This life isn’t particularly kind to everyone. I recall being especially unhappy as a high school student with little-to-no social life, a less than stellar boyfriend, and a contentious relationship with my mother. The only thing I wanted to do was escape it all and reinvent myself as a woman of some importance—at least in my own mind—and be free of the pain and loneliness that seemed to frame my life at that time.
Back then, like many girls my age, I was envious of the popularity, good looks, and overall charmed existence of the “popular” girls. Why couldn’t I be more like them? Where was my superstar boyfriend (AKA sports hero)? My invitation to all the hot parties? Why wasn’t I living the “good life”?
Well, it didn’t take me too long to figure out that I was asking and hoping for all the wrong things and,
as a result, it became necessary for me to start sorting out the woman I wanted to be—in this body I felt endlessly uncomfortable living in—with this soul that was sorely lacking in both direction and nourishment.
Now, a number of years later, I reflect upon that time as a moment in my life where I was too centered on the superficial aspects of living to appreciate all the good things I was blessed to have. I was too busy being shallow to understand what characteristics truly mattered in a person—their faith in Christ, their poise, their integrity, and their virtue.
It’s a lesson I had to learn in order to “grow up” and become the woman I am today: one who has
so much more to give to those around her because she can see both sides of the battle. I understand what it feels like both to be accepted and to wonder what acceptance feels like. And, though I’m still evolving on a daily basis, I feel more comfortable living and loving in the beautiful body the good Lord blessed me to have than I did 20 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, that 15-year old, lost, girl with low self-esteem is still a very real part of my story—she still makes an appearance here and there in those moments I find reason to doubt myself—she’s just no longer the title character in the movie.