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by Abigail Van Buren

Tween Takes Stock of Life and Wants to Make Changes

DEAR ABBY: I am a 12-year-old girl who is not happy with who I am. When I was younger I always imagined what I'd be like when I was older -- and this is not who I want to be.

I am the girl everyone wants to date. I have lost people close to me lately and made mistakes I wish I could take back. I love God and the fact that He gave me life, but I don't like myself. People treat me like I have no feelings sometimes, and I'm tired of drama that isn't worth my time. I want to change who I am to who I really want to be.

Do you have any tips on how to make myself the person I want to be, and not the person everyone else wants? -- WHO AM I? VALRICO, FLA.

DEAR WHO AM I?: You are an intelligent young lady who has recognized that she must make changes if she wants to achieve her goals. Good for you.

At 12, you're not frozen into any role. There is time to change your image. While it may be flattering to be someone "everyone wants to date," you are not obligated to date anyone. Concentrate on improving your grades, becoming active in sports, developing your interests and a stronger relationship with your church. If you do, you will form different kinds of relationships that will enable you to become the person you want to be. I have no doubt that you'll accomplish whatever you set your mind to because you have already started.