Teens: Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Sonya Baumstein, a 29 year old woman, left Japan on June 7 in small row boat to row her way to San Francisco! It’s a 6,000 mile journey, and she says, “I know it’s going to get bad at times, but I just keep my eye on the prize.” Although she knows the journey is not going to be easy – there might be storms, wild waves, and she might even capsize. But she’s got her eye on her destination.


But that doesn’t mean she isn’t enjoying the journey too! Sonya said that the best part of the journey is the stars. Certainly, she’s enjoying the bliss of nature’s beauty while being out at sea for all these months. Sonya expects to land in San Francisco by sometime in September!


This journey is incredibly inspiring! For instance, if you’re in a difficult time in your life (and there is no question that adolescence can bring challenges!), you can keep your eye on the prize. Perhaps that means for you, the day you turn 18. Maybe that means the day you move out of your parents home. Or maybe that means when you head off to college. Whatever you’re struggling with now, you’ve got an entire life ahead of you to explore, experiment, and enjoy the wonders of life!


Maybe in order to “keep your eye on the prize”, that is, in order to push yourself through the roller coaster ride of adolescence, perhaps you need a sharper image. Perhaps you need a vision, a goal, a destination – like Sonya’s target of San Francisco.


It’s true that as an adolescent, you might not have such a clear vision yet. For instance, you might know you want to go to college, but you might not know where. You might know that you want to get married and have a family, but you haven’t met your true love yet. You might know that you want to become an artist, but you’re not sure if you want to paint landscapes, still lifes, or abstract paintings.


In other words, part of the journey of being an adolescent is searching for that glimpse, seeking out a vision of where you’re going. This way you can make choices and plans based upon your destination. This way you can sculpt your life in such a way that reflects the direction you want to go.


The wonderful part of being a teenager is that you have many years ahead of you. This means that you can use this time to craft a vision for yourself. In fact, you’re meant to. Adolescence is a time of discovering who you are now and who you are meant to be. It’s a time of exploration, experimentation, and investigation.


When you have some free time, ask yourself these deep questions: Who am I? and Where am I going?  When you dive into these questions, you might find answers rising within you. Once you find your answers and once you begin your journey towards your destination, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of your journey just like Sonya is enjoying the stars on her way to San Francisco.