I recently read a blog post from my former boss, Jim Power (no relation to me….however, he is a much more handsome and “seasoned” Head of School). It is a great read and I would encourage everyone to read it. I will be sending this out to our middle school students to read it as well.
It got me thinking about the recent commercials from Dove Men Care. The “my name is…and I am comfortable in my own skin” ads are great. It features adult celebrity athletes who share stories of “goofy” and “awkward” times in their life and why they are “comfortable” in their own skin. This one from John Elway is my favorite. I can see my own kids blushing if/ when I try to dance (I have only been defeated once by Maddie at Just Dance on Wii).
As adults, this is what we grow into. Being comfortable with who we are. But, this takes many years of trying on “costumes” to see who we are and what fits. This may be the biggest challenge of growing up. As Jim shares in his blog post, he was an “uncool” kid who had to figure it out along the way as well. To quote a former President, “I feel your pain.” Whether it be navigating through country music vs. heavy metal, or khaki pants pegged at the bottom vs. Z. Cavaricci’s (wait..that was my dilemma), being comfortable in our own skin as we get through our “phases” is the goal. A little bit of empathy goes a long way here.
To all my middle school friends out there, be kind to your classmates. Not only will that look good on you, but those that are trying on something new will never forget how you made them feel comfortable in their own skin.