Feeling as though we aren’t good enough… for one reason or another… is a struggle common to the female journey. And in those weak moments, it feels impossible to believe that the only person holding us back is ourselves.
But what if we’re wrong? What if we are enough… simply because we just are? What if the power to LIVE the life of our dreams is already within us?
Teen author Kelen Tamurian says she has wasted many years on striving for perfection. But there was always something she felt that she could have done better. There was always something to criticize. She just never felt good enough. Not her grades – even though she is an honor student – not her ability to play the sports she loved, and not her body.
“We LIVE in a society where more is better, and perfection is the object we are told to obtain,” says Kelen. “I compared every inch of myself to what I thought I should look like, act like, and be like. I spewed words of hatred towards my body that carried me through everyday life, and I ridiculed myself for missing that one point on my math test because I thought I should’ve been able to get that perfect score. I thought I needed it to be smart, worthy, and valuable.”
And so, Kelen wrote SIMPLY Not ENOUGH, a fictional novella that encapsulates the journey of a teenage girl who learns to accept that she is good enough, simply because she is.
Kelen says through writing her book, she too began to tell herself that her worth did not depend on any outward appearance or trait that she possesses. Her worth depends simply on the fact that she exists, that she has a heart that beats to LIVE the life she chooses and is open to giving and receiving love. She recognized that she is enough, simply because she is. No questions asked.
“My role as a teen author and teen mental health advocate has completely changed my life, for the better,” says Kelen. “As I was gearing up to write my novella, I realized that women feel this need to shrink themselves to fit into society, a tight pair of jeans, or that standards that others have set for them. I recognized that it was time to stand up and stand out.”
Our journeys to self-love and self-acceptance begins in our thinking, because how we think about ourselves dictates our realities and our relationship with ourselves, says Kelen. It determines the life we LIVE.
For this reason, Kelen started a movement called “Simply Enough,” geared towards empowering young women to show up as their highest selves by understanding the value of their presence and the importance of their worth. Through sharing personal experiences, exploring the topics of Kelen’s book, SIMPLY Not ENOUGH, and building a community of women that lift each other up and support each other in times of need, “Simply Enough” strives to change the way young women show up in the world.
“Simply Enough” provides its members with the tools they need to fully begin to accept themselves as they are through meditation, journaling, body-acceptance, and body-neutrality. They learn how to connect to their inner wisdom and how to heal their past traumas, and most importantly they learn to respect their personal journey without judgment for what it looks like compared to the community members around them.
This high school community has over 40 members based in Washington, and is growing every day. Kelen’s vision is to take her community global.
“I feel that in order to heal and truly come to a place of acceptance for the self, you have to be open to choosing to LIVE your life differently,” says Kelen. “You have to be willing to incorporate new positive habits into your life that will foster change in your thinking about yourself.”
Kelen says her generation struggles with negative social media impacts, which creates a toxic place of comparison that can further contribute to feelings of not feeling good enough. And so, Kelen plans to continue advocating for teen mental health and spreading her messages of self-love and self-acceptance through her Instagram page.
“You have the power to determine your own reality, you have the power to believe in yourself,” she says. “But it will not always be as easy as just deciding that you are good enough. You will have to consciously and continuously work to change your thinking, your habits, and your relationship with yourself, as well as your mind and body. This may sound scary and overwhelming, but it is also exciting and invigorating to know that you are the creator of your own destiny. You are the one who gets to decide how you want to show up in the world and that is a pretty special thing if you let it be.”
Kelen is now a high school senior. Through her continued hard work, she recently received the College of William and Mary Leadership Award and is a finalist for the RevolutionHer Youth Community Vision Award. Through her school, she has also received the English Department Award twice, Jesuit Grad at Grad requirement honor, and is co-president of its National Honor Society chapter.
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