It’s fair to say that back in high school and even in college, I did not know myself very well. When I was little I was the outgoing one. Always in the middle of whatever was happening. The center of the spotlight.
In middle school I learned that not everyone valued the ability to recite the entirety of Star Wars: A New Hope or the complete soundtrack to The Phantom of the Opera. But I had my little troop of friends and they got me. And it was enough.
High school was just ridiculous. I was wearing bindis one minute and thought I was Hispanic the next. I was throwing keys and crushing on every boy I knew and was, in general, a big ole train wreck. I never felt at home in my own skin. I was constantly looking for other things to define me. Things besides the indefinable, wonderfully made me. The me that God himself thought to put together.
Looking back it’s clear to see why I was never kissed. I didn’t know me. So how could I possibly have let other people know me. And high school boys aren’t exactly patient and willing to wait around for you to find yourself. So I left for college, feeling inadequate and behind the times and just all around undesirable.
Again, I had friends who knew me as well as they possibly could. And I rarely thought about it in the day to day excitement of college life. But I turned 24 and something happened. It wasn’t enough. Everyone had these stories and experiences and I just had the fantasies I’d built up in my mind about how it would happen and what it would be like and who it’d be with.
If you haven’t seen this week’s episode, featuring the reenactment of said first kiss, then take a look. It was rushed and awkward and with someone who didn’t even want to date me. And who I didn’t even want to date. Just a friend. It was safe that way. There was no chance of getting hurt, because the not being kissed was the painful part. Finally being kissed was going to be a relief.
And as I’m sure you guessed, it wasn’t a relief. Yep, I checked “First Kiss” off my bucket list. But was left with the icky feeling that I hadn’t done it all quite right. Insecurity is something that will haunt you if you let it. It’s not like it voluntarily packs it’s bags and leaves you alone. It’s always whispering in your ear. “No one cares. No one wants you. You are not good enough.”
I’m proud to report that I do know myself these days. I know exactly who I am and how valuable my life is. And I still sometimes do stupid things (as you will bare witness to in my web series) but I don’t let the mistakes I make define me. They are apart of me, but I refuse to spend time regretting my past. Instead I let it inform my future and the decisions I make now. Always looking forward, but never forgetting where I’ve been.
I still have yet to be kissed in a meaningful and romantic way. By someone who wants me and who I want. And most importantly, without the influence of alcohol. But that’s a story for another day.
I’d love to hear from you, so please share your stories below. I can’t be the only one to mess things up sometimes.