Friday, May 16, 2008

Surviving high school

I was a dork in high school. Or at least so I thought.

I was tall and uncomfortable in my own skin. I was awkward and clumsy (still am) and was going through a lot of crap in my family life. I was depressed and had very low self esteem. On top of it, we were very poor. (We were homeless for a few months my Sophomore year. That poor.)

But at the time, those reasons weren't what made me feel like a dork.

I remember writing - pages upon pages - filling the ends of notebooks that were left over from previous school years. Sometimes I wrote about how I felt. Sometimes it was something that pissed me off. Sometimes I just wrote out song lyrics.

But writing made me feel better. I remember once writing a list of all the things that defined who I was - jock, AP student, tech ed student, lonely. I felt so conflicted that each item was so different. I didn't identify with any one thing. I identified with many. That's why I felt outcast?

I look back now and wonder, "Why wasn't I the cool kid in school?" I could relate with just about anyone, right? I mean, wouldn't identifying with so many different groups give me an "in" to talk to and be friendly with anybody?

Me, soccer uniform, circa 1993.
I look back at these pictures now, and despite the bad hair, I really don't look that dorky after all. I mean - blond, tall, skinny. Why didn't I like myself?

Sophomore year soccer, 1994

Is that all that was missing? Liking myself? Once I left home for good at eighteen, I gained confidence in that I could make it on my own. I could make my own decisions and they were good ones. (And that's silly to say, given how much responsibility was put on me from such a young age.)

Me, swim team pic - either '92 or '93

I mean look at those thighs. I would kill Keebler Elves to have those thighs back.

Was it falling in love that made me love myself? If my hubby, who I knew from the time these photos were taken, saw me through all those rough times and still loved me, well, couldn't I then love myself?

I don't know exactly what it was that gave me the self-confidence I have today. Or why I first saw these photos in a box and went, "Eew." They're not bad, really.

But if all these things made me a dork, maybe the answer to the question of how I survived high school and came out swinging is simply that I learned to be comfortable with my dorkiness.

Link up below or join us for next week's nostalgic flashbacks!


Pretty Me said...

hi mrs. mommy always wins! =) great posts here. =) I really enjoyed reading your post. and with this recent one? with that height, body figure and pretty face? for me? you're already a beauty queen.

Kelly said...

Wow to be tall and thin. Isn't it crazy how we percieve ourselves sometimes. I am not sure if you scrapbook but you remind me of Ally Edwards. She is very popular in the scrapboook world and is adorable!!!!

Anonymous said...

Damn Colleen! You're smokin' hot!

I have found that I am often unhappy with my "now," but after some time passes, I will look back on pictures of that "now" and think "That wasn't so bad.." I guess time has a way of putting things in a different perspective. Like with my wedding pictures from my Flashback Friday: I remember being so ill at ease with myself back then. However, I look at them now and think, "There wasn't anything wrong with me except my attitude about ME."

Have a peaceful weekend, you deserve it :)

Suzie said...

Its amazing how time gives us such a dieffernt persepctive.

We are THAT Family said...

Yeah, your perspective is awesome. I love the pictures!

Rebecca said...

When I went to my 10-year high school reunion (five years ago now), I learned that even the popular kids (I, too, was a dork) felt like outcasts a lot of the time.

Go figure.

I plan on linking in, but I'm still too tired to write mine at the moment. In may be a late Flashback Friday. Maybe I'll call mine Flashback Saturday this week? But my Photo Hunt (Saturday) photo is all ready to go. Maybe I should post it now? Oh, nevermind. ;)

THopgood said...

You were (are) gorgeous! I gotta take this week off for bad behavior but I'll be back next week!

Thanks for the meme tag...I'll do it next week...cause I'm grounded and all....

As you can see I'm not doing so well with following my own restrictions!

Tink *~*~* said...

You have always been a beautiful woman. Embrace the inner dork! :D

thanks for stopping by this week - love comments, they make my day.

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

MamaGeek said...

Seriously. NO. You don't look the dork at all! And it's nice to finally see another blogger from the land of cheese! I think that now makes like 5 of us! Woot. :)

-TNChick- said...

From just lookin' at the photos - you certainly don't look like you'd fit the dork crowd, at all.

I am going to guess you're a tad younger than I am. =)

Valarie said...

You were and still are gorgeous! I had low self esteem also, sometimes I think just getting older and maturing helps the self confidence. I know lately mine has been being involved in church, and having others to talk to and lean on. It gives you that support you need to stand tall.

Indy said...

I love the pictures. I wonder how many of us felt the same way. In 20years, we'll look back at photos of us now and say how young we were.

Anonymous said...

Those are great photos and I agree with everything said before. I have just been looking through my old photos and OMG I looked a clip in some of them. (I have lots of bad hair days). But it's me, whatever I look like.

It's how you feel now that matters, and you should love yourself more because you're a lovely person.

Jane @ Kidzarama said...

Hi Colleen! I was somewhat the same in high school. I was into a lot of different things, but not into one thing enough to say "that's me".

I had a bad year the first year because I got teased *a lot* for blushing *badly* & I guess that formed my picture of myself.

It wasn't until I looked back years later at my yr7 photo that I realised the boys probably thought that girl was kind of pretty and the bitchy girls just *might* have been jealous.
Imagine! :D