I had a pretty severe high school flashback while driving home from work. Third Eye Blind's "Semi-charmed Life" came on the radio and whooooosh... I was back in my baggy LEI jeans and Converse sneakers. The faces of my best friends flashed before my eyes along with all the times we got in trouble for chatting in class and staying out too late. It got me thinking about how much I've changed since then. And it makes me wonder how different my old friends are today.

In high school, I was painfully shy and sometimes (OK, often) awkward. No joke. It's been documented in year books. I wasn't completely confident in my flared LEIs, and I was never the most popular girl in school. I'm still not the most popular girl in my world, but I'm ok with that. To be honest, I was pretty ok with it back then, too. Popularity seemed like a lot of pressure. I'm also still awkward sometimes. (Often.) Right now, I'm realizing it sounds like I'm exactly the same, but some things have changed. I promise.

I finally grew into my gangly arms and legs, and I can run without falling down now, which is pretty great. I would probably still get cut from the 8th grade basketball team, though.

Another new development? Dancing. I used to be terrified of dancing. I think most, if not all, people look like complete morons when they dance. I'm 100% included in that group. But I realized at some point that dancing is fun, and probably the closest I'll get to actually being a child again. I'll gladly look like a moron for the bliss that comes with my awesome moves during the perfect song.

I'm also not horrified of speaking in public anymore. I used to emotionally and (only sometimes) physically curl up in a ball when asked what I thought about something. I lacked confidence and had a squeaky I-don't-know-what-I'm-talking-about voice, which didn't help. When I finally decided I had something to say, I somehow learned how to do it. Now I'm a professional communicator. How crazy. Somewhere along the way, I learned that having an opinion and demanding (nicely) to be heard is not a bad or scary thing.

So as not to make it seem like all of my changes have been positive ones, I will also say that I am a lot more cynical than my 14-year-old self. I miss how she used to see the brightest possible scenario and used to be unconditionally merciful and generous. Life threw some cold water on my face in the last 10 years, and I wish that innocence and lightheartedness hadn't been as hampered as it was. I'm working on getting that back...

I'm comfortable in my own skin. I spent a lot of time trying to look and act the right way to fit into a certain box when I was younger. Somewhere between 12 and 25, I figured out that my box is the only one I want to fit into. It's a lot more comfortable to be who I really am and look and dress and act like myself rather than anyone else.

My world no longer revolves around boys - although I live with one, now. Ironic.

I personally can't wait for my 10-year reunion. Good and bad, people change, and that is so cool. I love to hear the stories of how people have come to be the way they are. There's always a reason.

How have you changed the most since your angsty teen years? And, more importantly, do you remember Chumbawamba?! We were so cool.


Popular Posts