The moment when I feel like I’m back at school, being picked last for the sports team

February 17, 2015

Dear Max

There’s a reason why I avoid school reunions or any of my old school’s events, for that matter. It’s because I think i will likely compare myself to everyone else and feel inadequate (I don’t know why exactly, but I just *know*). It’s also because I think I will be the “worst” version of myself, that around seemingly or imagined cooler, thinner, smarter and richer people, I will once again be in the shoes of an angsty, picked-last-for-everything, misunderstood, misunderstanding, non-confrontational, insecure, unmotivated and fade-into-the-background schoolgirl.

No amount of rationalising and pep talks can make me feel like I could go to reunion with my head held high, or feeling like I’ve made good, done good or have an ounce of feel good. So, I stay away, and try to feel good in the situations I’m in, and choose to be in.

And it mostly goes well. Until I’m in a situation that is so hard that I feel 13 again, and it doesn’t matter how many kilometres I’ve run, or how many goals I have or have met, frankly, I still feel like a loser. It happened the other night, at an event. There were gorgeous people everywhere and “celebs”, and as I waited in my room for someone on the team to collect me (35 minutes late – after I had phoned to find out where everyone was), I felt like an outsider, being picked (literally) last for something that everyone was already having fun at.

Thirteen-year-old Tanya felt like getting into bed and crying that she wasn’t invited to the popular kid’s party, while lamenting her thunder thighs, and thinking that no one wanted to be her friend. Thirty-something-year-old Tanya put on her big-girl-panties, wiped away the tears welling in her beautifully MAC made-up eyes, and tried to remember her present, and that only bad or forgotten logistics were the reasons she wasn’t at the party.

It’s weird how something can jolt me back into thinking I am who I once was, or into feeling that same teenage rejection and anxiety. But it’s wonderful when I can get back into the now, and mostly feel pretty darn good.



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  • Pat

    Darling, You do not have to go to the Old School Reunion, firstly if it is going to stress you to go and secondly as you are not the type to go there and judge everyone else! You should feel proud of yourself in what you have achieved in life and how happy you are, never mind what anyone else thinks, you are a great person! Hugs!

    February 17, 2015 at 9:03 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks Pat, as always, for the support and encouragement.

      February 17, 2015 at 1:48 pm Reply
  • MeeA

    I feel exactly the same way. Except, in most cases, I AM still the kid who isn’t invited to the cool kids’ party. And a lot of the time, it feels like a kick in the teeth.
    But then I remind myself that, when things get messy or ugly or out of control, I’m the guy who pulls it all back together.
    I was the one who stepped in and helped deliver the neighbour’s domestic worker’s baby when the ambulance failed to arrive on time. I was the one who saw and ran to pull a little boy out of the deep end of a swimming pool last week, while the cool kids sat in their poolside loungers, watching him go under. Fuck the cool kids – I’m a hard-ass! (Sorry for the language! :-/ )

    February 17, 2015 at 11:11 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Wow! I know you probably don’t want to hear it, but well done. You’re one of the most hard-ass people I know. In a good way. Don’t lose sight of it

      February 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm Reply
  • Gaelyn Cokayne

    Oh I so know what this feels like and am surprised when it happens every time. I’ve worked hard to change out of “that girl” and into someone I’m proud of, as have you. I suppose all we can do is remind ourselves that we are worthy, and are quite simply not those young people anymore!

    February 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Absolutely. That’s good advice, and most of the time I get it right 🙂

      February 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm Reply
  • Heather


    February 18, 2015 at 6:53 am Reply
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