Dear lovely readers,
I have discovered that Missouri does not believe in Spring. We had 50 degree weather for the longest time, I left for a week to California, then I come back and it’s all high 80’s and JJ Abrams directed thunderstorms. The good news is that now that the weather is warm (wet, but warm) I get to wear all my favorite clothing. So, it ultimately evens out.
This morning I got dressed in the outfit you see above, and I was feeling pretty damn cute… for about a second, until all my insecurities came flowing out of me, bouncing off my bedroom mirror then promptly bitch-slapping me much to my horror. The shirt I am wearing has become one of my very favorite that I own, yet I rarely wear it, and whenever I do, I feel horribly insecure. It isn’t because it shows an inch of mid-drift or because it is slightly low cut. My insecurities from this particular article of clothing comes from three years ago, when I bought it specifically because I thought my boyfriend at the time would think I looked fantastic in it. I wore it for the first time hoping that I’d be complimented by him, but instead, my boyfriend at the time (now ex, mind you) laughed at me and said I looked like a “hillbilly,” and made fun of me throughout the rest of the day.
I was deeply hurt, so I decided that I would wear the shirt on days he wasn’t around me. As if I wasn’t unsure about it already, the first day (a month later or so) I walked out of my old room wearing this shirt and a plain pair of jeans. Instantly, my brother and my mom sitting in the front room look at me and laughed loudly. “You look like a hillbilly,” my brother said. My mother laughed in agreement. “Yeah, nice shirt,” she sarcastically added. I went back to my room and changed before leaving for my college campus.
After these interactions, I thought about donating the shirt, but still felt conflicted as I genuinely liked it. So, I neatly folded it and placed it at the back of a dresser drawer where it sat untouched for over a year. Apparently, I wasn’t aware that rainbow plaid, lace and a knot instantly meant, according to Google’s dictionary, that I am:
an unsophisticated country person, associated originally with the remote regions of the Appalachians.
Isn’t it a shame that we so often use words without thinking about the meaning, thought, or how it affects others? This ignorance really fucking pisses me off. However, that isn’t the main point of this story, so let’s carry on.
Most of my life I have dealt with what I can only describe as being a shapeshifter. Whether in friendship, relationships or family, I thought that the only way people would be able to stand me was if I squished myself into their own personal puzzles, even if I clearly didn’t fit . I accepted everything they liked and everything they hated, sure that this would make us closer. I was silent about what I liked and hated, and drowned my own feelings out. While I’m sure this was great for others to have someone completely agree with them 90% of the time, it was destroying me, because the real me was being smothered by a fake version that was more or less zombie-like. I was left feeling hollow; while I learned so much about the other people I realized that they knew nothing about me. The reason I ended up this way I believe (at least part of the reason) was that after being convinced by so many different and important people in my life that no one would like me, everything I am passionate about is doltish, and that people have better things to do than be my friend, I was far from confident.
A little over two years ago I finally got fed up with basically my entire life and I snapped. I became more adamant about what I liked and disliked, and I rediscovered who the real Eleanore actually was. Throughout my high school years I prided myself on not caring about how I was perceived by others. The older I get, I realize that the louder someone screams, ” I don’t care,” the more they do. This includes myself, or at least did for the past 23 years. Everyone cares about what others think about them. I don’t care about what literally every single person in the world thinks of me, but there are many people in my life whose opinions hold great weight. Nowadays, it isn’t that I no longer care about what people think, but I have grown from molding myself into whatever is expected of me to being who I really am, putting myself into the world and saying, “hey, this is me,” then nervously awaiting the reaction from others, at the very least being pleased that I am being genuinely me.
Now that I am very slowly changing from, “oh my god please like me because I am a nervous, awkward little puppy” to “hey, this is me, and I hope you like me, but if not, cool,” I have felt such a beautiful release. I am finally beginning to feel like a real human being, I am more blunt and honest about my likes and dislikes, and for the first time in my life I am making myself a priority. Believe it or not, I am acting like I matter.
When it comes to the idea of self esteem, our society is dreadfully confused. It seems that if I were to have amazing self esteem and tell the world that I matter, I like how I look and I think I’m a fairly rad person, the general response is that I am self absorbed and superficial. If I am how I usually am, which is again, self deprecating and insecure, I am told that I am depressing, that I need to have more self esteem and fed thousands of products to supposedly “fix” me. In the end, it seems that whichever I am, I am inadequate. Since I am all of these at once because I am , you know, a real person with an array of emotions, I am starting to think that being truthful to all I feel is the only direction I can go in that won’t cause me to eventually lose my mind. And that includes wearing whatever I want, even if others don’t think it’s as cool as I do.
I am exhausted of being who I am not, and putting myself aside for the benefit of others, though whether anyone actually benefits from that is questionable. So, I’m just going to stop. Well, I have stopped, so I suppose I mean I will carry on. Naturally I still care what people think about me to some extent, especially those who are close to me, but I don’t feel the need to please everyone all the time while pushing my heart deep into the pit of my stomach; at least not as I used to. There is a massive difference between wanting people to accept me and forcing myself to be acceptable. I honestly don’t care if I am acceptable to most people anymore, or if I am “this enough” or “that enough” to fit in with them. All I want is to become more Eleanore than ever while finding people who love me for everything I am and everything I am not, because I know I will be doing the same for them.
With all this being said, here are some confessions:
- I love video games. I am terrible at them, but I love them anyway.
- I love the fact that I dress incredibly girly and cuss like a fucking sailor. I don’t know how I turned out that way, most likely too much Blink-182 and I Love Lucy, but I like it.
- I hate South Park and I always will.
- I think the Beatles are severely overrated.
- Runny eggs and undercooked meat are disgusting.
- Things were NOT better in the “old days” whatever the fuck that even means.
- Van Helsing was a great movie.
- Plain Vanilla Ice cream is heavenly.
And lastly, I absolutely love this shirt. I am totally confident in this moment. I think. Am I?
It was a strange place and a tender age; I was just a babe in school.
Saw them roll their eyes at me every time that I thought that I was cool.
Well uh God knows I was no chosen one that just wasn’t my prime,
Yeah it’s just matter of time, honey, it’s just a matter of time.And I will work this body I will burn this flame,
Oh in the dead of night, and in the pouring rain.
Yeah, I’m a workaholic and I swear, I swear,
Yeah, and one day I will beat you fair and square.YEAH!