02 October 2008

I Wonder.....

So, thanks to Colby, I have been having tons of fun this week, reading through my old journals and notes and letters from Jr. High and High School. I was "truly in love" with a different guy each week, it seems! It really makes me giggle and smile to see how silly the drama was. I can't believe some of the things that I got so worked up about!!

At the same time, it makes me kind of sad. I wasted a lot of my adolescent years finding fault with every aspect of myself, and I spent a lot of time explaining to myself why I was so disliked and truly hated by everyone I knew. I didn't ever have a boyfriend in high school. (In fact, I only went on a handful of dates before I graduated!) I was absolutely convinced that it was because there really wasn't anything to like about me. I could sit and write in my journal for hours, listing all of my wonderful and amazing qualities, and then debunking each and every one of them!

Now, as I read through these old journals and letters, I can see that I was really missing a lot of the picture of who I really was. I was pretty amazing, and I really had a lot of good friends who stuck by me through some really difficult and trying times. But the really sad thing is that I have noticed that I still often do the same thing to myself that I used to do back then. Whenever I start to recognize and appreciate the wonderful qualities that I possess, some little part of me kicks into gear and picks apart all of my talents until I'm left with a big lot of nothing. Countless times, throughout my teenage years, I wrote with amazement and wonder because somebody said hi to me or invited me to go somewhere or do something with them. I never could believe that it was really because they enjoyed my company, and so I always analyzed, reanalyzed and over-analyzed the situation until I could come up with a rational excuse for why they "really" wanted me along. (If we took my car, I knew that I was invited just because my car was big enough to hold everyone. If we spent the entire evening laughing and having a great time, I just knew that everyone was secretly laughing at me and making fun....)

I still do it. A few weeks ago, I went to Sacramento with some friends to a Time Out for Women event. We left our kids and husbands at home (those of us whose husbands are overseas or something got babysitters), and we had 2 days of fun "girl time." This was in the planning stages for months! Originally, I wasn't even going to think about going, because I knew that it would be difficult to find an overnight babysitter for my kids while Phil is overseas. But my friends worked long and hard to convince me that I needed to go along. I had SIX different friends working on me, repeatedly inviting me along and telling me that I just had to go because we would have so much fun! Finally, I realized that I really did need a break from "mommy time" and that it would be really fun to spend two whole days with so many friends who obviously enjoyed my company enough to make sure I was coming along!! And it really was tons of fun! We stayed up until almost 3:00 in the morning, giving each other pedicures and laughing and giggling and just acting like teenagers. Then, we settled down and everyone went to bed (we had to be up again by 6:00 for the second day of the conference!) - and I spent the rest of the night quietly crying to myself, because for some reason, I was certain that no one really wanted me there. I even told myself that they had only invited me along because they needed me to help with the cost of the hotel room!!!! Now, of course, I know that is completely untrue. It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, logically. Still, I can give all kinds of "evidence" that "proves" my theory..... Just like I did in high school....

For years, I have looked back on my adolescent years and thought about how sad it was that I spent so much of my life "alone" - I was sure that I was the most unpopular kid in my class. Then, I went to my 10-year high school reunion a couple of years ago. I went, by the way, because way back in high school, a friend of mine (Sean Andersen) told me that I shouldn't worry about not finding a guy willing to date me, because at our 10-year class reunion, I would show up with my perfect husband and 4 children, and I would still have a phenomenal figure and look absolutely amazing. Well, as luck would have it, in 2005, my husband (who is madly in love with me) was just back from a year-long tour in Korea, and I had 4 beautiful, amazing children - AND I was wearing the same size jeans that I wore in high school, and I looked good!! So when I heard about the reunion, of course, I had to go fulfill Sean's prophesy!! (Too bad I didn't see him there.....)

Anyway, I went to this reunion, and I introduced my husband to all of my old high school acquaintances. I was extremely shocked and amazed to find that so many people remembered me! In fact, there were even a couple of people who came over to reminisce with me that I didn't even remember..... The thing that really got me, though, was that several of these people informed Phil that I was "the most popular girl in our class" and that "everyone wanted to be [my] friend"!! Why didn't I remember it that way? What was I missing?

It really has me wondering: I know how I saw myself in high school.... I wonder how other people saw me? And I know how I see myself now.... Is that really an accurate picture of who I am????

So, my question is (and feel free to post your honest comments - good or bad - I'm on a mission of self-discovery here).... Who is Veronica? If you were to describe me to a total stranger, what would you say about me? Thanks in advance for your input!! I hope to hear from you all really soon!!!!!

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