Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Finding Me

So. Hello. I'm not sure how to begin this post. The idea just sort of came to me today.

See, I visited a college. It's the college I want to go to. I've known that since seventh grade, and touring it only made me more positive that it is the only place for me. Stepping onto the campus felt like coming home.

But this post is not about college. It's about me.

{It's my blog, I'm allowed to be self-centered occasionally.}

I was sitting in the auditorium filled with other high schoolers that could potentially be my fellow college-mates. And as I was sitting there, I began to obsess over my image.

"Wow, her outfit is cute. I wish I'd worn something more original."
"Everyone's hair is straight. Should I have broken my three-month streak and followed suit?"
"My makeup did really badly today. No one is going to talk to me. I look like a freak."
"Why do I feel shy? Stephanie three years ago would not have been shy."

And the obsession slowly began to sink in and gain depth.

See...I've grown up a lot the past few years. I've changed a lot. Sometimes I think I've turned out better, and sometimes I'm appalled at who I've become. It's hard to explain, and I really don't understand it myself.

I recently bought my first Aeropostale shirt. Several of them. I also own a pair of American Eagle shorts. Before this year, I had never bought higher up the fashion food chain than, like, Kohl's. I felt great about my new clothes.

Until I saw myself in a mirror and almost threw-up.

I've conformed to society a little. I can talk about stupid, vapid things with other people now {albeit for limited amounts of time}. I say "like," and "totally," and "I know, right?" and occasionally squeal. I'm really into hott actors now {okay, so I always have been, but it's definitely gotten worse}. Sometimes it's nice to fit in. But mostly I just disgust myself.

Who is this? Who am I? Which parts of me are real, and which parts of me have I become to please people? How far is too far to go? Is it okay to have Aeropostale stuff, or is that really compromising who I am? Er, used to be.

See, I used to be a total nerd. I was really into reading and writing and I actually learned book languages {the Ancient Language from "Eragon," Tolkien's Elvish, Pretty Talk, etc.}. I wore whatever clothes I wanted to and didn't care what people thought. I was a complete grammar Nazi and wouldn't hesitate to let you know that you misplaced an apostrophe. I could never bring myself to giggle excessively and I most certainly never liked something just because it was mainstream. I wasn't always easy to get along with, because I was, well, really strange.

But I was ME.

Lately I've felt really good about myself. People kind of like me, I don't look horrid in every picture anymore, I'm confident, I'm tan, I paint my nails, and I text.

*reaches for a barf bag*

But today, it all came crashing down on me like a house of cards. I'm not who I was. At all.

Normally when people say that, they mean it in a good way. But I'm not so sure. I want to be ME and not who the world makes me, but how am I supposed to do that when I don't know who ME is? I've gotten so wrapped up in being "normal" or "fun" or "cute" or whatever the hell I am that I lost the real me. She's in there, I think, but she's buried really freaking far down.

She's probably somewhere between the outspoken nerd and the giggling conformist. I really hope I can find her.

I leave for Europe in two days. I'll be gone for 19. No family, no home friends, no America. Just me and God and the great wide world. It has the potential to be a tremendous time of self-discovery, and I desperately need that.

I hope I come back changed, guys. I really miss myself.



  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I've been feeling like this for a while but haven't been able to put it eloquently into words.

  2. I wonder if at least a little of this confusion is part of growing up. You're in a transitional period, leaving high school and facing an adult life. Some things will get left behind. Usually only a few things from our younger years make it through to our adult years.

    You said people like you, you like how you look, and you feel confident. Is that bad? Caring about how you look and what other people think about you isn't bad, but you can care too much. I don't understand why where you buy a t-shirt matters (maybe because I'm a guy) but who you are on the inside (sounds cliche) is what matters. Is the nerd still there? Sure, but she's just taken a back seat to interest in guys.

    I'm not trying to psycho-analyze you, this is just how I see it. There are a lot of changes that happen around your age, and to be honest, some of the changes we won't always like. But they don't have to be permanent changes. You can dig up the elvish speaking grammar Nazi, and buy t-shirts from unknown stores.

    That being said, don't become just another addition to homogenous humanity. Keep writing, keep liking what you like whether it's mainstream or not.

    Hopefully I didn't miss the point of your post. This may not have been helpful, but I checked my commas and think they're all in the right place :p

    Have a good time on your trip, I hope you find some answers.

  3. i kind of know how you feel, but honestly i think the only way to get back to being the real you is to do stuff because YOU enjoy it and to wear clothes because YOU like them. and if you like something that everyone else does, then why is that such a bad thing? it doesn't make you a sheep because you have a aeropostal shirt. try to relax a little bit and just remember that you are yourself. do things for YOU, not for anybody else and you'll be fine. :)

  4. I can relate to this.
    I'm exactly like you. I'm a hardcore nerd, and I don't think that'll ever change. I actually did learn parts of the language in Eragon too, and I would sometimes say Brisingr in a half-hearted attempt to actually catch something on fire.

    But eventually I conformed too. I started wearing makeup, dressing better and paying more attention to my image. But even though I might have become someone who wasn't the same person a few years ago, I still think that it's "me". Everybody changes, and I think that inner-nerd is inside you somewhere too. You just need to spend some time thinking about whether the changes you made are for you or for other people.

  5. Hey guys!! Right now I'm in the middle of hectic final-packing for Europe etc. so I can't really comment like I normally do on this post :( I just wanted to say that I read your comments and they really mean a lot to me! I think you guys are probably right, that it's not NECESSARILY bad that I'm chagning, so long as I'm chagning for the right reasons :) Thank you :) Talk to you when I get back!!!