I still remember being a child, and changing my ways for the acceptance of others. Now as I look back, I am quite miffed where this came from. I can’t quite pinpoint where my cognitive self put such ways into place, as all memories I have left of my childhood are those with a sense of inferiority. With an understanding of how our memories have potential to fog over the years and morph into one’s that may not ring true to others experience, who’s to say that my interpretation is not the same as how my family remembers such ideals.
I was a very insecure child growing up. I was a sister to two brothers, and the youngest female cousin in regards to my close relatives. I always found it hard to relate to others during family gatherings. At that time, my family participated in stereotypical gender roles. Female adults in the kitchen preparing the food, while the adult males watched telivision and drank beer. My brothers and the other guys were always rough playing which was not my fancy at that age, and my female cousins having conversations about topics slightly past my years. I recall so badly wanting to be a part of the circle. I was left to the kitchen.
During adolescence, I was a late bloomer. I remember watching my friends filling out into womanhood right before my eyes. The hips, the training bras. Here I was still in my very round silhouette, short surf cut, and as naive as they come. When I complained about my appearance, my mother would comfort me and say tell me that it’s just baby fat, I’ll grow out of it soon. At the time I thought it was all phony baloney. Because I was her offspring, she had to tell me words of comfort. (Now looking back through adult eyes, she was in fact right as always.) Still, the comparison was unavoidable in my eyes.
I spent most of my adolescence struggling so hard to be a part of….. I’m still not quite sure. I suppose that sense of belonging is what I would word it now. There was a time teen magazines became a focus of mine. It was through those pages that I learned so much about what girls should (Or better yet, what advertising companies want you to) be like.
For whatever reason, I continued to carry these ideals with me throughout my early adulthood. I had spent so much time trying to be the ideal, perfect woman that my conscious had lead me to believe I should be. Trying so hard to maintain the same figure, the looks, and the confidence of one that didn’t belong to me.
I look back now and laugh at how silly I was. Sometimes cry at how sad I was also. To carry such a deformed sense of self for so long. Then I smile. Because that deformed sense of self brought me to embrace the self-awareness that I carry within myself today.