This one is for the middle school geeks, the out of place nerds, the unrelenting dorkish.
As a baby-faced 14-year-old whose most butterfly-inducing day dreams are for someone to like her, it is unimaginable to be sitting here today. I have recently recalled some of my more painful middle adolescent memories, shrouded often by the willingness to forget and move on, yet just fresh enough to bring me back into those thoughts, those feelings of insufficiency and unworthiness. If I could go back and talk to that girl now, I would tell her that her mother is right, that she would not be one of those girls that peaked in high school or even college, that she would be more than that, if she would just be patient.
Patience during strife is not an easy feat. You desire more than anything to be through the darkness, through the trouble and into the light; it cannot come soon enough. Yet when it arrives you have to kick yourself constantly to remember it is not all a dream.
Half my life ago I obsessed over being liked by people whose names I cannot even remember now, so insignificant they turned out to be in my life. Over the doubling of my years I’ve had hundreds, if not thousands of people float in and out, some leaving more permanent marks than others on my life’s landscape. Each and every one of them propelled me to where I am today.
When I was 14, I was a homeschooled, church-going, theater kid that only listened to christian music and carried a purity card in my back pocket. I don’t think I owned a dress, opting instead for soccer shorts and tournament t-shirts, my bangs religiously trimmed and my hair straighter than a package of angel hair noodles. I spent a lot of time in my room, making it my haven of picture-coated walls and alphabetized books. I ranged between struggling desperately to fit in and loving what my childhood me used to be. I wanted so badly to be pretty, to be liked, to be invited to parties, to be messaged first on AIM, to have a popular Top 8 on my MySpace, to be cool.
Since then, I learned the hard way that all that wasn’t “all that”.
Today I am everything I ever wanted to be and more. Every morning I wake up to the most handsome man in the world in our flat in England and I go to work as one of the youngest junior executives for a global company. We travel to a new country every month, we eat incredible food. We work out every day and I am in the best shape of my life. I even drive my dream car; a blacked-out BMW. And most importantly, I finally truly love who I am meant to be.
Had I given up, had I just succumbed to what they thought was necessary to be cool and fit in, I would not be here right now, pinching myself every day. It is worth the wait. It is worth the perseverance and hard work. You are worth it.