Growing up, I got made fun of – alot. So much that I often spent lunch in the bathroom by myself to avoid the teasing. I was on the cheerleading team and volleyball team but that didn’t stop the words thrown at me. In all fairness, I would in turn mock those who were “beneath” me. My early growth spurt and woman-like figure at the tender age of twelve caused no end of grief. If anything, it gave the kids more things to make fun of. Inevitably, this led to a complex. I never thought I was the pretty girl, and I knew I was never going to be the one who got asked out on dates or the first pick for a dance, but I was okay with it. “When you get to college, boys will be beating down your door. Once they grow up, they’ll see your inner beauty. Promise us you won’t come home your freshman year and be engaged.” These were all things people told me. Not my peers, but their parents, the ones who had experienced life. It didn’t make the pain of not getting asked out any less, or the nights when everyone was at the dance and I was home alone any better, but I held onto their words. Because SURELY I, the girl who had saved myself for so long, would get a boyfriend at least in college. Then college came. And it went. And I was still the girl who never got asked out. I started having serious doubts about my worth. Not that I needed a boyfriend to define me, but to be told I was beautiful, that I was CHOSEN, was something I so desperately wanted to hear. I looked in the mirror and saw someone whose eyes were too big, lips were too small, body didn’t match up to society’s standard of beauty and I felt discouraged. I’ve battled with my body image for years, it all stemming from an insecure little girl who just wanted to be loved and accepted. Whenever I would meet people, I would automatically assume I knew what they were thinking about me. “But she’s got a great personality!” My thoughts were always, if I could just lose weight, or be prettier, or color my hair, or do this or do that then someone would want me. I built up this image of myself fifty pounds thinner, with long blonde hair and confidence to boot. She was the one I wanted to be. She was the one in the back of my brain always telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I would never be like her. I fought and fought and continue to fight this version of myself.
Today when I was driving home from the store, I was thinking about something we talked about in The Timothy Project (the young adults class at WVC). We were talking something along the lines of repetitive sin, and the cycles we go through of seeing our desperation for God, and then feeling like we have everything together. I started thinking about what the idols and the habitual sin in my life were. I thought of most of the things I’ve struggled with – not trusting enough, wanting to be in control, doubting God’s goodness, etc. And then it hit me. I have made an idol out of the ideal version of myself. I worship this woman who I believe has it all together, looks the way she’s supposed to look, and doesn’t say awkward things in front of boys. I want to be HER more than anything else. I want to be the girl that catches everyone’s attention when I walk into a room. I want to be the girl that other girls are jealous of. I want to be liked. I want to be included. I want to be wanted.
But then again, I don’t.
It’s such an interesting paradox of desires. I don’t feel like I know who I am anymore.
The only thing I do know?
I am twenty-three years old and I have been on one date, I have never really held hands with a boy, and
I have never been kissed.
Does that shock you? It still shocks me sometimes.
I don’t know what this life has for me. I stopped trying to figure it out, but I do know, the little girl inside of me still desperately wants to be seen, and the woman inside of me desperately wants to kill the ideal version and live in freedom.