Judgement. The feeling that all eyes are on you, they never leave. Not being able. to walk into a coffee shop for fear of being called fat. Shaking hands and not being able to meet their eye. Baggy clothes adorn your body, the curves that you want to never show the world. I lost a piece of me when I first realized how awful other people’s opinions are. Sometimes it isn't their opinion per se but you opinion. Somebody might be thinking the nicest thoughts while you are the one forcing hateful words upon yourself. Now I can tell myself that it wasn't their opinions, they were mine. But back then I was trapped in a corner with only myself, my worst enemy. I was the one who brought all this hate and self loathing upon myself. I didn't need to do that but I was thinking hateful words that I thought about myself but making other people think those thoughts was somehow better than myself telling me things I need to realize about myself.
This all started in middle school, the worst years of my life. It was around the time when the booty shorts and crop top trend came around. Yes I know that sounds stupid but that's all that mattered to me then. I wanted to fit in, hell, I needed to fit in. The immature me thought if I could hide my smarts and masquerade as a “cool” girl, then I thought I could maybe, just maybe, make it through middle school and actually have friends. But that came with the fact that all the girls at my school were skinny as sticks and had no chest, at all. I on the other hand was gaining weight and I definitely had a chest, since fourth grade probably. I thought that I could wear crop tops but that certainly wasn't going to happen anytime soon. My chest made the shirts ride up and look like a bandage wrapped around my chest and it accentuated my stomach. My stomach wasn't even that big. Crop tops and I were a married couple, tired of fighting and having the stereotypical divorce. Couldn't agree about anything and I was convinced that we could make it work. I tried everything, even flirted with some boys who couldn't manage to wash their hair or face. I tried to be emo, dark lips and black eyeshadow. But emo me thought that John Green was super angsty so I went around quoting all of his books and immersed myself in the idea that maybe if I was super emo I could be could be considered the cool angsty type. I dyed my hair red, and since I didn't get it done in the hair salon it looked like I had skunk stripes in my hair. My emo phase didn't work out and my crop top ideas didn't pan out either. I had no other phase to try out next. I was drowning in my inability to get along with anyone at my old school. The first time I heard the cool girls talking about me near our lockers caused me to stop in my tracks and drop all my stuff.
Three words, this didn't help. I thought that I could be cool in some world but this wasn't the place clearly. This made me question everything I wore and everything I said. In math, where I used to be outspoken and proud of my smarts, I was quiet and just did my work that I needed to do. I shrunk into this shell, of self loathing and pity. I kept my head down and my skunk stripes faded and I wore all black, a reminder of my “emo phase”. I kept a crop top and a pair of shorts in my closet, the little voice in the back of my head believed that one day I would be suddenly welcome in the tight knit circle of girls or I would lose the weight and chest so I could fit in clothes from Forever 21.
That never happened, I was never the cool person and I am okay with that. I made it to a point where I am not happy but okay with my appearance and clothing. I don't think we can ever be happy about ourselves but we need to have enough to be able to face the world. I am someone who has had bright red stripes in my hair and somehow who thought they knew what emo is. I am someone who thought they could be someone that I'm not. I still feel those stares and I worry about the clothes I wear. Yes, it sometimes consumes me and makes me feel like I can't be a normal person but I accept that. I know who I am supposed to be and I'm okay with that.