For sure, my oldest daughter scrolls, posts, and video shows. Yes, she is acutely cognizant of when it is « time » to freshen up the wardrobe with a handful of new pieces from the current fashion trends. Yes, the girl often rolls her sight at my « weird » behaviors. And yes, friends are at the highest of her sharing list these days.
Which includes a palpable gratitude for all with the opportunities and lessons discovered from her previous camp experiences, she began to promote her deeper thoughts on the following subject and beyond. She shared that while camp is touted as a method to be fully and authentically yourself, create a sisterhood, expand a connection to nature, and explore your core through contemplation and solitude, the actual of it all is to come to understand that inner bond is available anywhere, anytime, and the most importantly in the NOW.
She given the assurance me that she hasn’t been « knocking » camp in any way and may choose to return, but any time she does go back meant for another year or 3, it would not be considering that camp experience allows the girl’s to feel more traditional in any way. Her return might possibly be based on the conscious, main (soul) choice to attend considering she enJOYs the experience certainly not because it is a « safe » destination to be herself fully on the earth.
Indeed, a typical teen in so many ways, Except underneath the North Face layer and the Ugg boots, lurking behind the gaggle of giddy girlfriends and the fluorescent video display, and even beyond our intimate family discussions and distributed dinners, there lies your self-awareness and interior blossom set stage that seems unfathomable for any child her age.
Yes, my daughter has her challenges, her snarky attitudes, her moments of self-doubt. Yes, the girl can sometimes be mean to the girl’s siblings, sassy to the girl’s parents, generally ornery. And yet, underneath it all are ever-expanding and deep cracks of self-awareness, self-love and true compassion for others that will serve don’t just her, but the world most importantly, quite well.
Certainly not what I experienced a few years back (alright twenty-six quite a few years back to be exact) in the tender age of 14. Recently my daughter and I were discussing no matter whether she would attend, once again, some three week all girls’ camp for the 6th summer in a row.
She even voiced that the songs about sisterhood, respect, and caring, various with a « free to be you » theme, seemed a bit odd to her now, expressing that while appreciative for the sentiment, she hoped the fact that her fellow campers noticed free to be themselves above the activities in nature, public cabins, and family dining. In short, everywhere.
We do not need to go someplace special or do something unusual to live our own truth. Quite simply, freedom to be comfortable in this own skin should not be preserved for places that we check out three weeks a year. Self-Love can be cultivated in all means, always.
The girl went on to give the example of seeing quite undoubtedly that she doesn’t will need to go anywhere specific (camp), do anything special (canoe) or be anything different (a camper) to come to feel authentic, open, connected and free. While she undoubtedly views camp as a benefit, she knows that the girl with enough just as she is with or without camp to help you remind her of that internal knowing.
Whereas we encouraged all of our kids to try overnight camp at least once, we have told her of the fact that decision to return is now definitely up to her. As all the discussion ensued, I became almost mesmerized by her capacity to articulate her vantage point on the subject.
While some parents desire status, monetary reward and upward societal movement because of their children–none of which are bad per say–beyond those outer pursuits, my deepest heart’s desire for mine can be voiced most succinctly through Shakespeare, « To thine own personal be true. » EnLIGHTenment at its best.
I was truly amazed by her expression in deep wisdom that has taken many of us divorces, health maladies, and endless searches throughout different veins of the exterior world to figure out. What my dear girl was indicating through the example of summertime camp–one of any possible outer examples–probably resonates with most of us when looked at strongly.