666515279e97d7c8c2ff66e5523cca43Last weekend I hosted some boisterous Middle School girls for a sleepover. Yes, I’m old enough to have a 13 year old daughter, and I’ve been teaching her and her friends for two squee-filled years. During the giggling, crafting, and truth-or-daring I was taken back to the awkward, self-doubting tween I once was. It wasn’t easy feeling different then, and the same holds true as a 30-something year old.

Can you remember a time in life you were more green than your teenage years? I can.

Often, we refer to being green when we’re struggling with envy and jealousy. Over the years, my shade of green became putrid the more I focused on myself. It’s as if a green beast grew inside me and every now and then, when I was consumed with myself, it came out in a slew of reactions. I would burst into tears, go into a nagging frenzy, or pout in private. The only person that ever gets hurt is me. I repeatedly put myself into a paralyzing chokehold and wait for the rotten green to fade away.

dd2d5908fb3d032fd3362d91088c36d9I’d like to look past the greed and self-pity and explore Kermit’s struggle, because the struggle is real. Yeah, I’m sure Kermit wishes he could play the drums like Animal, but Kermit actually has a problem with being different. Don’t we all? As a thirteen year old, I fought hard to blend in with the pack. Squelching my creativity, putting a muzzle on my opinions, and constantly trying to keep up with the ‘Heathers’ (an 80’s movie you should watch if you haven’t) was a daily struggle for me. I didn’t want to be green, I wanted to be the same color as every pretty, popular girl in my school. The problem is you can’t have a beautiful rainbow made up of the same shade of purple.

You and I were created as originals. There’s no one like you, so when you’re busting your butt to keep up with the Jones’ the world is missing out on knowing a [insert your name here]. It may not be easy being green, but what Kermit didn’t count on was green being my favorite color. At the age of 30-something, I’d enjoy being green with polka dots. I just hope it doesn’t take my teen as long to embrace her differences.