I had no idea what I was in for when I sat down with a group of high school kids last week.

As the four of us huddled with a question for each hanging between us, one beautiful dark-haired, blue-eyed girl with an energy of eager sincerity shared that the most significant decision she had had to make in the last six months was to decide whether she would live with her mother or her father. Another brown-eyed lovely with the demeanor of a “mean girl” proudly revealed that if we were to make a movie about her life, it would be a drama. She spoke of an abusive boyfriend, one she was still in love with, and underlying family drama that she despised. A thin young man who by all appearances, struggles with heartbreaking anxiety admitted through clenched teeth that he dreamed of being a comedian. The other, a big guy who proudly declared his Russian-born roots, confidently revealed that he was terrified of public speaking. His biggest decision was whether to be the best man at his brother’s wedding where over three-hundred people would be in attendance.

No One To Count On But Me

You might be thinking that all teenagers are full of angst and worry and dramas and that this is nothing new. But as the young girl forced to choose between her parents spoke, she punctuated her statement with her admission that hit me right in the gut. She said, “I realized I have no one to count on but me, so I made the best choice for myself.” Ouch. She is fifteen years old.

I was not […]