As many of you are aware, I am seventeen years old. I began blogging at the terribly awkward age of fourteen, and have thrown myself wholeheartedly into Lace & Lilacs over the course of the past three years.
The thing is… I have a bit of an insecurity about it. My age is what I’m referring to, naturally. I’m much younger than the average blogger, at least those I follow at the moment. There are a few rare exceptions, of course, all of whom are extraordinarily talented. But again, they are exceptions.
It’s difficult to be taken seriously, when you’re young, and being treated as an equal seems to be out of the question entirely. Perhaps some of this in all in my head; who knows?
I also tend to feel uncomfortable interacting and collaborating with adults, out of fear. What if I unintentionally disrespect them? I’ve always been uncertain about addressing bloggers over the age of thirty by their first names… shouldn’t I be calling them by a formal title; Ms./Mrs./Mr? I know that I am nearly – technically – an adult, and I’ll be independent quite soon (yet another insecurity: being a full year younger than my peers… let’s not get into that…), but will I be treated as one? An adult, that is? My mind is constantly bursting with ideas, such as my choice in college, the recent podcast Lucy-Claire and I launched, my new style category… but suppose I have it all wrong? Suppose my ideas are actually ridiculous; suppose people over the age of twenty-five take one glance at my portfolio and laugh hysterically, or even worse, croon ‘oh, how cute!’ in a condescending tone?
I’m honestly not one to fool around, goof off, or ‘talk the talk’ without taking action. I’ve dreamt of studying abroad since I was five. This past year I managed to transform fantasies into reality. I could not provide the financial means, of course (thank you parents, I love you!), but I did the research, I discovered the school, I filled out the application, I compiled a portfolio, I partook in a phone interview, I applied to Campus France, sought out roommates, scheduled a visa appointment, made phone calls, purchased liability insurance… My point is, I am very capable.
But I am young, and inexperienced, and maybe even a bit arrogant at times. Aren’t all teenagers?
I’m also freaking terrified.
This is a tough age; I’ll be the first to acknowledge that. I don’t know who I am; I don’t have a place in this world. I’ve heard that no one does, truly, regardless of their age. And I believe it, but they appear to have it all together, you know?
Well, these are just a few ‘lil thoughts of mine. Feel free to contact me with your honest opinions.
My honest opinion is that your age is almost completely inconsequential to me. But then I remember when I was 17, visiting with my father and trying to get his friends to treat me with respect and dignity although I was “just 17” and, in their eyes, a kid. I tried explaining that I was only chronologically 17. They merely laughed. A month later I was living in my own house, working full time, paying all my bills, and still “just 17.” When I think of how its only a few hundred years since 17 year olds were kings, navy ship commanders, shop workers, mothers, soldiers, housemaids, etc, it infuriates me that nowadays they are treated like children.
You are a dignified, polite, intelligent, resourceful woman, Abby. If you hadn’t advertised your age, I would never have known you were “just 17.”
Thank you so very much for your kind comment, Sarah! I sometimes think all of this is just in my head, but seventeen years olds are often regarded as just children. Of course, every teenager is different and develops at their own pace, but I believe that many of us are nearly as capable as the average adult.
A lot of my insecurity comes from my appearance I think, or perhaps my demeanor. I’m very much an introvert (though not necessarily shy), and because of this usually come across as small and young when I’m meeting someone for the first time. I guess learning to carry myself with confidence is something that will come with time.
Thank you again for your lovely thoughts! xx
Wellll, my Dear, you may be younger, than the average blogger. But I am older, than the average blogger. You are 17 and I am 78! If you let yourself be worried about your age, in “Pretty Blog Land,” then I would have to do the same. Correct? And believe me, I am not gonna’ go there!!!!
Age, is age. Attitude and outlook, are a whole ‘other ballgame’. You speak/blog, of what you love. I speak/blog, of what I love. And as far as I am concerned, we two get along splendidly. 🙂
I *envy* your Nana. And hope she fully appreciates how lucky she is, to have you for a Granddaughter!!!! Compared to the “usual teenager,” you are amazing!!! They exist in angst. In confusion. In only looking at themselves. And then, lamenting all those things, on which they spend their time. You, on the other-hand, ROCK!!!!!
Oh of course you don’t “know everything” yet. About yourself. Or about many topics. But you have the early Wisdom, to “manage” yourself, in order to be able to go out there and Seek! Just amazing, my Dear. (‘Manage’ doesn’t say it properly, but try to figure out, what I am trying to say….) And btw, I don’t know all about me, or many things, either. And I am a long ways ‘down the road’. ,-)))
And please do not ever worry about disrespecting me!!!!! Please call me Tessa!!!!!! Do! Do! Do!
I’m sure I have rambled on here, and not touched on all your questions. But let me close, by saying that I am so happy to have come across your blog. You are an amazing young lady.
Lots and lots of gentle hugs,
Oh, thank you SO much, Tessa! Your kind comment made my day. 🙂
I am a bit of a worrier, and I think most of this is all in my head. There’s always something to be insecure about, isn’t there?! Whether it’s age, height, intelligence, etc…! You are so correct – age is nothing but age. We all have something to offer the world. 🙂
And I just love my grandmothers! Not that I have favorites (I truly don’t!), but I just love how my mother’s mom is so tech savvy. I text her daily, and she always responds. And with emojis, too! I’m sure the teenagers in your family appreciate your willingness to give things like Instagram and blogging a go! If only I could convince my grandma to blog… she’s nearly 88, though, so I’m not sure she’d be able to figure it out. Hmm, she does Skype, however, so maybe… 😉
Thank you again for your wonderful words! They truly mean the world to me. I always value the opinions of those with much life experience, and hope to be just as awesome and supportive someday!
One of my favorite quote on age is, “Live your life and forget your age.” I think we (as a society) place far too much emphasis on defining ourself by our age. To me, you seem older than 17 because of your maturity, travel experience, love of learning and exploring, etc. So don’t let your age define you! 🙂 xo
Oh, thank you for your kind comment, Laura! That quote is excellent. I think I’ve heard it in the past, but have never truly LISTENED to it, if that makes sense? But I am now… and I’ll be keeping it in mind. xoxo
Trust me when I say that that feeling never goes away, haha. I’m 26 and when I have to collaborate with 30 year olds I feel the same way. Things are always going to intimidate you in life, so it’s awesome that you’re getting a head start and learning how to deal with those tricky feelings early on. My favorite tip to give (and follow) is fake it till you make it. No one needs to know you feel nervous or inferior- you know you have talent and something to share, so come up to the plate like you’re ready to blow everyone out the water. You’re the only one that has to know you’re actually insecure about it 😉
Messages on a Napkin
Thank you SO much for this comment, Marlen! It’s wonderful to hear that this feeling never truly goes away… well, a bit disappointing, because I think as humans we all love the idea of having everything figured out, but it really is beautiful… the insecurity and unknown.
Fake it til you make it is EXCELLENT advice. I’ll have to keep that in mind over the next few months… eek! Eighteen year olds intimidate me, and that doesn’t even make any sense… I’ll be eighteen in just three months. It’s quite silly; the amount of emphasis society places on age. Ah well. 🙂
I hope you’re having a lovely day!
I’m finally getting around to reading all the interviews at the Daily Meal. How nice to discover another Abby! You have a beautiful blog and I can’t wait to get to know you better!
Thanks for the comment, Abbe! Ooh, I love your name, btw. 😉
I can’t wait to give your blog a look… I’m crazy busy at the moment, but will as soon as I have the time!
Abby, first of all I would like to say that you are very talented. Your blog is amazing. Moreover you are very brave. Finding the courage to overcome your fears and follow your dreams is not at all easy. I have a good feeling about you. I believe you have the qualities needed to succeed in life.
About questionong yourself…I think it’s healthy. This attitude will give you the motive to improve at what you do.
Now, about the whole age thing. Stop thinking that you are too young. Have you ever thought that possibly people older than you might actually feel intimidated by you? Yes, you. You are young. You have the whole life ahead of you. You are healthy and capable to work hard to accoplish you goals and more importantly you know what you like and what you want to do in life.
Stop feeling intimidated. I guess you have much yet to learn and experienced bloggers could teach you a lot but just take a moment to think about how much more knowledge and experience you will have when you will reach my age for example. I am 29 and I am blogging in and out for 3 years.
Oh, thank you SO much for this, Theodora. Your comment is one I really, really needed to wake up to this morning. Your kind words mean the world.
Thinking and worrying about age is not necessary. It happens auotmatically, the changes come automatically. So why worry to much about it? Just do what you like and you sure make yourself happy. Oh, a good thinkg about getting older is for sure that you care less what others think ! 🙂
xxx from Paris!
Oh, thank you for your comment, Naelle! You’re completely right… I put too much thought into this. 🙂
I’ve been in your shoes and definitely am still in your shoes many times. Sometimes the insecurity has to do with being younger than the folks I am working with, sometimes it has to do with experience level, sometimes it has to do with working in a male dominated space….I have had a lot of experience with being the “different” one.
But by far the biggest challenge of being “different” is my own consideration that it is a liability. I can guarantee my own awkwardness, lack of effectiveness, and sub-par performance when I am walking around with the thinking that there is something wrong with me/my participation/my contribution because I stand out from the crowd. Every judgement that I consider is being flung my way, I already have of myself. Your concern of not being taken seriously may be born out of some consideration that you have of yourself. Do you take yourself as seriously as you want others to take you?
Personally, I don’t give your age a second thought. I am attracted to heart, passion, talent, and intelligence. And you have all four.
Thank you so much for this lovely comment, Kathryn! And you’re correct – I have a difficult time taking myself seriously… I lack a certain level of self confidence, I guess, and have been mindfully trying to work on it lately. But gosh, it’s hard!
Sending hearts! I hope you’re having a wonderful day… baking gorgeous breads, maybe? 😉 xx
Abby-you are one of the most self-possessed, smart, rational, wise people I know–and the fact that you’re 17 makes it that more amazing.
I totally relate though, sometimes I feel weird being younger than most bloggers but I’ve found that they usually just want to be treated like we’re all buds and around the same age–even if most of them are closer to my mom’s ;P
Hahah, thanks, Kayle! It is funny how we (especially younger people, I think, at least in professional environments) are so self conscious about our ages. At a certain point, I guess we’re all adults, right… well, I will be in three months. 😉
And isn’t the blogging community the best?! It really creates such unexpected bonds and friendships. Totally. Wonderful.
You are young, but you’re also more experienced with blogging than many, many people. I feel like youth is something very valuable in the creative industry. It’s always great to have a fresh, inquisitive mind 🙂 You got this girl! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
Aww, thanks so much, Audrey! You’re doing fabulously yourself! xo
Yes, 17 is young, and there are many bloggers older – but who cares! Your blog is YOUR space for you to write about and create things that are important to you, and that you love and get enjoyment from – like-minded people will gravitate towards that no matter what age you are. I’m 18 and have had similar thoughts at times, worrying about my lack of experience and newness when commenting on peoples blogs and sharing my thoughts – but I think we just have to not care too much about what other people think, and also realise that the blogging community is absolutely lovely and probably no one minds or cares at all! Xx
Oh, thanks so much for this sweet comment, Claudia! It’s nice to hear from people that are going through similar struggles and totally overcoming them. You’re right – at the end of the day, age is nothing more than age. 🙂
age is just a (mostly annoying) number. I’ve just discovered your blog today and it is beautiful. I have the same insecurities you have but for me it’s because I’m older than he average blogger. (52) I sometimes feel ancient compared to all those talented young stars out there. I would just say, never let age determine what you do. Old or young. It doesn’t matter one single bit. You are you and talented as you are. And the world ahead of you too.
O and please never mrs! Haha… First names only…:)
Oh, thank you so much for your lovely comment, Simone! Age is such a silly insecurity, isn’t it? xxx