Why, as adults, do we still feel like that 12-year-old?

This is something I’ve been trying to wrap my head around. Why is this? Let’s just be honest here. I was not exactly Adriana Lima growing up. I had a (debatable) mullet, had a lot of baby fat (that seems to be coming back in the 30’s! Yay!), dressed like a REALLY bad extra from some sort of “MTV Jams” video in sweet Charlotte Hornets attire, and was still as hyper and awkward as I am today.

Picture of popularity, right?

Funny thing is, when I look at myself, what do I still see? That. And why do I still feel the need to impress everyone but, well, me? Why do I get that dreaded feeling of sitting at my desk in 5th grade, seeing that someone is skinnier or prettier or can sit still without a tranquilizer gun?

I’ve been skinny; chubby; athletic; average; “too thin”, (even though, in our society, I should be reveling in this…too bad carrots, cigs, and sugar free Gatorade make you very healthy…ha), too tall, too short (yes, believe it…in basketball I was…after playing Center, wanting to be converted to shooting guard is like asking an only child to share…wait…whoops) I’ve been too pale; I’ve been too tan.  Advice: Make sure you note ALL directions when conducting a spray tan or you will look like Tony the Tiger. Where does it ever end?

It ends with us-ourselves.

We are never going to be perfect. Any of us. And if you think you are, please check the reliable source of Wikipedia for “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. Because, someone will always find a fault with you, with something. Some of the most "beautiful" people on our planet get criticized. And for what? I am sure the people criticizing do so for publicity and to remedy their own insecurities. It’s those people that LOVE your faults that make your life amazing. For example, my mom, aunt, and I (who are all lovely women) always joke about our noses. You know what? If I had a Heidi Montag nose that was basically created out of what could create a spaceship for NASA, I wouldn’t resemble either of those ladies. And that would crush me. Sorry for partying, bump on the bridge.

Yeah, I’m tall. Deal with it. I’m sure my mom thought when she had a nearly 9 pound, 23 ½ inch baby that I’d be 5’1 and 90 lbs. Whatever, I am so useful at parties getting glasses down from shelves and reaching bottles of old Smirnoff and Peppermint Schnapps above your fridge that some frat dude put there years ago. I also have an uncanny way of finding people at concerts and other crowded venues with my view if I’m not in the port-o-potty.

When I was skinny, I thought it would equal happiness. WRONG. It actually made me more miserable.  I thought, naively, “This will be glorious. All happiness will now come to me. My Honda CRV will morph into an Aston Martin and my studio apartment will become a 20,000 square foot mansion.” Uh, not quite. Try more like sitting in a work lunchroom watching everyone heat up his or her leftover Lou Malnati’s and you sit there nibbling on a wheat thin. Yes, one. Same difference, right? It’s really satisfying. Before the health nuts attack me- I know there are ways to be healthy and look good. This is my personal experience of taking extreme measures to rid myself of that 12-year-old image mentioned earlier. I used to run. My post- smoking lungs are still adjusting. I now work out with my girl Esther (she may have lived through WWII but whatevs) on the treadmill doing a 3.5 power walk incline. It’s invigorating.

Moral of the story is, love yourself. Not to sound like a Mr. Rogers episode, but really, if everyone I knew had the same personality, was the same looking, and didn’t like to drink boxed wine, it would be a really boring universe. So next time I complain, just remind me that “MTV Jams” is off the air and that I’m not 12 anymore.

Filed under: Body image

Tags: body image

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