I’m clumsy, I’m awkward, I stutter, and most of the time, I’m a hot mess. I’m loud, I’m messy, and sometimes I’m lazy. I don’t wake up looking like a supermodel…actually, I don’t think all the makeup, or hair stylists in the world could make me look like a supermodel. I get emotional, and sometimes I cry. I make mistakes, and as much as I like to think I have it all together, sometimes I don’t. I don’t know everything, and sometimes I’m insecure. But that’s okay. Because I’m human. And people aren’t perfect, nor am I trying to be. Sure, there are some things I need to work on, but most of it, I can’t change, it’s just me and a part of who I am. And that’s okay. And if I’m not good enough for you, then don’t even bother talking to me. Because I don’t change myself to fit ANYONE’S standards. And that’s final.
“If you’re trying to improve yourself, you’ve gotta work on the inside…there’s no plastic surgery for the soul.”
-MTV Girl Code.
“What Susie says of Sally, says more of Susie than it does Sally.”
I’ve been thinking again about getting a spinal fusion reversal surgery. Earlier this year I posted about how I was looking into the surgery, but I later decided against it because I felt my reasonings were too “cosmetic.” I was struggling with major self esteem issues earlier this year, around March and April, and I thought by deciding against the surgery and relearning to love myself regardless, that that would make me feel better…and it did. My confidence is back, my self esteem is back, and no matter what, I’ll always love and accept myself. But my body/scoliosis will always be my biggest insecurity. I’ll always would rather have the body of a normal person, and the fact that this is a medical issue, and medical advances have come SO far since I had the my surgery almost seven years ago, I feel like it is justifiable to want to improve it more uptodate on technology’s standards. Also, having a straighter spine may affect me positively in the future…with the way my spine is now, carrying a baby for nine months and being pregnant could REALLY take a toll on my back…the surgery could make it more possible to have a better, more comfortable pregnancy. I don’t plan on having a baby anytime soon, but I do most definitely want to get married and have children someday, and it is important to me to carry my own children and have a normal/healthy pregnancy, and the surgery could definitely make that more possible. In the back of my mind, I still wonder, though, is this too much like plastic surgery? I’m super against the idea of ever getting plastic surgery…so by getting this, am I a hypocrite? I mean, it’s not plastic surgery…it’s for scoliosis…a medical condition. But I don’t suffer from pain, and I live a pretty normal life, but I’d really love to have normal body and fix my spine, so really, I’m basically doing it for my appearance. But at the same time, it does make sense to want to medically improve my spine with technology’s advances. I don’t know what to do…
Am I the only one who started singing that Brad Paisley song, Letter to Me, when I saw this topic?? “If I could write a letter to me, and send it back in time to myself at 17…” Nope? No one else? Alright, cool…moving on. Haha.
Anyway….there are a lotttt of things I’ve learned since I was a teenager. A LOT. I’m so different now and I’ve learned so much about the world, and myself. So here’s my letter.
Dear Teenage Jenn,
Okay, first things first. What are you doing?! Yeah that blonde hair is NOT doing it for you. Everyone is right…you look like a highlighter. Stop killing your hair. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. I promise. Also, step outside of your comfort zone a little bit…try new things you normally wouldn’t have, take risks, and have fun. It’s okay to change it up a bit and have have new adventures. Speaking of change, change is NOT always a bad thing. Change is a GREAT thing. EMBRACE it!! Stop dwelling and living in the past. Yeah, you’ll have some awesome times as a teenager, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never have good…even better times! People come and go out of your life. And those who want to stay in your life will, and those who don’t…well, don’t dwell on missing them, because those who are worth it, they’ll stay. People change, grow apart, and move on…and that’s all a part of life. You’ll have new, even better people come into your life, and give you even better memories.
Also, girl, you GOTTA learn to speak your mind more. It’s OKAY to say “no,” sometimes…it doesn’t make you mean. It’s great that you care about others…and never stop doing that, but you matter, too. Please don’t be a doormat. Put your foot down, and show your bitchy side when needed. Please, never text and drive!! And when you don’t have a green left arrow, you do NOT have the right away. Just pay attention to the road. Also, people aren’t as scary as you think they are. Being shy isn’t really working for ya’. Muster up that confidence I know you have, and be that outgoing girl I know you are at heart. Come out of your shell. It doesn’t matter how awkward you think you are, or how much you hate your voice. Just be you. You’ll meet tons of new people. And please, NEVER take the people in your life for granted. Because no one is invincible. And anything could happen. Let the people in your life know you care about them. Don’t push people away because you’re afraid that you care too much about them. That’s silly. Just because people in elementary and middle school were mean, doesn’t mean that no one else wants to be your friend. Because people do care about you. More than you know.
Keep that confidence you have, and continue not to care what people think. You’ve got the right idea there. Keep it up. Never change yourself for anyone. Continue living up to you morals and values and stay true to yourself. You’ll look back in a few years and be proud of that. When times get tough, just remember that EVERYONE goes through awful times, but it’s not the end of the world. It always gets better. Don’t let the bad times destroy you. Please. That’s just going to make you even more miserable. Just work on fixing yourself and working towards making everything better. You can’t fight fate, and what’s meant to happen, will happen. Everything really DOES happen for a reason. It may not make sense now, but it will in the end.
I know you’re probably thinking “yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before…,” but take it from your older and wiser self, who’s been through this. It’s all so true. I promise you. You’ll be okay. Everything will work out in the end. Don’t stress too much and just have faith everything will be okay in the end. You have SOOO much up ahead of you, and life gets so much better after your teenage years. High school is NOWHERE near the best years of your life. Start looking forward to the future. As the song says, “you’ll make it through this and you’ll see…you’re still around to write this letter to me.” :))
I wasn’t really given a specific number of things to talk about, so I figured I’d just do ten for each. I wasn’t sure if these were supposed to be physical traits, or personality traits, so it’s just going to be a little mix of everything. So, I’ll start with the things that I dislike, and end with the positive! :))
Things I dislike about myself:
- My tendency to overthink everything. I’m always over-analyzing and putting way too much thought into everything…it sometimes causes me to jump to conclusions, and I end up stressing and freaking myself out for no reason. I’m trying to work on that.
- I curse wayyy too much. It’s gotten really bad and to the point that I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I’m trying to cut down on my swearing because I think swearing a lot makes you sound really trashy and unintelligent. It’s awful.
- My body. I’ve been through this before on my body image posts, but I just really don’t like the way it makes me look. I have zero curves, I’m disproportionate, my back/torso is deformed thanks to my scoliosis, and I’m way too skinny. I feel like I’m stuck in the body of a prepubescent ten year old boy. Not cute. I just want to feel like a woman.
- My tendency to pretend that I don’t care about people as much as I really do in fear that they don’t care about me as much as I care about them. I won’t go into too much detail because I have a whole post about that here. Again, I’m trying to work on that.
- My teeth. I hate my gap, and I have cavities in the front that I really need to get fixed. My teeth make me feel very unattractive and I plan to get them fixed as soon as I can afford it!
- I feel like a bum because I’m 22 and I don’t have a job. It’s something that I’m really insecure about because I really want to support my own self and be independent, but I can’t. I feel like a 16 year old having to rely on my parents for my financial needs. I cannot wait for the day when I can pay for my own phone bill, and my car insurance, and pay my parents back for my car. Not to mention be able to hang out with my friends and do whatever I want without feeling like I’m a mooch because I don’t have any money. It just makes me feel like I’m not really doing anything with myself and really crappy about myself and like a loser. I want to make something of myself and be independent. =/
- I have a tendency to be a bit suborn. And I don’t necessarily think that’s always a bad thing, but sometimes it can be. It sometimes takes me awhile to see things in a new and better light, and takes a lot of convincing. I have gotten a LOT better about that, though.
- Now this is something I’ve come a LONG way on, and I’m MUCH, MUCH better than I used to be…but I’m still not completely there on it. Being assertive. I used to pretty much be a pushover back in highschool, and I would worry about not wanting to be mean, so I’d let myself get walked all over and people took advantage of me…I FINALLY got over that, but struggled with being very passive. Speaking my mind was something that was very difficult for me, and I am SOOOOO much better than I used to be. I’ve come such a long way. But I’m still working on it a bit. There’s still some things that I probably should speak my mind about, but don’t. I’m working on that, though!
- My indecisiveness. I usually have a hard time making up my mind, or deciding what I want. It’s kind of annoying, and I wish it was a lot simpler to just chose. Again, I’m working on it.
- I tend to be super hard on myself and I don’t give myself enough credit sometimes, and I have gotten a whole lot better with that, too, but I still tend to be a bit self critical and beat myself up about things. And in my mind I know that half the things I think about myself aren’t true, but I guess I just am a bit of a perfectionist. I’m really trying to be better with that, as well.
Things I like about myself:
- I know I’m a good person. I’m genuine, kind, well mannered, real, and moral. I love that about myself. I have a lot of qualities that people seem to lack in today’s day in age. I’m glad that I don’t. Even though I was raised to have some opposite qualities, like being rude and judgemental…I became my own person. And I love that.
- My weirdness. Who wants to be normal?! Normal is boring…I love being strange. 😉
- My hair. My hair used to be one of my least favorite physical features, but it’s come a longgg way in the past year, and now it’s one of my favorites! :))
- My confidence and self acceptance. Again, I’ve talked about this a few times before, but I love that despite my insecurities, I still have my confidence. I accept myself regardless and I recognize the things I can and can’t change about myself. In a way, I love my insecurities because they help make me who I am today. I’m SO glad that people’s opinions of me don’t phase me at all and that I will never feel sorry for myself.
- My scars. I have a bunch of scars on my body, but a few very prominent ones that I love; the one on my back from my back surgeries, the one down my whole torso from a bunch of surgeries I had when I was little, and my “second belly button,” from my feeding tube. I absolutely LOVE my scars and I’d never get rid of them. I actually had the option to get them lasered off, and to make my feeding tube scar less noticeable, but I didn’t want that. I’ve had those scars for as long as I can remember and they’re apart of me. They help remind me that I’m a survivor and that I beat the odds; that I truly am blessed. They’re my battle wounds and I love them. I’d never not want to have them.
- My eyes. I used to hate my brown eyes. I used to want green eyes…so badly that I even once researched eye color replacement surgery…haha. Yeah. Crazy, I know. But I love my brown eyes, now. I think they’re really pretty and unique because they’re almost like an orangey/golden color. I’d never even wear colored contacts now.
- My independence. I’ve always loved the fact that I’m able to do things myself. I never wanted any special treatment, or accommodations growing up. Because of my disabilities, everyone always wanted to do everything for me…most people with curves in their spines as bad as mine was typically can’t even walk and are in wheelchairs. They’re in special programs at school and are secluded from the rest of the main population at school…I never wanted that to be me. I wanted to be as normal as possible. I wanted to be a normal kid. So I did just that. I declined any help and learned to do things on my own and I was able to go through school completely normal. Most people didn’t even know there was anything wrong with me. That taught me from an early age to be independent and do that for myself. I don’t need anyone to take care of me…and although sometimes it is nice to have someone kind of take care of you a bit, especially in your times of need, for the most part, I like to do things for myself. I make my own success, I want to support myself, etc. I’m proud of that.
- I’m very creative. I always have been. The thought of creating something out of nothing has always appealed to me. When I was little, I would always enjoy crafts, and making things. I’d spend hours drawing, writing stories, and sneaking into my stepmom’s room and playing with her makeup. That continued as I got older…I still write, experiment and play with makeup, have fun with clothing and fashion, and I even do graphic and web design now. I guess I am a bit of an artist, and while I may not be super talented in all things art, I still enjoy it, and I still like that I enjoy it. Creative people fascinate me and inspire me. I’m glad that I can be considered creative, too.
- I’m pretty funny…or so I like to think. Hahah. I have a great sense of humor and, I mean, I make myself laugh…so I hope I make other people laugh as well? Lol. But thank God I’m not one of those boring people who can’t laugh at anything. Blah. Haha.
- I don’t really get embarrassed…and I think that’s an awesome thing. I’m able to laugh at myself when I do something stupid, or what’s typically considered embarrassing and just brush it off. I’ve wiped out down whole flights of stairs at school, walked around with two different shoes on, had my desk fall on top of me in the middle of class, and probably a million other things that most people would be typically embarrassed by…and I just am able to laugh at myself and make light of the situation. I’ve always been able to laugh at myself and make fun of myself; even my insecurities. There’s no need to take those kinds of situations and make them into something big that they don’t need to be. Life’s too short, just enjoy it. :))
As I stated a few times before on this blog, I am very proud of who I am as a person. I so strive to be the best me possible, so there are a lot of things I do take pride in when it comes to my personality.
- The first one being that I do think I’m a very genuine, kind person. I’m extremely real and I don’t say or do things that I don’t mean. I genuinely do care a lot about people, especially those closest to me, and I’d do anything for them. I don’t judge or discriminate anyone for anything, and I treat all people with respect. I would never put someone else down, to talk badly about them…no matter if it’s done for comedic value or not…I think talking badly about people is one of the lowest things you could do as a person.
- I’m proud that I don’t let other’s opinions about affect me at all. I feel very lucky that I’ve established that sort of mindset at such an early age, so I never really had to deal with others making me feel badly about myself. I was bullied pretty badly when I was younger, and still, I get people who try to put me down and say mean things about me, but it’s never once bothered me. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud that I’ve never had to worry about people’s thoughts and opinions of me affecting me negatively. I’ve never had to worry about struggling to impress people. And I’m proud that I’m not afraid to be my real and true self, regardless of what anyone thinks. I’ve had some really awful things said about me, and to me, and it could have easily went in the other direction and absolutely destroyed me mentally…it could have scared me and made me super insecure, but it didn’t. It only taught me that what others say or think about you doesn’t define you and it doesn’t matter because they aren’t you. And I’m proud of that.
- I’m proud that I’m determined. I don’t give up in life, or take the easy way out. I just stick with it and do whatever it takes. Life has been anything but easy for me…from my health issues, family issues, mindsets, school, and just typical life trials and tribulations…it’s been extremely hard, and yeah, I’ve had extremely low points. But I’m the type of person that sticks with something until the end and I don’t give up until I achieve what I want. Even when it comes to my health…I am a survivor, and I take so much pride in that. With high school, my health caused me to miss TONS of school…but I still managed to graduate on time and maintain a “B,” average despite the odds and I’m proud of that. It’s taken me four years to complete a two year degree in college, and although it took me twice as long, due to my horrendous math skills, I still stuck with it, and never gave up, and finally managed to finish my degree. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud that even through the dark times and hard times in my life, I’m able to recognize what’s wrong and fix and improve myself.I’m determined to fix whatever issue it is that I have and I keep working at it…no matter how hard it may be. Because improving myself is super important to me. And I’m proud of that because you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t even realize their issues that they need to fix with themselves, let alone have the determination and ambition to actually stick with it and fix the issue. And I feel so blessed and thankful that I do.