Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I wish I'd known then...

That it wasn't all about how others perceived me, but how I perceived myself, especially in these two areas:

1. I spent a lot of time in high school worrying about my body and physical appearance. I wasn't even overweight--I had a nice figure. But I obsessed over the size of my chest in comparison to others, the shape of my thighs, the size of my nose, and so on. To me, what's sad is that one of my most vivid memories of high school is a guy telling me I looked a little chunky. I mean, come on! Why did I give people like that the time of day and give credence to their words? Who cares if my chest was smaller. Who cares about the size of my thighs. What about my sharp wit, my strong laugh, my big heart? THOSE are the things I should be concerned with, size-wise. THOSE are the things that matter most.

2. I also spent time worrying about my popularity. Dude, when you leave high school, no one in college or out in the real world cares who you hung out with. It's utterly pointless, LOL. Hang with the band nerds if you want. Become president of the chess club. Be the top cheerleader or a football star. The point is, do what YOU want, what works for you. Don't do stuff because you're worried about fitting in. Those 4 years of high school go mighty fast...and they're awfully short in comparison to the rest of your life. Don't let that time period define how you perceive yourself.

I realize it's easy for me to dole advice in this manner. Honestly, all I can share is my own perspective on things. But you know what? That's ok. Part of the struggle, the drive of being a teenager is learning SELF-definition. So take my advice with a grain of salt and forage your OWN path. To me, that would be the best option of all.


  1. Such true words. Well said.

  2. Excellent advice, Rhonda. *applauds*

  3. One of my greatest concerns growing up was the size of my ass. I was an hourglass (which frankly, is what you WANT to be. DUH) but my hips were wider than most of the girls and so I worried all the time.

    Then I got a little older and realized that men actually liked a little junk. Boys are stupid...older boys, not so much.

    I wish I had known then that boys are stupid. That way I wouldn't have wasted so much time worrying whether I was cute or not. I would've known I was!

    great post, Rhonda.

  4. Thanks so much, guys! It's scary how much teens are taught and even encouraged to hyper-focus on these things!

  5. Oh yeah--the popularity thing.
    Remember also that it's easier to be the big fish in the little pond. When those "popular" kids get to college they sometimes have an even harder time fitting in than the freaks and geeks because they aren't used to being just a regular person.

  6. Gwen, the big-fish-little-pond thing applies to grades, too. I could practically get good grades in high school with two hands tied behind my back, my eyes closed, and half-asleep. Then I got to college, and holy cow! Everyone was so smart! And everyone had been at the very top of his/her class, so clearly not everyone could be at the top in college, too, you know?

    Total eye opener. First semester freshman year KICKED my butt grade-wise.

  7. I am soooo with you. Great post!

  8. Great post! My daughter is a teenager so some days I feel like I'm living those crazy years all over again.

    I wish I'd known then all the things I know now. And that I'd had more confidence in myself, without worrying about what others would think.

  9. I wonder what it'd be like to go back to high school with the confidence and self-assurance I have today....

  10. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Oddly enough, I rather envied you in high school-I thought you were quite popular from what I could see. Congrats on becoming a writer!