While donning my "therapist hat" for a moment during the performance I thought about all the talent and confidence, as well as the insecurity and anxiety, inhabiting the teens before me. Of course, I was unable to detect any blatant weakness. The kids were well prepared, beautifully made-up and top-notch performers. But, I know teenagers and I know that underneath all of the make-up and costumes on stage or behind the North Face jackets and Uggs in class breed a host of anxieties and fears.
Am I good enough? Smart enough? Thin enough? Cool enough? Popular enough? Rich enough? Athletic enough? Talented enough?......
My therapist observations felt bittersweet. I loved the fact that these kids were putting themselves out there on stage, I loved that they danced and sang and wore fun and silly costumes for all to see. I loved that they seemed really happy and excited about the performance.
I worry about their own self-criticism. I feel for the kids that were disappointed for not getting the part they wanted, and even more so for the kids that aren't confident enough to even try-out for a show.
Being a teenager is such a mixed bag - as if putting all the highs and lows of life in a blender and blasting them together in a full speed whirl.
I want to praise the cast and crew for a fabulous show and hope you all know how wonderful you are both with and without the makeup and glitz.