Much like strawberry blonde hair or a dimpled chin, some people are just born with it.
I’m talking self esteem here.
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who came out of the womb with Supergirl confidence. I hope so. I had to earn mine through bad hair choices, missed opportunities, and crappy boyfriends. Many women and people in general have gone through this same passage. Sadly, many do not make it to the other side, forever bound to ab-rolling and chemical peels.
I think I am almost there.
It’s a foreign and relaxing feeling to feel comfortable in one’s own skin, still care about humanity, but not care what others say or think.
Here’s a re-cap of my journey:
Elementary Years: Very outgoing yet embarrassed to “show off.” Back then boisterousness was a sin. Right up there with stealing and looking a nun in the eye. Did I mention I attended Parochial school for twelve years?
Junior High: Awkwardness, braces, and negative breast size only added to the above. Even if I did have boobs and was super confident, it wouldn’t matter. All the nuns were running a DEFCON Level 3 operation because of everyone’s hormones.
High School: The motherload of insecurity. Think about it: waiting to get asked to Homecoming; waiting to get your license so your mom doesn’t have to drive you to Snuffer’s; waiting to be free from wearing plaid uniforms; and waiting to get out of Geometry so you can see that boy in the hallway… then dutifully ignore him and feign interest in the Don’t Do Drugs poster. I’m guessing this is what Purgatory feels like.
College: Ah yes – the bubble. No actual reality takes place during these four years. The confidence level is better here, but college is still a lot like High School. Just with more alcohol and better parties.
Twenties: First real job and being on my own – 1 Self-Esteem Point. Too many movies about some chick looking, looking, and looking some more for the Mr. Right; then becoming depressed because she only dated buffoons; only to feel good about herself when she found “the one.” – Minus 6 Self-Esteem Points. I remember thinking, “Is this how it’s supposed to go down? Man, I’m not even close.” Then I would pop in Caddyshack and feel much better. I fault the media and Sex in the City for this time period.
Thirties: Much better. All neurosis about myself were transferred to my child. Worries about my acne were replaced with worries about my daughter choking on a teething cookie.
Forties (forty): F*ck it. I’m tired and it is way too exhausting to worry about anything other than what I am going to make for dinner.
I’m pretty sure by the time I reach seventy I will be driving around town flipping people off just because I have lived that long. And let’s face it, angry old people are funny.
So it took some time to get here. While I do feel as though I act like an idiot most of the time, I really don’t dwell on it. I just shrug my shoulders and say “Oh well,” as I gracefully remove the food from between my teeth. I will probably never be queen secure, but I don’t trust the overly confident. They are hiding something.
I hope others don’t have to take such a long journey as I did, but there is a sense of accomplishment of having gone through the above milestones to finally feel good in my own skin and to not give a damn what others say.