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Thursday, July 23, 2009

surviving awkward

if you happened to read my last post, you probably can imagine that i was the poster child for awkward pretty much from age 12 until almost 17. as if middle school and early high school aren't flipping bad enough. (why i didn't burn every picture between 1974 - 1980, i'll never know!)
at least i was blessed with relatively clear skin. thank you Jesus.
no cute tank tops or tube tops for this girl. well, i could have, but it would have been jaw-droppingly, eyebrow-raising bad judgement. talk about that moment when you appear... only to have a chorus of crickets chirping in greeting. yikes.
no, for me it was blousy, non-hip, awful tops with the metal bar of my brace protruding and then encircling my neck with the chin guard hovering just below my jaw and the little knobby head rests jutting up from the back. covering this portable torture device was like trying to pretend i didn't have a siamese twin attached to my head.
let's just say i was described as the girl with the "good personality."
it didn't help that my parents "encouraged" me to wear glasses until i was in the 11th grade. fairly torturous under the circumstances, but really, the least of my worries.
when i wasn't in a cage of metal and straps, i was incarcerated in plaster or fiberglass, bringing new heights to the concept of awkward.
it was either learn to laugh at myself, or always suffer the shame of being talked about or snickered at behind my back.
so laugh i did. i became bitingly witty, sarcastic and always looked for the humor in any situation.
i recovered (from the naked eye's perspective) just before my senior year.
i moved 800 miles away and no one knew the dork i was in high school. life was good.

and now that i'm all grown up, and finally free from the obvious trappings of imperfection, i find that my defense mechanisms are not necessary, and get in the way of deep, meaningful relationships.
unfortunately, old habits die hard. but i'm learning to let my quick-witted tongue take a break before flailing about. i'm learning how to be a better listener. and i'm trying my darndest to really embrace ME like my Father loves me. knowing that i am perfectly made by the master craftsman who makes NO mistakes.
i still struggle with self image.
with wanting to be liked.
with trying too hard.
but i'm learning.


  1. I think you turned out beautiful!!! I bet going through what you did shaped the wonderful person that you are today!!

  2. Wow, you were/are gorgeous!

    I think that we all struggle with self-image. It's only natural.

  3. I remember some kids wearing those when I was in school. Do they still use them? It must have been a difficult time for you. Look at your senior picture, beautiful!

  4. High School life can be such a struggle. Girls and boys of that age can be so so mean.
    I think you're gorgeous!

  5. Aw, I love your senior portrait!

    I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, but it sounds like it taught you a lot. It's awesome how God can take things that are so painful and turn them into good. I think perhaps some of that experience taught you how to be extra empathetic, which many people aren't able to understand.

    (Sorry for the incoherent response, I'm pretty under the weather today...seriously feeling like I'm going to pass out at my desk.)

  6. Those two pictures are like episodes I've seen on sitcoms (I'll show my age and say the first two that pop into my mind are Violet's transformation from Saved by the Bell and when Steve Urkel would turn into "Stefan")

    It's always informative to realize how much we DIDN'T see under there, because we were so distracted by the accessories and quirks.


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