Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reflections on self esteem

I've been thinking a lot about high school lately. High school wasn't a bad time for me, just not the best part of my life to date. My friends and I were kind of in the middle of the high school popularity totem pole- not the super nerds, but not the cool kids either. We were in a lot of classes with the cool kids, and they seemed to like us, but we definitely were not part of their group. We just kind of existed in our own little middle world. I think high school was uncomfortable in some ways for me, just because I was very unsure of myself. I'm a bit of a late bloomer- didn't really figure out who I was until my mid-20s. Then I really started to like myself and develop some self-confidence. Or so I thought.

Then a couple of things happened. One of those things is Facebook. I've been having fun messing around on there, and finding old friends from way back when. Yesterday I located a girl that I babysat for when she was 5. She's turning 18 next week. I'm trying to not think about how old that makes me. I've found a lot of other people on there, including people that I went to high school with. And I find my old insecurities popping up. I sit at the computer and think "oh no, I cant send that person a friend request, they were cooler than I was in high school." And I don't send the request!! This morning I actually got a friend request from one of the cool people, and it totally confused me. I found myself thinking "there has to be some sort of mistake, she couldn't have wanted to add me to her list."

The other thing that's been causing me to revert to my high school level of self-confidence is my PEPS (a Seattle Moms' group) group. Don't get me wrong, I completely like and respect all of the women in the group. They've been a fabulous source of support and information for 3 months. But being at the group makes me feel like I'm back in high school. Most of the women in the group are back to their pre-baby weights, they all wear very expensive clothes and drive very nice cars, and live in houses about 10 times the size of mine. As I've said before, we're not poor, but we're having to cut back a lot right now,so my lifestyle is very different from theirs.

So I go to the group, and I just sit there feeling insecure and adolescent and poor and fat. And that's kept me from making friends in the group, and that makes me frustrated, because I feel like I missed out on a good opportunity.

When do we actually get past our teenage images of ourselves? Why does it pop up years after we thought that it was done away with? How do I get back to seeing myself with a more realistic perspective?


mary said...

I don't think we ever do....I don't think I'll ever get past comparing myself to others....

but, hey, add me on facebook :)

I cannot believe that Ethan is 4 months....

BJ @ http://freedomfiles.homeschooljournal.net said...

I think it's a struggle for all women that we might face right to our graves. I understand where you're at. I'm definitely there. I have even bought/not bought, or given away some of my clothes based on how other women at church dress, and feeling like I might be less "cool" if I wore those things. Pretty sad. How's about finding our identity in Christ?!

Carrie said...

You're so right, BJ. It's so easy to get distracted and forget that, but it's so vitally important to our lives.

Pam said...

I attend a MOPS group and I remember feeling the same way - there is soooo much money in this town and it is thrown around like it grows on trees - INSANE! We however have not found the money tree:) We live comfortably and enjoy our Old Navy wardrobe and clearance shoes. A turning point for me was when a woman got up to give her testimony - a woman who wore only the finest of everything and had a body to be envied. But then she spoke...and she spoke of a lifetime of depression and struggles and family hardships and abuse and oh my! The things this woman had gone through - In the months I had been a part of the group I never once approached her to say hi or introduce myself because I felt so inadequate compared to her. But then to hear her story well, things aren't always as they seem and perfection isn't always what it's cracked up to be you know? I'm not saying it's always the case, but I'll bet some of those same women look at you and wish they could have just a piece of what you have so you just hang in there:)

Loralee Choate said...

I was miserable as a kid and teenager. I was heavy and later on obese. It still effects me to this day.

As for the rest:

One of my best friends has a ton of money. She can go and do anything she wants (Although she is extremely responsible and non flashy.)

It can be tricky to balance it our
friendship because it DOES put some limitations on things, but we make it work. I don't think that these women look down on you for having less than they do.

If you find out that is the case with some of them, they aren't worth the time anyway.

When you don't have enough to meet your basic needs, it can cause GREAT hardship, but beyond a certain point? Meh.
I think that money makes things easier and can go a long way in providing opportunity to create memories, but it is not everything.

carrie said...

I have no idea . . . I wish I did. But trust me, even those cool kids are still struggling (trust me).

And if it makes you feel any better, I've only just begun to lose my baby weight - it's been FOUR years!

Hang in there!