Thursday, March 15, 2012

I wish I had the answers...

(This is all a very depressing read, I think, so feel free to just come back tomorrow. I haven't exactly been a ball of sunshine lately, and I just wanted to get it out. Maybe we can just chalk it up to a third-life-crisis and call it a day...)


Last week, as I've only mentioned around here a million and a half times, my sister got married. And since she still lives in Indiana, and her husband is also from our hometown, most of their friends that came to the very small wedding went to my high school. And since I wasn't the biggest fan of high school, it was just a generally weird experience for me.

My sister is five years younger than I am, which means that Jess and I never overlapped at all in school, and really, that was probably the best thing that could have happened to our relationship. Because where my sister has always been the taller/skinnier/prettier of the two of us, I think there could have been room for crazy jealousy on my part if we were at all closer in age. She was the cheerleader, I was in the band. She dated athletes, I did not. She ran around in cute bikinis on spring break, I stuck to my one-piece. She's always had a great sense of style, I wore over-sized flannel shirts and tennis shoes all of the time.

When I was a sophomore in college, she came to visit me, and I took her with me to a party at a friend's apartment, where I had to clarify that she was a freshman in HIGH SCHOOL to the random guys trying to hit on her while we were there.

I kind of think she was always hoping I wouldn't add that high school part to the end of her quiet little 'freshman' response when the guys asked her what year she was, but hey, I may have taken my 14-year old sister to a college party, but I wasn't a COMPLETE idiot...

Anyway, I love my sister more than anything.

But her wedding...and her was just weird. Not bad weird, because we had a ton of fun, and I really did enjoy spending time with everyone that was on the trip. But...weird, nonetheless. Because as a 32-year old mother with a good career and a very happy life, you'd have thought that I'd be over all of my old high school insecurities by now. Heck, I thought I was over all of my old high school insecurities by now. And yet, it's all I've been thinking about since we got home.

In high school, I was shy to the point that people thought I was stuck up (OMG...I'm pretty sure this makes me the main character in a John Hughes movie, doesn't it?!?!? WHERE WAS JOHN CUSACK WHEN I NEEDED HIM???), and outside of my group of friends or the core group of people I had classes with for all four years (it was a small school, I took mostly advanced classes, there wasn't much variation in who I spent my days with, really...), I'm sure I made very little impression on anybody. I don't think I really came into my own until college, and I've really kind of tried to block everything before that out of my memory.

But, I seem to have fallen into this trap of comparing myself against people that I always considered 'better' than me (for lack of a better way to explain it) when we were teenagers, and I still see myself as not measuring up. And that is so ridiculously stupid, it makes me mad.

Now, I don't know if I'm being clear, or not, but this is all in my own head. I don't want to make it seem like someone else was the catalyst for these feelings, when it's been more about a rush of memories than anything else. And really, even in my memories, it's not the fault of other people. Mostly. It's all me.

I don't know why I have this inferiority complex, if that's what it is. I never lacked for support or encouragement when I was growing up, and I generally like the person I've become since then. But still...

In my mind, I fall short.

Why do I do this to myself? And how do I get over that?

And more importantly, if I, at this point in my life, haven't gotten over it already, how do I keep Brigid from ever getting there in the first place?


  1. I don't have any advice for you, but you're definitely not alone in this line of thinking. I could've written this post besides the sister thing. Substitute the sister with a much more likable than me younger brother and a pretty best friend who I was often a little (...we'll say a little...) jealous of, and this post is definitely something I can relate to in its entirety.

    And yeah, where the heck was the John Cusack type in high school???

    Honestly, I was hoping all those feelings for me would go away when I turn 30. I have one more year, but that's not very likely. I guess we just have to keep reminding ourselves about all the awesome things we do have, which is A LOT!

    But yeah, you're not alone.

  2. You are not alone on this!!! I was reading this post and actually saying out loud "I didn't know anyone else felt this way!". I was not a loser in high school, but I also wasn't in with the most popular kids. And because I went to a tiny private school, that was a very defined group. I had to attend a wedding a few years ago and I had the exact same feelings arise!! I didn't feel good enough or whatever. And it's so silly. I'm a successful person who is happy with her life and thought it was so strange to still think that these "cool" people were somehow better than me. It's absurd.

    All I can say is high school is not the pinnacle of your life. And for those believed or still believe it was are sadly mistaken.

    Try not to let the negative thoughts get to you. You're awesome!

  3. Me three! I also have a younger sister - a much prettier, taller, thinner younger sister. (I'm seven years older than her, though.) Also my parents' favorite which didn't help matters much. I totally get where you're coming from with this. I did not care for high school AT ALL. When my mother expressed shock that I wasn't going to my 10 year reunion a few years back, she said, "Why not? You have a great husband and kids and a good job..." I said, "I know this. But the people that I cared about - few that there were - I still talk to regularly. Why on earth would I want to go listen to people one-up each other all night?" No thanks.

    I hope you feel a bit better since you were able to get all your thoughts down "on paper." Sometimes that truly does help - and knowing others have gone through the same thing!

  4. Wow. I could have written this post. Except I have the opposite 5 year age difference, being the younger, less successful, less popular sister. My high school was small and very cliquey. I was in a "clique" too but not one of the popular ones. It also doesn't help that I am a school teacher in a school where "professionalism" doesn't always exist. There is a lot of gossip and whispering. So it feels a lot like I'm still in high school. I try to focus on my real friendships, my relationship with my family and remind myself that I"m still a good, worthwhile person even though I'm not the popular, life-of-the-party type of girl. Everyone has different personalities, but growing to accept ourselves as individuals is so hard.

  5. LIVE IN THE NOW! you'll kill yourself just thinking about the past. you said it yourself, you have a great job and family, you are happy...don't sabotage that with associations of the past. chin up, girl. you're awesome!


  6. Lady, I think everyone still has insecurities from high school. You are definitely not alone! I was a cheerleader and I had a lot of friends, but I was not "popular" and even worse-- I didn't have a set of best friends I could always talk to. I was more of a loner who had lots of friends, but they were friends in different groups (cheerleaders, band, chorus, nerds, etc.). While everyone would hang out on the weekends or go to the mall with each other, I never had a group of friends who would remember to call me. I did homework. I read. I went to church. I played with my brother who is 7 years younger.

    I think those high school insecurities will always be with us. You must remember though-- you have a career. You're married. You have a beautiful little girl. You got out of your hometown. More than likely, they look at you like a foreigner because you've managed to make it in life outside of Indiana. :)

    PS- Your blog is your blog! Honesty is the best policy. If you want to vent, we're here!

  7. Awww, big huge giant HUGS!! I think we can all relate. My sister was exactly like yours and she's much younger than me, too. We're besties, but if we had had to compete for highschool/college attention, I think it would have been simply terrible. I have LOADS of insecurities from my childhood and teen years. I had a unibrow and a nose that everyone made fun of. I desperately wanted to get a nose job until Nate made me feel pretty just as I am. I think we just have to focus on our good qualities. Whatever your insecurities are, don't let them rule you. You ahve things that are YOU that are beautiful, the things that your husband loves or the things that your friends love about you. You're sweet and kind and beautiful and you just have to focus on the things that you love about yourself! I worry about passing on my insecurities to my little miss, too. But I've made a decision as she grows to try not to focus on dieting to be skinny or on being pretty or all of these superficial things and instead impress upon her the importance of being healthy, being herself and having fun. Hopefully, it'll sink in. And maybe just magically, she'll skip the awkward years. ;)

  8. I swear I could have written this post! Ok scratch that, I wouldn't have been able to put my thoughts as eloquently into words like you did, but man, as I was reading your post, I found myself nodding and agreeing with virtually everything you wrote. I think feelings like this is normal, it's what makes you human. I honestly don't know if they will ever go away but it doesn't happen often, right? So usually the feelings come rushing back when there's a trigger (like the wedding). I bet once you get back in the swing of things of your normal routine in a few weeks, you'll come back and read this post and say, "Pshhhh what the hell was I thinking?! I'm great!" :) Keep your head up, Tara!


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