Pinterest is such a marvelous thing! Today I turned to that glorious app to cure my writer’s block and found list after list of things to write about and one happened to strike my fancy: Describe yourself in one word and tell how it affects your writing. This was difficult to write and made me much more emotional than one would like to be, while writing at a Dunkin Donuts. Let me know what you think and tell me one word to describe you.
I am complicated. Of all the words I would use to describe myself, I feel that complicated covers it all. I am an introverted extrovert. I am a depressed optimist. I’m an old fashioned liberal. I am many things but most of all I am complicated.
If you were to ask anyone I went to high school with to describe me, they would either not know who I was or describe me as “nice.” In high school, I smiled at everyone who I made eye contact with in the halls. I went straight from one class to the next. I typically worked on things alone, I hated group projects or partner projects for the most part, because I would rather work on my own and get things done. I had few friends, but the few I did have were pretty good ones. My junior year was one of my darkest times. It was after the summer where I lost a substantial amount of weight; I thought losing weight was the key to confidence, friends and overall happiness. I was wrong about that. My family was still drama filled. My best friend had moved away. I still couldn’t get a guy to notice me and at the time I thought that was the key to everything. I fell into a pretty a dark place when I realized being forty pounds lighter didn’t solve all of my problems.
My senior year I committed to having fun and enjoying it; I went to almost all of the football games and dances, as opposed to every other year when I hardly left the house on weekends. I had my best grades my senior year and the most fun. My younger sister’s friends thought I was funny, they all liked me and that did wonders for my self-esteem. It was overall a pretty good year in high school, despite whatever was happening at home that year. That whole fake it til you make it thing was really working for me.
You have to get pretty close to me to get past my wall. Or find me funny, or sarcastic. On the rare occasion I would open up or say something I thought would be funny in class, it rarely went over like I wanted. I never wanted to be popular or hang with the “in crowd”, I just wanted to be well liked. I hid behind my insecurities, bottled up my personality and kept my head down.
I feel like I’m still that way and I can’t escape it. It’s amazing how I can be on a pretty good streak; good days, feeling okay, feeling (dare I say it?) confident- then just like that, one comment, one old picture, one memory and I feel like Junior Year Jessi. Friendless, sad, bottled up, unknown- the list goes on.
In beauty school, I made some good friends, I let my personality out, I got comfortable then it slipped away. There she was Junior Year Jessi back to see me and take over, just like that.
I meet John. I fall so hard, so fast insanely in love. My insecurities melt away. I feel beautiful. I feel wanted. I feel like finally I found it. Then I’m judged, outcast and ridiculed for the decisions I made about my relationship. Junior year Jessi, nice to meet ya again!
It’s like no matter what I do or how I do it, I can’t get rid of her. Junior Year Jessi- crying in dressing rooms at the mall, afraid to make new friends, afraid to speak her mind, bottling up emotions, crying in the shower, never leaving the house, smiling and telling everyone I run into that I’m fine, things are going great and I’m great.
I am complicated. Of course this affects my writing because this is what I write about- me, my journey to escape Junior Year Jessi and find happy, fearless, confident twenty-year-old Jessi.
[photo was taken the Saturday before my first day of junior year by my mom, in our backyard. August 2011]