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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