Today, in honor of #throwbackthursday, I posted a picture on my Facebook wall of my husband and I back when we were teenagers. We were both sporting short, bleach-blonde cuts–as was the fad in the late ’90s in our circles–and we both have that whole “I am totally crushing on the person sitting next to me right now, but I’m trying to play it cool” smile. I also posted a picture of me with blue hair standing next to my husband who was dressed in all black–from his t-shirt down to his Docs–which, FYI, happened to be taken on the same day we got married.
Most of my friends liked it and a few even got a good laugh from it.
Later this evening, while getting together with a few friends, the subject came up again, and we joked about all of our old teenaged phases. Long black hair, white powdery make-up, wild music, whatever. My friends both agreeing that there is no way they would put those images on Facebook because they feared what other people would think. Which, although not the intent of their comment, had me biting my nails all of the way home, wondering if somehow I had managed to over-share and embarrass myself.
The thing is this–I did have some hilarious phases in my younger years: I went through this whole Mimi Eisenhower phase where I kept my bangs mega-short, thinking it made me look more punk rock (rawk). I once started a band named “Cold as Ice” which was supposed to be the female answer to Vanilla Ice–only we knew how to rap even less than he did. I even went through this intensely awkward period when I first started becoming religious where I basically wore on shapeless billowy dresses and peasant skirts that gave me the figure of a homely marshmallow. Oh man, I still wince when I see pictures. (Why did nobody stop me?)
So, yeah, I have had my share of embarrassing phases and unflattering photos. And I’m certainly not about to fill my wall with them either!
I realize not everyone I know will understand where we came from nor where we ended up, but it’s certainly not something I am ashamed of. I’m proud of who I am–and that includes where I’ve been, where I’m headed, and everything in between. The life I’ve lived over the last 33.5 years has all worked together to make me the person I am right now.
With growth comes change. And with change comes those awkward tweener moments when you haven’t quite found where you belong yet. That’s just part of the process. I’ve chosen to be as authentic a person as I know how to be, and I just have to hope that people will be okay with me–awkward moments and all.