Who were you in high school?
The band nerd?
The sports hero?
The beauty queen?
The smart guy?
The class clown?
The trouble maker?
In only a few days I (Heather) will be turning 30. I have to admit I have mixed feelings about it.
(WARNING: This post is a vulnerable one that some may find rather annoying.)
Something about turning 30 has me reflecting back on my life, and for some reason I've been thinking about those high school days. Some memories are great, and some are not so great. One thing's for sure, I'm so glad I've changed since those days. Yes, I've changed, and yet in many ways I'm still very much the same...
I was definitely "the outcast" in those days. Awkward (still am, although I'm a little better at hiding it when I want to these days, but most of the time I've learned to embrace it :) painfully shy, quite the introvert, terrified of boys, terrified of being called on in class, always looking at my feet, always turning red, always hiding. Rather than talk to people, I would be in the corner writing in my journal. If I wanted to avoid passing somebody in the hallway for whatever reason I'd take an alternate route. If I liked a boy rather than talk to him I'd NOT talk to him, I'd avoid him, and have a crush only from afar because that was the only safe way. Pretty messed up, although I'm sure it did save me from a lot of heartache.
If someone was standing in front of my locker I'd just wait until they left, even if I may be late for class. So uncomfortable, so unsure, so insecure. So consumed with what others may think of me that I'd just shut myself down and shut everyone out. I could seriously go a whole school day without saying a single word to anyone. I'm sure people thought I was just mean or creepy. "Don't mess with the quiet ones, they're deadly!" - they'd say.
I was SO self conscious about my looks and my weight that a lot of times I felt too uncomfortable eating around other people, so I'd hide in the bathroom stall and eat only a pack of peanut butter crackers for lunch. Yea, I really did that for a while. Of course, I'd come home and be starving and eat basically a whole thing of ice cream (complete with cookie dough and chocolate, of course). Talk about some serious stress eating.
Somehow I did find high school friends, and I'm so thankful I had them, many I'm still friends with today. I joined the marching band. It was good for me and honestly I'm even surprised I did it with how shy I was. I never really played out even though I practiced and played my heart out when I was alone at home when no one was listening.
Graduation was so bittersweet - I was so relieved to be out of there, and yet terrified of who I would be in the real world.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you (as you are in present day) were placed back into those high school days? Would you default back to the way you were? Would you act and react much differently from lessons learned in life? Who would you be drawn to and who would YOU be? I sure hope I'd walk in there with confidence, feeling good about who I am now, proud of what I get to do with my life. Isn't it wonderful how we grow. I'm sure thankful for it.
One thing is for sure, I wouldn't be able to do what I do now if I was constantly "in hiding" as I was in those days. God grew me over the years. Yes, maybe it has been gradually, but lessons have been learned, some the easy way and some the hard way, and I've grown and I'm happy with the person that I am (well to a certain extent, I mean, don't we all want to continue to grow, to get through the battles we are currently facing in life and be able to look back again and see how we've grown even more, in a ripe old age and full of wisdom, of course :) ha! But most importantly, rather than hiding my awkwardness, my silly-random sense of humor, who I am, and what I'm passionate about, I'm able to now embrace these things. So yes, in many ways I'm still the same person I once was in those days...I'm just not hiding myself away out of fear anymore. Embrace who you are! I'm a proud introvert, a proud nerdy-awkward-silly-random person, I'm proud of who I am and what I do! I'm thankful that I have people in my life who love me just the way that I am, and so thankful that my God loves me just the way that I am.
So here's to being 30! Here's to hoping that this year I'll be more comfortable in my own skin than ever before! I'm happy to be where I am in life, and excited to see what my 30's will bring.