Music Festivals And The Teenage GirlJason Firmager
My daughter is 16 and this year is what seem to be considered as music festival year for 16 year olds. From listening to friends over the year with their 16 year olds and now hearing my own and her peers talk it appears that as part of the passage of time, when they finish their GCSE’s they all look for a music festival to mark the sense of freedom from exams and their next step towards adulthood. What a great way to spend the summer !
I am lucky, my daughter is incredibly wise and seemingly grounded and although I am not alluding myself that she has fun and pushes the boundaries just as much as any other 16 year old girl does, I know that she is true to who she is and I cannot ask for more than that. I am also very conscious her journey is not my journey and whilst I can guide her I cannot control her or protect her from her life.
During our discussions about what festival she will go to, we have talked drugs, costs of tickets, alcohol, music tastes as well as detail like how many loo’s there will be, how long it goes on for and of course the all important question who else is going. It is a mind field even for the most grounded of parent daughter relationship.
After much discussion, her conclusion was to choose the concert where the music appeals the most and she feels there are less drugs around. Dont get me wrong I know this wont be the only festival but it is ‘THE ONE’ this summer. All was great until I found out she was the only girl in the group and the festival is by the sea- still more hurdles to get over !
Being a teenager is tough these days and having spent a big part of my life feeling as if I was living a lie as to what was really going on inside of me for years I looked the part on the outside but felt completely afraid and vulnerable on the inside. I know how living your life out of fear of being found out feels and I feel for the teenagers today who have far more pressures around them than I did even with all my anxiety.
My unraveling was difficult and painful but I am glad I did it and I am now very passionate about making sure others do not feel alone and afraid and instead encouraged to shine as their true unique authentic selves – whatever that may be.
As part of my own process and with the help of a couple of inspiring friends who had also had ‘interesting journey’s we created some awesome leather affirmation bracelets which I hope will both help the young and the old be true to who they are and find peace with this. Whilst we are the only ones in control of the inside job our bracelets remind us daily of how awesomely brilliantly imperfectly unique we all are and that really is more than OK.
I trust that this year I see just some of the teenagers out there wearing them when they party on down and let their hair down after a tough few months of revision and that they too will begin to know that no matte what their results are or where life takes them, Happiness is an inside job and it all starts with them. And when I do I will know deep down in my heart that in every bit of ‘pain’ we suffer their is growth and understanding and that feeling is all so very good !