I lived in the same community from the time I was in preschool until I graduated high school. I moved from Elementary to Middle to High with basically the same group of kids. In Elementary school, everyone played together and was invited to all the birthdays and there was not a whole lot of ‘cliquishness’ going on.
Enter 6th grade year where girls emerged from summer break with fresh tans, new Sebago boat shoes or leather huaraches and an overwhelming desire to fit in to some group, any group, as long as they could cluster together and exclude someone. Yeah, you can’t sit with us! (j/k)
Important to note: I tried to find a picture of myself, close up, during these years. I don’t think one exists. I vaguely remember ripping up the one picture of me bare faced, acne ridden, on my way to a friend’s house. So, use your imagination if you can!
I struggled with what to wear, how to act, my weight (which in hindsight was not an issue!) and my seemingly horrific acne. It was pretty bad. I covered my face every morning with concealer and foundation and touched up throughout the day. In hindsight I realize that I wasn’t really covering it up, but it made me feel better to do something about it!
Luckily at the end of my 7th grade year, a doctor had mercy on me and prescribed Retin-A, which was new to the market. I used it faithfully and after returning to school in the fall, I was happy to see very few breakouts at all. Even though my skin had cleared up, in my mind, I walked through those next few years as the girl with terrible acne. I hadn’t gotten past it, even though my skin clearly had (pun intended!).
This self truth – if you will – continued for many more years.
I will never forget the trip to Sandestin for Adult spring break, I was 32 years old and traveling with about 10 girls. We stopped at one of the girl’s mom’s house to sleep before checking into our condo the next day. After scrubbing our faces and putting our pajamas on, one of the girls (who was 5+ years younger than I) said to me, “you have really nice skin!”.
Those words had never been spoken to me before.
I spent years trying to just stay one step ahead of the next breakout and still felt I was going to lose the fight any day. I thought about what she said, looked in the mirror several times and thought, you know, I DO have nice skin. It was one of those “A-ha” moments Oprah speaks so frequently about. It IS possible to change what our truths are, even 20 years later.
Cut to last night, my friend Lauren had several ladies over to learn about a toxin free skin and body care line. We were enjoying each other’s company and chit chatting and this time I heard, “you have great skin!”. 27 years later, I still find myself incredulous when I hear that.
Self truths are hard to change, especially when they’re formed at such and influential age. I do know, when I look in magnified mirror in my bathroom (against my better judgement!), I do think I have pretty good skin. It only took 27 years to believe that.
What are some self truths you have ingrained that aren’t valid any more??