I really feel like I’ve spent the last decade or so trying to escape myself.
How is that possible? I’m only 23…
But the hormonal mess that was Junior High was not (in the beginning, at least) especially good to me.
Let me tell you something you already know (if you are a woman or have daughters): Girls can be cruel. Women can also be cruel, but there is a specific kind of insanity that occurs when the hormones start kicking around in a 12 year-old female’s body.
Sixth grade was the only year I faked being sick in order to stay home from school.
Up until then, I was a (sort of) loud, friendly, ham-it-up kind of girl. I even loved to run. So I was super skinny.
I became fairly introverted. I never exercised. I felt as if people thought I was unapproachable. Which may have been because I was, at least a little bit.
The biggest change that occurred was that I needed people; I felt like I needed a man.
I know. So unhealthy.
As a kid, I would frequently play by myself even when I had the option of playing with other kids. Not that I didn’t like the other kids. They just didn’t play my games the way I wanted them to. Also, Barbie and Ken liked their naked alone time and I didn’t want to deprive them of that.
By the time I was twenty, I wouldn’t even go to the grocery store by myself. Unless I very desperately needed tampons. But sometimes even then I would ask my mom to go for me.
*Side note- I hate being that girl who goes to Target and only needs to buy a box of Playtex Gentle Glides, so she buys an extra tube of mascara and a package of Milano cookies so it looks like she doesn’t just need tampons (even though it still does), and gets in the long line for the old lady cashier (because I am NOT buying tampons from the hot guy cashier, no matter how cool he seems to be with it), only to wait for fifteen minutes and have the old cashier go on break and be replaced by a young guy even hotter than the cashier whose line she could have been through and in her car eating cookies already, had she wanted him to know she's actually a real woman and not a cyborg who doesn’t bleed.*
Anyway, a couple years ago I was going through a lot of self-analysis and, after a few conversations with a friend, I realized that I hadn’t been my true self in a long time. And I was tired of faking it.
Two years later, I am closer to the real version of me than I have been in 12 years.
I must say, I haven’t been this comfortable in my own skin or this happy in as long.
I don’t care what people think; I wear a pink wig at work (sometimes). I go out without makeup on. I initiate conversations without feeling weird about it. I smile. I laugh. I go out with my friends. I am confident again.
There’s really only one thing left to work on.
It’s going to be difficult. It’s been a long time. I hate running shoes. And the feeling when sweat dries in my hair. (It is not “glistening” when it’s dripping, people.) I hate cramps in my side. I hate my night classes three nights a week interfering. Most of all, I hate that I can feel the fat in my stomach and thighs moving around and I hate that I have to wear a sports bra over my regular bra because neither of them does shit to support me when I’m trying to run. Stupid boobs.
But I can do this.
I can do this.