Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My inner voice, still speaks nerd.


Sometimes I still feel like I'm that thirteen year old girl, with braces, extra lanky arms and legs, glasses (sometimes, blind the others), and eager like a puppy dog 24/7. I had really sweaty hands and was constantly anxious, I would avoid walking down the hall when someone was walking my way and was going to "give me daps", I'd find a corner to turn or a way to magically keep my hands full. I had an extreme unrequited crush (one specifically, but when it wasn't him it was someone else) and though I was "popular" I wore the right things, was friends with everyone, I still felt overlooked and as a result I've let that past perception of myself pour onto my future perception of how people see me.

I had two cute blonde friends (who I still adore, yet have a dormant animosity towards blonde people) and I was the awkward one in the middle, with the dark hair who looked like the Mom. They got the boobs first and had thick ponytails and little waists. Rather than receiving notes, or being pined after, I was relaying the info. I was the messenger, the joke maker, the mediator, the shoulder and the "other one."

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today and realized; I am not that person anymore. The thing is, I still absolutely FEEL like the awkward nervous, bubbly and irritatingly optimistic young teenager that I was. My insides have forgotten to catch up with the changes on the outside.

The good news, I have more boob now. As a matter of fact, I get a shade of cleavage every now and then depending on how many carbs I eat. I have embraced the parts of me that I thought we awkward and realize they are actually quite endearing. I smile too big sometimes and say all the wrong things, my eyes are huge and ridiculously expressive and show shock/awe anytime I listen intently to a story, I am happy that I crack one liners when I meet new people and I don't mind when people don't understand my humor. I don't need people to like or understand me all the time. Though in the past I'VE felt like the gawky one, I've come to realize it is not me at all. That old crush.....it's him. Those old friends that I felt like didn't take the time of day...thank God they didn't, it would've been a waste.

Today I looked in the mirror and saw a WOMAN. A strong, beautiful, passionate, intelligent woman. I saw a woman who has grown into her skin, who shows her pride through the width of her chest, her compassion and wonder through her eyes, her courage in her energy, and her spirit in her smile. I've come to love my nose, the cheeks, my hands, my voice, my mind and my panache. I'd forgotten to remind my "inner voice" of the truth of who I have become, aided by all of the things that I have been. On the inside I am still that "awkward" kid who says nerdy things but I have also become so much more than that and I rarely celebrate it.

We all have an inner idea of who we "think" we are and more often than not, that idea doesn't match up to the greatness and the truth of who you actually are, and the regard in which others hold you is often higher than your own. So tonight, I had a glass of champagne (at a pub?) and "celebrated" finally living/loving in my own skin.

Who do you identify with on the inside, and who have you become on the outside?

77 comments:

Mike said...

I think you don't give yourself enough credit in the boob department ;)

Golightly said...

great post as sometimes I feel the same way. Who am I? and where did that girl I used to be go? And what kind of adult am I?

Anonymous said...

Chelsea - its anonymous from yesterdays blog. I sent an email to you if the pure voice is still the right address??!!

JanelleGrace said...

I think you are me. I could just cross out a few sentences in this post and it would be me. I would have to cross out the popular part. But I was that shy, awkward, sarcastic, nerdy kid that made jokes that no one got and it took a few times hanging out with me to realize I wasn't a complete jerk. I know I am going to be reading this post over and over again today.

I have finally become comfortable with myself and while I don't see a woman in the mirror, I do see me. I still feel too young to feel like I have completely grown up and in some way, I don't want to be completely grown up.

A Margarita said...

Almost the same as what you described. I was a bit of a late bloomer and stuck in my books in high school, while all my friends were petite, pretty, and dainty.

Eventually, I did get my curves, and I realize I'm attractive but sometimes it's hard to reconcile that with so many years of not being comfortable in my own skin.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Ach! Same. I sometimes assume that when a hot guy talks to me he's really making fun of me and his friends are somewhere I just can't see them. Then I remember I'm older, and my while life is different than it was in high school.

well-intentioned heartbreaker said...

Oh Chelsea. I love this.

I'm soo happy for you that you are living in, and loving your own skin.

I totally feel as awkward as I did in grade 9 sometimes, but for the most part, I know I'm not the same person. I've always put on a "I'm a beautiful, sexy, and confident girl" front, but now, I'm actually believing it as true. And the part that makes me the most happy? I'm in school for broadcast journalism.. I spent the first two semesters thinking "What if I become big? What if those bitches from my past see me and make fun of me?" I've completely gotten rid of that state of mind, I don't CARE what they think, and I LOVE it.

Surfergrrl said...

you have such awesome blog posts! they really make you think. i still feel like that insecure girl from HA on the inside. afriad of rejection. will people like me? etc. i hope it doesn't reflect too much on the outside, but it's something I really need to work on...not caring what people think of me.

Lauren said...

I still feel like that awkward high school geek sometimes as well. Maybe it's because I still wear the glasses. I'm still shy and still confused and still majorly awkward. Maybe i need to reassess as well.

Trixie Firecracker said...

Still the awkward geek on the inside.

Katelin said...

i don't think i've changed a lot from high school. except that i'm a little more crazy and a lot more outgoing. okay then i guess that's a big change. and it's a change i love. however the rest of me, aka my face, body, etc, is basically exactly the same, that of which i don't really mind. it's so weird to grow up.

raych said...

It's such a great feeling when you finally know who you are and realize that it's ok to be who you are - the geek, the tomboy, the girl with the sense of humor only few seem to understand, the one kid who actually LOVED math, whatever. And if other's don't like it, oh well. That's their prerogative (go Bobby!). It's their loss. Their bad that they're passing on an opportunity to know YOU.

It's a great feeling to actually be happy with yourself. It took me too damned long to get there, but dammit, I'm sure as fuck glad that I did.

Mel Heth said...

Glad you're finally seeing yourself clearly (with or without glasses). ;)

I've gotten a lot better about this over the years, although still feel like a dufus sometimes (like when speaking in front of a crowd). And I still have friends who tease me about wearing 2 pairs of socks in junior high because I had such skinny ankles...

bFlat said...

Great post! I hope to feel like that one day, to finally be able to love the skin that I am in. I'm glad to read that it is completely possible.

Sophia said...

still getting there...I think grad school is holding me back in a perpetual state of being a student.
That was very eloquent though, and I'm SO all about champagne in pubs :)

Crystal said...

you NEED to read Moose by Stephanie Klein. It will be like therapy for you. SUCH a good book about adolescence, awkwardness, self esteem, body issues, love issues, ect.

So@24 said...

Pictures of you with braces.

NOW.

cessie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cessie said...

Three cheers and a definite toast for living comfortably in your own skin! Congratulations Chelsea :)

I have a kind of inverse experience - I realized that I'm a woman with curves replaced by powerful arms and legs instead, but I'm perfectly happy with that because they're damned useful.

I think the best sign of maturity in me is that I've grown up to be a good loser. I can laugh at myself and should get style points for my panache in losing :).
I'd say that's a toastable upgrade from being a goody-2-shoes praise addict as a kid. Today, I figure I should be giving it instead.

Great post!!

nicoleantoinette said...

Lately I've been feeling a lot of disconnect between who I think I am and want to be versus what I currently am. I think because I'm not doing some of the things I truly love (writing, traveling) with enough frequency. I don't know, I'm so all over the place that it's hard to appreciate what I'm accomplishing etc.

Anyway, wonderful post. (as always)

girlinterrupted1218 said...

On the outside I am Marcia Brady. Beautiful, confident, always gets the guy. On the inside I am Jan Brady. Shy, sometimes insecure, and always saying, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

NYCPonderings Chick said...

sometimes its nice to know where you came from though and always be reminded of that little girl! and boobs are overrated anyway :)

meldoesgradschool said...

That's really awesome - congratulations! I feel like so few women or girls ever really like the way they look or are even comfortable in their own skin. And it's a social norm to not like yourself. And it's the fault of the cruel joker who thought that girls should develop before boys and that girls shouldn't even all hit puberty at the same time. Seriously, it's ridiculous. Not to mention that it's not like you can hide when you do get boobs so everyone knows everything and you can't do anything to get around it... I think this is traumatizing for all girls and I'm not sure we ever get over feeling like that gawky, awkward adolescent. At least not completely...

Vanessa said...

This is a tough question that really made me stop and think. On the inside I identify with a wide range of things, from awkward geeky kid to intelligent grown up. On the outside I identify with the adult I am slowly but surely becoming.

JK said...

I love this post and I've felt the same way very often. I think remembering and embracing those insecurities from adolescence keeps you strong.

I once went back and read old journals of mine from this age. It was hilarious and wonderful to remember and rediscover that little girl.

The Flash said...

I wasn't a popular kid. I was also a very gullible kid-- I never lied, so I couldn't tell when other people were lying. this added up to me assuming I'm wrong, most of the time. On the one hand, it means that I shore up my opinions and actions with well-thought out evidence and argument and projections, with extensive citation. On the other hand, I always assume that I sound like a boor, that I'm sticking out like a sore thumb, that I'm trampling other people to get to the point. I assume I can't hold my own in any argument or fight, that, with anythign except karaoke, I'm just not as good as anyone else. It's frustrating, because I know I'm better than that-- I can throw a ball far and accurately, I have pretty solid political opinions and thoughts on life, I remember thigns pretty well and I'm fairly knowledgable-- but the second I'm challenged, I fold like a cheap suit and suddenly I'm that fat fifth grader who can't tell if people are dealing with him directly or laughing at him.

*DesignerGirl24* said...

I'm glad you wrote this for all to see because that meant that I got to see it. The inner me and the outer me are at constant odds. I have the body of a pin-up girl and the self-identity of a 14 year old high school freshman who feels completely inept at life. So... good post! It was a good thing for me to read and be reminded of.

Sister Libby said...

Honestly, I have been waiting for that self satisfaction. It's not here yet...but I'm only sixteen. So...I've got time. But I like the cut of your gib.

urbanvox said...

wow...
VERY good question!
I still don't know really... I am a MIX of all the above. :)

Still... me, myself and I!! heheheh

just me said...

I'm a chubby kid with braces and a boy haircut.

I can't make it go away!!

SARAHSPY said...

well said. i cant believe i turned 27 this year and still feel like i am the shy awkward 15 year old, moreso. its funny the viewpoint that sticks with you for years & years despite all the changes.

Megan Potter said...

Isn't it crazy how long highschool can follow you around on the inside? I think I was 25 or 26 before I had the epiphany that I was an adult!

What a shock... And here I'd been living my life as if I was still 16 and an out cast at that.

More power to you as you become a woman on the inside and out... (I'm still working on the not a dweeb anymore epiphany :) ).

Bayjb said...

I can sense still that my insides are slow to catch up on my outsides. In my 100 things meme I realized I still have a lot of body issues. My friends assure me I look great, but I still see the fat girl with glasses and braces in my head. eventually your head/mind catch up.

~Angela~ said...

I often feel like a little girl in a 23-year-old's body.

Princess Pointful said...

Amazing post.
It is funny how much of an imposter I feel like some days, like I have been fooling people all along into thinking I'm capable and witty. Sometimes I just need to kick myself and realize I'm the one being fooled... not them.

ikiley said...

girl, your blog is great. we added each other a while ago on twentysomethingbloggers and i just got around to reading your blog - just read it beginning to end. i feel like i've had so many of the same experiences! i even have a friend of a friend who danced on the justin timberlake tour. :)

this is a great post. lord knows we all feel like that at some point. your posts definitely get a person thinking!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

ikiley- well thank you so much! I'm really happy you stopped by and I really appreaciate your comment....reading from beginning to end- WOW I can imagine thats a whole schizophrenic rollercoaster, thanks for hopping on- i'm glad you continued reading ;)

Suzy Q said...

"I dont mind when people don't get my humor"...Love that line...It's okay to laugh at ourselves, right? It's okay not to take ourselves so seriously sometimes, right? ;)

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