High School...What I Wish I Had Known Then

High school was not my best time.  At. All.  In fact, I was quite miserable for four years.  I felt lonely, afraid, insignificant, unimportant.

I attended a Catholic, all-girls high school.  It was my choice, mind you.  Well, I actually only had two choices.  Out of all the high schools in my city, my parents said I could go to this one or that one and that one didn't seem to fit me, so this one it was.

In hindsight, it probably wasn't the smartest choice for me.

You see, somewhere along my life, I went from being an adorable, happy little girl who knew she was smart and good at soccer and had pretty hair, to being an angst-ridden teen who hated every single thing about herself and refused, absolutely denied the fact, that there was anything good about her at all.
See, I was adorable.  But, hey,
by the way,
Chrissy Snow called and
she wants her shorts back.

What made it worse was that I only had other girls to compare myself to, and I came up miserably short and flailing every. single. time.

This girl was smarter than me.

That girl was a better soccer player than me.

She was so much more outgoing than I could ever be.

All the boys think she's beautiful.

And on and on and on until I dug myself into a hermit hole that I couldn't wait to crawl out of when I was ready to go off to college.

That negative self-talk paralyzed me.  It made me fear myself and fear what others would think of me.  And some girls made it quite clear what they thought of me, in the cruelest way that still hurts today even though I try to pretend that I'm over it.

But here's the that I am writing about it so honestly, and really not caring what anyone will think, I am learning that many of the girls I saw as popular, vivacious, talented, smart, and beautiful, had/have insecurities of their own.

I've learned it through comments on a Facebook status I will post, a note about a blog post I have written, something someone will say to me in a private conversation, or I've learned it through observing how someone's life has turned out twenty years later.

Someone's bold, brazen confidence is usually just an act, a defense mechanism, a coping skill, and I just wasn't smart enough back then to figure that out.  But I've learned it now.

And I've also learned how to be honest with my feelings.  Yes, it's scary to admit your flaws and critique yourself, but 99 times out of 100, someone will be feeling that same way and is glad you admitted it first.

That's part of the reason I love blogging.  It's easy to put so many things "out there."  I often forget that a lot of people I know read my blog.  But, it helps me to learn that as women, we really are more alike than different.

Many bloggers talk of struggling with self-esteem and confidence, a struggle that is likely fueled by the so-called "Mommy Wars" and a media that is hell-bent on selling the idea that women need more in order to be more.

It's hard to be a woman, at any age.  I wish I would have known that. I wish I would have known that other girls had insecurities, too.

But I also wish I would have known that people liked me, boys thought I was cute, and some people even thought I was in the "popular crowd."  And mostly, I just wish I would have known that I really did have friends and talents and could have had more had I tried a little harder.  Maybe taken more risks.

So I guess the question is: would I go back to high school knowing what I know now?  The answer is a definite hell to the no!


Because I would be a different person than I am today.

And I'm starting to really like her.

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What is the One Thing You Wish You Knew Then….that You Know Now?
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