“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s junk.”
It’s funny how childhood experiences can affect you as an adult, though everything is seemingly fine on the outside. No outside triggers, no conflicts. Nothing probing old teenage insecurities, other than the fact that this former teenager never got over some of her old insecurities to begin with.
Some things you just can’t brush under the rug.
Over the weekend I began to watch 13 Reasons Why. It was recommended to me by both my mother and my best friend, two of the very few people who know my deepest and darkest life experiences. Netflix’s new hit has been a reminder of how difficult growing up was for me and how similar some of the story lines are to my own experiences. I ran away from Michigan after college, and kept running over and over in hope of finding happiness and acceptance; acceptance was never a theme in my life. I always felt like an outsider, which I still struggle with today.
The takeaway: no matter you go, there you are. Even at 32, those old teenage insecurities show up at work, in relationships and everyday life. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but there IS hope to heal.
Maybe my pain is more than just the last time my heart was broken. Maybe it goes back to the rejection I felt walking down the halls in 8th grade and having derogatory names yelled at me. Although I had forgotten about experiences like that, it still lives deep inside me. That feeling deep inside that I am not good enough. Constantly wondering if I did something wrong. Worrying I was too overdressed or too underdressed.
I haven’t completely healed from the past, but my first step is being aware of it. Yes, I am still a little shy with new groups, constantly wonder if I said the right thing and can be socially awkward on dates, but that is okay. Today, I am learning it is better to feel awkward being myself than acting like someone else to fit in.
I am ready to say goodbye to yesterday’s junk and say hello to a peaceful tomorrow.