THE BLOG
01/23/2013 10:04 am ET | Updated Mar 25, 2013

The Problems You're Supposed to Have

We all know about those stereotypical teen problems. The guy you like doesn't text you back and flakes on you when you were oh-so-excited to spend time with him. You'll end up crying over him while your best friend comforts you and tells you that you're too good for him anyway. Your parents just don't understand you. They won't let you go out with your friends, and you'll end up calling your best friend and having a three-hour conversation about your parents' unfair rules.

This is what is supposed to happen. This is how growing up is supposed to play out. This is what every movie, TV show and book has taught us about the struggles of being a teen.

But sometimes, the boy texts you back in two minutes and returns your calls while your best friend doesn't get back to you after four texts, two calls and three days. Sometimes, your crush will actually offer to hang out and goes through the trouble of making all the plans. And, your friend never tries to plan a sleepover or dinner with you, and once again, you have to put forth all the effort. Sometimes, your parents are the ones who are there for you the most. They're the ones who comfort you once your so-called best friend bails on you for the 700th time.

There's nothing really horribly wrong with this. It's not clearly worse than a stereotypical teen problem. But it's an unfamiliar conflict, left untouched by nearly every movie, show, and book out there. Guys are supposed to break your heart, and parents are supposed frustrate you while your best friend is reliable and constant. But, as I've learned recently, sometimes your BFF is the one who breaks your heart and frustrates you.

It's okay to be single. It's okay to have your crush of two years not even know your name. It's okay to get into fights with your parents and break their rules. But we're never really told that it's okay to let go of our best friend. Yeah, you can fight with them and say you'll never talk again, but you're going to make up, hug it out and forget it ever happened. That's how it's supposed to go. Those are the problems you're supposed to have.

But just like all other kinds of relationships, friendships, even the best of them, sometimes fade until they're barely visible. And, the label "best friend" becomes more and more inaccurate. If you end up putting in all the effort in the friendship -- texting or calling them first, making the plans, and putting them first in your book while they treat you like you're a backup plan -- it might be time to just leave it. Holding on to how things are supposed to go can end up really hurting you.

The teenage years are different for everyone and, while the stereotypes of teenage problems exist for a reason, you might encounter totally different problems, which is okay. Because at some point in time, you're going to have to let go of your ideas of what should happen and start living the life that's actually happening.

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