Tomboy to Woman: The Evolution of Me
Bandanas. T-shirts. Pony tails. Hoodies. Athletic shorts. These are things that have been mainstays of my life, throughout my life.
Jewelry. Make-up. Nice clothes. High heels. Anything pink. These are things that have NOT been a part of my life. Until a year ago.
I’ve always been athletic. Played sports since before I can remember. All through school that was how I fit it. If I hadn’t played sports I would have been that tall, quiet, tomboy girl, that no one knows. Even so, that’s pretty much how it was until I got to Junior High when people realized that I was good at sports.
That was my in. I made friends with older girls who I played soccer or basketball with, and they were “cool” girls, so I rode their coat tails, therefore avoiding being picked on. I walked taller than if I hadn’t played sports, was a little more confident, cared a little less if people didn’t know me, because I already had a secure identity.
I was an athlete.
I think it was my sophomore year in high school that I wore a bandana (on my head) almost every day to school. My bandana was coupled with jeans or athletic pants and a T-shirt.
The few times a year that I would “dress up” (which for me could have been as simple as actually wearing my hair down), I felt SO self-conscious, out of my element. Felt undeserving. To make it worse people would never fail to make comments about how I looked nice. Sure, on the surface it was just a simple compliment, but I hated the attention. I hated being noticed. I longed to be back in my T-shirt and jeans.
There were two times in my life that I broke away from the jeans and T-shirts.
A couple months during my freshmen year in high school.
And a couple months during my sophomore year in college.
Other than that the only times I would ever dress nice (and find it fun) was when I’d go out to eat with my best friend (T) a few times a months.
But then I moved here after grad school. And no one really knew me.
And there was this piece of me… the part that wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin, whether in cleats or high heels. There was this part of me that wanted to walk with my head up. To not feel self-conscious when I wore make up. To stop feeling insecure. To stop hiding underneath my baggy T-shirts.
And the day came
when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took
So I did.
The first time I walked out of my apartment in heels I felt a little bit like a fish out of water. It felt like everyone was watching, thinking what a fool I looked like, thinking I was trying too hard, thinking I wasn’t nearly good-looking enough to deserve to wear anything besides my old T-shirts and athletic shorts.
That was the part of me that I fought with for a long time. I continued to assume that I didn’t date because I wasn’t attractive enough.
But a funny thing happened… I started feeling better about myself. I still thought no one else thought I was beautiful, but I was surprised to find that I felt so much better about myself, despite. And eventually, I didn’t care if no one else thought I was good-looking enough. I felt good enough for me.
I’m still athletic. I love me some contact sports. I love a good run.
The difference now is just that I’m as comfortable in high heels as I am in my soccer cleats. I’m as comfortable slide tackling some guy as I am walking into my favorite store in the mall in an outfit that I took care picking out. I’m as comfortable in my tennis shoes, sweaty, at a dead sprint at the end of a six mile run, as I am on a date with a flower in my hair.
I didn’t get trapped wearing make-up every day. I can “own it”, i.e. walk with my head up, whether I’m wearing it or not. Now, I CAN wear it though. And I don’t feel like I’m faking it.
I am me.
With make-up on.
I am me.
Without make-up on.
I am me.
I am me.
In four-inch heels.
I am me. I am me. I am me.
And I am Okay.