The Journey of Youth
Navigating the incredible potential and pitfalls through this intense, beautiful time in life.
By Caroll Sims
“Who am I?”
“Where do I fit in?”
“Where do I belong?”
“How do I get where I’m supposed to be?”
“Will I be okay?”
“…is anyone even listening?”
They are hard questions, and questions that are all too familiar to those navigating the unique period of our lives that teeters between childhood and adulthood. The effect and influence of this rare and incredible period of time leaves such a distinct impression on our lives, that even through our silver years – we can all distinctly remember the fear, anxiety, and wonder held within this incredible time.
The journey of youth is a wild, varied, and intense phase in our lives – one driven by hormones, societal expectations, environmental impacts, and of course, by our own pathway to learning and exploring ourselves. The experience of shifting from childhood into adolescence, and adolescence into young adulthood can be confusing, overwhelming, and incredibly challenging. While it is true that every adult has navigated this twisting and turning voyage of uncertainty and discovery, often, adults forget the powerful experience and crushing pressure that comes with youth. As such, emotions and feelings of the youth are often ignored or invalidated – exacerbating the on-going experience of confusion and frustration that being a young adult is often overwhelmed by.
At the end of the day, the voyage of youth is a journey of patience, kindness, self-reflection, gratitude, and grace. Understand that these questions, feelings, and curiosities are not only natural – they are an integral part of your growth. For adults with young people in their lives, create the safe space to allow this connection and discovery to occur – and exude love, patience, and understanding with the adolescent in your life. And finally, for those who are now adults and looking back and recalling the way you were, or were not, supported through your own pathway through your youth, wrap yourself in compassion and find healing in this moment. The journey of youth is to embrace through mindfulness and support, it has the power to move mountains.