Live your insecurities. Then get over them.

17 Aug

Gave the blog a makeover: like it? Tell me. Hate it? Also tell me, but then follow it with “you’re pretty.”

It’s four days until the big day and I just finished a slideshow of our childhood pictures. Such a trip down memory lane got me reflecting in a way that’s good for all of us to do (briefly) Who were you? Who are you now? Who are you glad not to be anymore?

This was when I was the only child. Life was full of possibilities. I lived in the back of an orange Datsun (go with me, here). This was also when my mom wore giant glasses and clothes to match our car. I didn’t know who I was yet, but I look confident (and like I might want cake).

Then I became the big sister and I had lessons to teach: “Take my hand, little Kate, let me show you what it’s like to walk in my red shoes. Since red doesn’t match anything, you can wear it with everything!” 17 months of life experience pre-sister gave me all kinds of wisdom that I couldn’t stop sharing with her (she loved this). 

That’s us years later feeding dolphins at Sea World, my only other trip to Florida until 2010. My sister is happy, carefree. At age 8, I’d already started obsessing over my ears sticking out. Note shaggy hair to ensure coverage of ears.

I had braces for two and a half years, yet this is one of the few pictures I could find where you can actually see them because I refused to smile in most pictures. Before braces, I didn’t smile to cover up my buck teeth. Here the wind is betraying my carefully crafted hair-over-ears placement as well. Ear + teeth insecurity was very serious.

Hello, paisley! 10th grade school picture: braces still on. I look at this picture and want to scream, “Smile, you joyless looking bore!” I smile excessively now for pictures (and sometimes with crazy eyebrows). Overcompensating.

Since the slideshow was childhood focused, I don’t have scans of me from college. Secretly, I’m glad of this (I was 20 lbs  heavier), but the visual would be helpful. The 90’s was the grunge era (read baggy clothes and flannel). This look made people at size 2 look large, so on 6 ft’ of me at size 14, it was unfortunate. Grunge was anti-feminine fashion: at one point I was wearing an oversized, black, zip-up hoodie, baggy jeans, and steel toed boots. I looked like a chubby-faced thug. Luckily I was charming.

My point is not that once I started smiling, wearing my hair in a ponytail, and stopped eating entire boxes of cereal as snacks that my life got better. It’s that I stopped fixating on all the stuff that was wrong with me/my life and started focusing on being happy. At that point everything started falling into place.

Leo Tolstoy (who is surprisingly not intense 100% of the time) said “if you want to be happy, be.” So simple, Leo (as most good advice is). Don’t stay in situations and ways of thinking that make you miserable. So obvious, yet it took me years  to get it.

This self help guy also said, “Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.” Being happy is a risk, and as a friend said to me “it’s easier not to.” It hurts in the beginning to shake up your routine and your thinking, but once I did I never looked back. At least not more than twice.

Like Conan,  I  hate cynics. It’s so much easier to criticize others than to change your own life. Or to compare your life to others saying “at least I’m not like that.” I speak to you not only as president of the former cynics, but also a member.

Thank goodness I finally GOT OVER IT.

This will be my last post ’til I’m wed, so until then, be happy!

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7 Responses to “Live your insecurities. Then get over them.”

  1. Emily August 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    i am snorting my afternoon coffee onto my keyboard here at work…so funny so true. I can’t believe you’re so secure that you released a HS yearbook pic onto the interweb…i would burn mine but my mom has copies.
    4 DAYS…awesome.

  2. Aaron August 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    I’m ecstatic.

  3. rookiemistakesandbeginnersluck August 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    You’re pretty and I love the blog make-over. Also, everyone was ugly in their early pre-teen/early teen years.

    4 days and counting! Yeehaw!

  4. Robin Ann August 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    You’re pretty and amazing and pretty amazing. I love reading your blog and I’m so excited about your wedding. I wish I could be there. Now, young jedi, you will no longer be trapped white space and all will bow to say “Aye, aye, caption.” Are you teaching yearbook in SoFlo? I MISS YOU!!!!!!

  5. Jennifer August 18, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    I love ALL the versions of you. Mostly the insecure, braces-clad, frizzy hair high schooler….because we matched! 🙂 Love you!

  6. Lee August 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    I also think you’re pretty. Great wedding, perfect couple, excellent blog entry.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Mad Pen: a blog year in review « GOING SOFLO - June 24, 2011

    […] 2010: Engage in some pre-wedding self-deprecation, and then some more; get married in Virginia; move all our possessions into a truck for a 15-hr-driving honeymoon to […]

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