this Olivia! I'm no longer a teen – actually, I'm three years older than you, and my life is quite different – but there is something about this article, and about your blog generally, that make me enjoy both the simplicity and beauty of life. You are truly a daily inspiration!

  21. I love this post alot! You are very wise when it comes to alot of things and im very impressed with this post…Studying your Bible is so important in a Christian walk with Christ!! Definately keep your parents close they are very important!! Olivia this is truly my favorite post ever!

    In Christ,

    Shelby Kirkpatrick

  22. It's embarrassing to admit that at 18 I still have a hard time doing my own hair. πŸ˜›

    I'd add to your list keeping a dictionary handy. (I carry one in my purse and I'm glad that I do!)


    1. Its Ok Charis! Im not super talented went comes to hair either! I mean its not perfect theres still flaws but everybodys hair has flaws somewhere! Lol

      In Christ!


  23. Thank you so much for this thought-provoking post! I have a feeling that you were very similar in your teen years to how I was in my early years. I'm 15 now, and even though I still have lots to learn, I'm thankful that God has blessed me with the wisdom to carry myself better than I did. Your advice about relaxing in social situations, not filling silences with meaningless flirty chatter, and building guys up rather than tearing them down are things I so wish I'd understood a few years ago. In the past year or so I have made a real effort to understand the minds of guys better. I feel that since as a woman it is my role in life to support and submit to men (not just my future husband), I should know them in a true, caring way. Just watching them, noticing the little things, has deepened my friendships with many of the men in my life. God has so blessed me with the privilege to honor and encourage my brothers in Christ.
    I enjoyed all of your tips very much Olivia, and the heart behind them! Our youth group did a study on this verse recently, and I feel it summarizes the goals of all the things on your list. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matt. 5:16
    Blessings Olivia!
    Joyfully His,

    1. I absolutely Love what you said! Im 3 weeks away from 16…You seem very mature for your age! That willingness to do what the Bible says Is going you get you an amazing husband one day! Wait for the RIGHT "One" to come along in Gods timing and you will be happier than you could ever have imagined! Intill then focus on school and church and whatever comes in between! I should be done with school this coming summer and then see where God takes me from there!
      Your Sister in Christ

      Shelby K

    2. Hi Shelby,
      Wow, thank you so much for your sweet reply! I was so humbled by your comment. I appreciate your encouragement when it comes to waiting for God to bring the perfect person in His timing. Even when you know you're doing things "the right way," according to God's Word, sometimes you can feel like your the only girl in the world who thinks that way, it's nice to know I'm not alone! (Thankfully God has blessed me with an incredible group of friends who strive to follow His will also. πŸ™‚ )
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! God's blessings as you finish your education and follow His leading in your life!
      Your sister in Christ,
      P.S. Happy early 16th birthday, too! πŸ™‚

    3. Awe Thank you Abby!! I really appreciate that! I'm just sharing from past experience….I would love to get to know you more I think it would be neat! Do you have a Facebook? I don't but My parents do! Either way it would be cool to get to now you more! I'm from Indiana!


  24. Learn how to change a tire, how to mow a lawn, basic home repairs like toilet flappers and sink aerators and light switches…I worry sometimes that young women are discouraged from learning "manly" things and are unprepared to handle these important tasks. Write letters, real letters, not just e-mails. Learn how to take flattering photos of people you love. Learn how to trim your own hair. Learn how to budget and balance a checkbook. And just a sort of general "learn how to love yourself and take care of yourself" ideal…getting lots of sleep, using kind self-talk, eating right, taking time to do things you enjoy. Nobody likes a grumpy, sad, tired bear πŸ™‚ "Busy" isn't something to glorify.

  25. Thank you, Olivia! I am a teenage girl and this was very helpful. πŸ™‚ Another piece of advice I would add, is know when to get off your phone! πŸ™‚ Some young girls never put down their phones, and miss out on real life! If you have company at your house, it is not very polite to be keep getting out your phone. πŸ™



  26. I'm 30, and a Mom to 3, and I wish I would have learned more of the things on your list, like buckling down and learning to sew when I had time to learn. My Mom was great at it, but now she lives far away. I learned Spanish, which is a great skill. I think learning gardening and the process of food preservation start to finish is a good idea too. I did go to Bible School and learn Theology, and that has really helped my worldview. Learn about Herbs and Natural healing too. I now wish I knew more, but don't have much time to learn. Reading marriage books before I was married was a great help too, as it gave me a good foundation. I think helping others with their kids if you don't have younger siblings would be a good idea to, in order to learn how to relate to kids. Great post Olivia, and I see areas I should be learning more about as I have time too!


  27. 3) While I agree about focusing on other things than filling a hope chest, I asked for kitchenware for birthdays during my teen years- basics like good quality, strong, white dishes, a few good pots, etc- and having those was quite helpful when I moved out, got married and we were both in college so funds were super tight. It was nice to have some hard working quality pieces, and made cooking at home easier, keeping us healthier and it is less expensive. Several years later those pieces are all in near daily use and going strong.

    1. Those were insightful birthday requests! We don't typically give gifts (at least, not store-bought ones) in our family, but somewhere, somehow, I would like to start building a small collection of what you called "hard-working quality pieces" once I am earning money on a regular basis. (And I couldn't help wondering whether "strong, white dishes" = Corelle? It does in our family?) πŸ™‚

      Thank you for sharing from your valuable experience, Laura!

  28. Learn how to grow a garden, can and preserve, butcher a deer, make saurkraut; take care of chickens, goats,or cows(including helping them give birth and bottle feeding the kids or calves); make your own shampoo(google "egg shampoo", laundry detergent (google fels-naptha), and expand your knowledge of essential oils and traditional remedies. Your ideas are good, I know I'd be better off if I had worked harder during my teens to learn life skills.

  29. How far should one aim to go with the math? I stopped after Algebra 2 in high school. (I also took algebra and trig in college). Should I regret not taking calculus? I don't think I've ever needed it, but then I've never put in a pool or had a desire to pursue a career in STEM.

    1. Hello Anonymous! Im not out of school just yet but I will be done this coming summer! I didn't do algebra because I figured that I didn't need it. I looked at it is this way…if I see that I will need it later then I will take it! but unless I see God taking me in an area that involves Algebra then its a waste of time in my book! It doesn't make any less smart I've just decided not to do it at the moment…unless I need it! My advice to you would be to pray about it and read the Bible and ask God for answers to your questions!God won't think they're silly He will open doors that need to be open and close doors that need closed.You will find the answers your looking for by doing so.

      Your Sister in Christ

      Shelby Kirkpatrick

    2. Anon, peeping in here as a math major….

      If you aren't a STEM student, I hardly think you need to take calculus. However, any education you get is beneficial, and calculus, while amazingly difficult, is also highly rewarding and even beautiful if you choose to see it that way. The wonderful thing about math is that the more you do it, the better able you are to do it. (Which sounds so simple :)) Believe me that taking calculus improves your algebra skills more than algebra did, while algebra improves your arithmetic skills more than arithmetic did, and so on. And because math is highly logical, it has the propensity to teach logic like you wouldn't believe, so if you're not a logical person. . . . Well, there you go πŸ™‚

      Ultimately, I think we should be more appreciative of all the subjects we take in school. There's a reason we go to school–we have to learn fundamental skills to life and careers. There will be times, as Olivia said, when you will be thrown into situations where you may need to know something you figured was useless when you were younger.

      Dance A Real

    3. Generally a little algebra and maybe some trig and geometry (if you do building projects) will probably be all you need. They're all I've ever needed; I never touched calculus. But more important than figuring out what you should study next is staying on top of what you already know. My students generally have no working knowledge of fractions or decimals, and some of them can't even multiply (lots of high school dropouts.) So more than worrying about what you haven't studied, I would spend time perfecting what you have studied. (For the stuff I don't know, I'm busy on Khan Academy every day, trying to ameliorate my math skills.)

    4. Thank you for your reply! I think its really neat how you have decided to take all the math you did! You sound like a very smart young woman! For me personally I dont feel like I need to do Algebra right now….If I see God leading me in a direction that involves using algebra..Then I will! It will be as easy as taking classes online or going somewhere local to do it! It doesn't make me any less smart or capable of getting a good job! πŸ™‚ My dream is to get married when the RIGHT man comes along,Be a mother and Godly wife! And whatever else God wants me to do! You have to remember not everybody is called to do the same Things…God made us with DIFFERENT unique qualitys! While some people become Nurses,engineers,Ect…Others might get married and have a family while serving God!:) There is a VERY small chance I would ever use it. Thank you for your opinion though! May God bless you and your life!

      In Christ


  30. Hey Olivia,
    This isn't a criticism, but I was wondering why you barely do sermon summaries or Awk/Awe's anymore? I really enjoyed those and have missed them lately.

    1. Yeah, I've missed them too. I had to stop doing sermon notes because it was taking too much time (some of those took me over 10 hours). As far as Awk+Awe, part of it is that since starting Fresh Apparel I've had very little social life in which to have A+A moments πŸ˜› and they also usually include stuff about other people and details of my life that I've been re-evaluating whether it's okay to share or not. Not completely giving up the idea, just thinking it through. πŸ™‚

  31. Mmm, Twilight Woods is my favorite. Toxic or not, I loveβ™₯ it….
    Great post though! However, the math thing, honestly you don't need to go too far. Geometry and Algebra is as far as you need. Calculus and Trig serve no purpose unless your line of work or study requires it. That's my two sense on it.

  32. a great list! I will definitely take his to heart!!! I just had a question, so I want to be a professional ballerina when I grow up (I am now thirteen) but I hear people always saying how that isn't a godly and worthwhile thing to be. What is your opinion?


    1. Hello Rebekah,
      I know the questions isn't for me but I just want to say that being a ballerina is not ungodly and is indeed worthwhile. To me ballet is such a feminine graceful art, and if you love it so much how could that not be worthwhile? And I believe that any job,art,occupation that is good and reproductive is certainly godly. After all God is the One who gave us our gits.

    2. I don't necessarily think it's ungodly, and it's definitely a beautiful art, but there are a few things to consider. The first is that ballet, like almost any form of dance has a high demand on bodily perfection. Unless you happen to be one of the few people who are naturally tiny enough you're probably going to be fighting your weight all your life, even when it is normal and healthy (and you probably haven't hit puberty yet; who knows what changes that will bring.) Leaving aside the question of whether God wants one to be so obsessed with one's body, this will definitely have an emotional and physical strain that may have long term effects after you've stopped dancing.

      The second is the competition you will be up against. The percentage of people who can actually perform at top level is incredibly small. On top of that, your career will be rather brief. Into your 30s, maybe a little longer if you are fortunate. And this is not a career that pays particularly well. How will you support yourself while you are dancing in the lower levels, and trying to make your way to the top? You will need to consider what you will do if you never make it to top level, or any level. Or if you are injured two years into your career and can't dance anymore. Will you be content to teach all your life, if you can't make it into the highest levels? What if you wind up with a bunch of injuries later in life that took time to develop?

      I would find a ballerina who is performing at the level you aspire to, and grill her. Ask her what it took to get there. Ask her what happened to the hundreds who were shooting for her position but didn't get it. Ask her how long she thinks her career will last, and what she will do when she's done. And then ask yourself if you are willing to put your body through all that stress, and what you will do if no one ever hires you.

      It could be a worthwhile career (heaven knows we need *good* art,) but a demanding one, and there will be a lot of hard questions to ask yourself, and a lot of difficult decisions to make.

      Someone with a roommate who dances

  33. Thank you sooooooooooo much Kristen!!!! you pretty much said everything I thought about it right there!! It is nice to know someone else also thinks it is Godly……

    God Bless and keep Y'all!!!!

    Rebekah :)(:

  34. Wow, I love these! Thank you! πŸ™‚ I would only add to read, read, and read some more, whether it's spiritual or for fun, because that can be so enjoyable and spiritually uplifting and enlightening, and taking the time to just sit and do it can be hard and undesirable sometimes, but certainly pays off in the end. You feel more peaceful, relaxed, and happy afterwards, especially if it's naturally something you love to do. Also, learning to write poetry is quite a fun hobby, and exercising (I particularly love running!) is really good for keeping your health, and, honestly, at least for me, emotions in balance πŸ˜‰

  35. Hi Olivia! Thank you so much for your encouraging posts…I’m sixteen and have been reading your blog for about two years (and haven’t written any comments until now :)). I also love to sew, and your posts have greatly helped me to find my own modest, feminine style, and given me β€œfresh” ideas as to how to I can create them myself πŸ™‚ As the oldest of five kids, I have an excellent opportunity to encourage, support, and be a godly example to my siblings, something that is not always easy, but definitely worth it!
    Thanks for sharing your insight!
    ~Maya M

  36. Hi Olivia! Thank you so much for your encouraging posts…I’m sixteen and have been reading your blog for about two years (and haven’t written any comments until now :)). I also love to sew, and your posts have greatly helped me to find my own modest, feminine style, and given me β€œfresh” ideas as to how to I can create them myself πŸ™‚ As the oldest of five kids, I have an excellent opportunity to encourage, support, and be a godly example to my siblings, something that is not always easy, but definitely worth it!
    Thanks for sharing your insight!
    ~Maya M

  37. Hey Olivia,
    I just have a few questions…
    What do you mean by "build guys up"? Maybe I'm just not understanding what exactly you're are meaning by this. What do you think is flirty chatter? Just talking about things with no substance? Also what ways do you propose for girls to make money, and by get up on pop culture what do you mean? Just curious why you included this? I don't mean to be a debbie downer, as I did think the post was very good. Just curious about a few things. Thanks so much, Hope yall have a great day! -Grace

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