Skin Deep: Adolescence

I’ve always been awkward inside my own skin. I marvel at people who convey confidence through their appearance and the way they speak. I want to know what that feels like. I’ve never been very confident. Even on my wedding days (there have been 2) I didn’t feel like the prettiest girl in the room. I was happy, but not confident. With age I’ve gotten much better at masking how I feel on the outside. For so long my face showed exactly what my mind was thinking and my body feeling.

Much of how I feel about myself has been directly linked to my weight. I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. Or have I? I look back at myself in photos and I don’t really look that heavy, but I sure did feel heavy. I wonder where those feelings came from. I always considered myself bigger than my friends. It made me self-conscious and because of it I developed a defensive outer edge with a sharp sarcastic wit. This not only rendered me ugly on the inside it made me very difficult to deal with and be around.

By the time I was in high school I was miserable. I watched from the sidelines as classmates began dating and socializing at sporting events, parties, dates, etc. Sure I had a few friends and talked to people at school, but I never seemed to fit in to any particular group. I spent a lot of time wallowing in my bedroom.

It’s no surprise that I was on a different diet weekly or pledging to starve myself until I was a beautiful, skinny popular girl. The starvation idea usually got thrown out the window by lunchtime. I hid under baggy clothing which did little to boost my self-esteem.

I wasted a great deal of time obsessed with my mediocre appearance. I sang the it’s not fair song far too much yet truthfully did nothing to change things. I was full of envy for anything I wasn’t. I envied the beautiful girls, the intelligent girls, the witty girls, the cute as a button girls, the thin girls, the girls with gorgeous flowing hair, the artistically talented girls. Envy is an extremely powerful and negative emotion…it destroys the soul. When I looked at myself I saw ugly both inside and out. I felt inadequate in every way. If you asked me what I was great at I would tell you that I couldn’t think of one thing. As I neared high school graduation I was certain that I would at last morph into the beautiful swan I was meant to be.

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”  -Sophia Loren

11 thoughts on “Skin Deep: Adolescence

  1. I feel like I could have written this, because it’s exactly how I have felt. I’m still not a very confident person, but I didn’t have a problem socializing, that came after I was married—it makes me sad now to think about all the fun times I missed out on because I didn’t want to be judged for being fat.

    The Sophia Loren quote is fantastic 🙂

  2. I can totally relate to all of those same feelings. Adolescent years suck, and I am dreading the day my little girl hits that stage. I can only hope that I instill in her inner beauty and self love in preparation for the awkward future that is inevitable.

  3. Wow, I could have written most of this too. Funny on my run the other day I was thinking how I used to think I was fat, and looking at picture I so was not. Oh how I wish I had that body now, I should not have hated it so much. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I could have written this too 🙂 I have always said losing weight only changes the outside, not the inside. But, I have found out that people that have not lost weight really don’t get that.

  5. First of all, Aimee, I think you’re pretty. I always expect this sort of post from a girl who truly has no looks. Honestly, if we had a Star Trek mind meld, you’d know that I really do think you look good. And men, they always tell me that they are attracted to fun women. Good looks plus grumpy makes men run the other direction. You are fun and intelligent. Take time to absorb this when people tell you this.

    🙂 Marion

  6. Aimee, you truly have a way with words. When I read this, I kept nodding my head along the way. I have felt how you have felt so often. Unfortunately I never was able to develop a sharp wit to counter my worthless feelings, so I was mostly just shy. But singing the “life’s not fair” song and dealing with envy have been part of my life for so long…even now. I hate that negativity in myself and yet I feel like I can’t stop it. I think this is the time to start. I’m eagerly awaiting your next installment of this as I feel there is more to be said…am I right?
    As always, I’m inspired by you. Thank you for sharing.

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