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Nikki Luongo Headshot

Not a Little Girl, But I Know My Way

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Britney Spears put out a song back in the early 2000s when her movie came out, "Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," where she spoke about how she viewed the world through rose-colored glasses and how life's unexpected turns shaped her and what she saw the world as. That being a kid was much easier because things weren't thrown at us unexpectedly, we could take things as they came.

I think that growing up in the 90s was a better time for kids, we weren't Facebook or Twitter obsessed and we didn't plant ourselves in front of video game machines; we actually went outside and played for hours and whined when it was time to go in. Bullying was in its infancy, it seemed like it was an idyllic time to be a kid.

But now we live in a world where a kid gets shot going to the convenience store, tweens are bullied on a near hourly basis, and every moment of their little lives are scrutinized, from their clothes to the music and TV shows they watch. I know a particular little girl who is dying to be a teenager already -- but just the exciting parts, the clothes and getting to know boys. If she only knew what being a teenager really was, she'd stay 8 years old forever.

There's no prediction for what the world is going to be or what's going to happen and that's fine, expect the unexpected. Life has little surprises but what happens when those surprises throw a monkey wrench in the system? How can we cope... Do we face it or run?

If someone had told me that at the age of 26, I'd still be unemployed and living at home, I would have either cried or punched them in the face, That's not what I signed up for. I had planned to be a stand-up comic in New York, but life's unexpected surprise led me home.

We all had plans for ourselves as kids. I knew a girl who wanted to be a ballet dancer until the teacher told her she was too fat, another little girl wanted to be an actress but couldn't because she was too shy. My point is, as kids we make these incredible goals for ourselves but as we go along, we tend to give them up for new dreams and goals.

Life is about taking the road unexpected and I think for the kids just coming into it, we need to step up and fix the broken so that they can grow up seeing the wonders instead of the sadness.

What did you want to do as a kid? Was it kooky or was it wonderfully weird? Did you accomplish your goal?

For more by Nikki Luongo, click here.

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