I have this grand plan that I’m slowly working on. Bit by bit. There have been roadblocks and bumps along the way but I’m getting there. In the midst of all that, I’m grappling with one dilemma after another. I question my every move and take an exorbitant amount of time to make a decision. Then, when I finally make one, I second guess myself.
I’ve never been a “go get ‘em” kind of girl. I work in subtlety. Which is code for “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” and nine times out of ten when I’m successful at something it’s a result of good ol’ fashioned dumb luck or divine intervention. I am convinced that God spends 90% of the day exasperated with me, shaking his head in disbelief or disgust or both. And when I finally close my eyes every three days to sleep he sighs and says, “She’s so cute when she’s asleep….” much like the parent of a toddler in the throes of the terrible two’s. (Yes I DO occasionally throw small temper tantrums! What of it???)
I live with an almost constant fear residing in me. Some days it’s just below the surface and threatens to boil over any second. Other days I can bury it and damn near ignore it all together. But it’s always there. I can exude self assurance and fool even the most observant of people into believing that I really am confident in myself and have it all together. But the truth is I’m a train wreck. I’m impatient, klutzy, scared to death of the unknown, often disorganized and disheveled and would lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my body.
As a teenager my bedroom looked a bit like something left in the wake of a tornado. For years I probably couldn’t have told you exactly what color my carpet was it was so littered with clothing, books, stuffed animals, homework I’d forgotten to hand in weeks before and other teenage girl “stuff”. My mother waged a tyrannical war against me for four years in an attempt to keep my room from being condemned. I fought back every step of the way.
Yet somehow each morning I’d emerge from the chaos looking put together and with it. It was a façade I maintained to assure that none of my peers ever knew of the battle I fought everyday. The battle against self doubt. No matter how sincere in friendship someone might have seemed I always harbored deep seated fears that it was all an act put on for my benefit. I always worried that I wasn’t liked and my so called friends weren’t really my friends after all. And in matters of the heart?? Forget it. I unconsciously sabotaged every relationship I was ever in because I just couldn’t accept that this member of the male species, a confusing, exasperating species, really cared about me.
I never felt a true sense of belonging and camaraderie within my circle of “friends”. Mind you, teenagers aren’t always known for their sincerity and tact. We were all likely, waging some internal battle with ourselves and the barrage of hormones that nature had unleashed within our bodies. Making all of us prone to moments of self doubt and cruelty to others as a defense mechanism. But as far as I was concerned no one else felt the way I did and therefore I couldn’t tell anyone know the things that haunted my mind on a daily basis.
You often hear adults reminisce about days past and utter things like “I’d love to spend just one day back in high school.” with a wistful nostalgic tone of voice and dreamy smile. Me? Hell no! I’d rather be attacked by a pack of wolves which, let’s face it, is much the same as being the victim of teenage scorn, particularly when said teens are of the female variety. Ya’ know? The infamous mean girls.
I vetoed girls names put forward by husband while I was pregnant with my daughter simply because I’d known some girl in high school with the name. “Oh no. No daughter of mine is going to be named Mildred. I knew a Mildred in high school and she was a bitch.” He’d look at me with that confused look donned by all men when faced with female logic that seems anything but logical. But no amount of persuading could move me. The name was relegated to the “over my dead body” column.
I can honestly say there are only two things I look back on fondly. Cheerleading and the brief period in which I “went out” with “Dude”. He shall remain nameless other than that. My best friends know exactly who I’m talking about. Dude was my first “true love” and the first guy who really broke my heart. One other had come close to the latter but I was just barely past becoming a teenager then so it had less impact.
The rest of high school and even a large chunk of my last few years in grade school are a blur of self loathing, taunting and teasing that I’d sooner forget. I haven’t. Some things just stay with you. No matter how hard you try to push them away. At my age the memories sting less and I’m even able to laugh at some of them. But there are still a few that haunt me. If I’m being honest, that little girl is still hanging around and would find great pleasure in some good old fashioned revenge. I keep her quiet with chocolate and music.