I spoke yesterday, at a conference for creative teens in Portland, about how to handle rejection. When it was over, a 15-year-old came up to me and said:

“Jen. To be honest, when you first got on stage you annoyed me.”

“Oh,” I said, my face flushing red and my mind wondering if maybe I’m not the right person to share my ups and downs with this age group. “I appreciate your honesty.”

“But then,” he continued, “I started to understand why you are up there smiling and being loud and enthuastic about rejection. Because you’ve been through it and you’ve survived and you pushed through. And that’s pretty cool. It’s pretty awesome.”

“Oh, yeah. Thanks.” I said, trying to play it cool in front of someone half my age calling me cool.

“You rock,” he said. “I’ll never forget what you said up there.”

And we hugged and high-fived and I left understanding that the best way to ever relate to anyone, anywhere, is to be disgustingly honest about who you are, what you’ve been through, and the kind of person you’ve become because of it.

It’s “pretty cool”.

I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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