Growing up, I was serious loser. And I’m totally not being self-deprecating when I say that. I loved who I was in high school. I didn’t care about what anyone thought of me; I couldn’t be bothered with anything materialistic, and I put more thought into my schoolwork and extracurriculars than I put into my make-up and style. I started a diversity club in grade twelve, beat out the entire school (albeit, a school of merely 600 people) to win a youth optimist award, and I had badass hobbies and a lot of travel experience. I just didn’t fit in with anyone.
My hard work paid off. I got into both of my universities of choice and I’ve been consistently moving in the ‘right direction’. After all of that, I’m currently not ashamed to say that I care more about materialistic things than I did five years ago. But even though I no longer have a slight unibrow, and although I finally learned how to apply foundation and dress myself, I always feel like I’m still navigating the outside world of the social universe. I don’t think that feeling will ever leave me.
I’ve spent so much of my life trying to impress people that I’ve gotten to the point where I realize how superficial it is to put that ‘trying too hard’ effort into relationships that should come naturally. I weeded out a lot of friends in my last year of high school because I realized my relationship to them was always lesser. I was done trying to make them see that I was important.
I am still not a “white teeth teen,” as Lorde eloquently sings. And I’m okay with that. The funny thing is that I would whiten my teeth if I could. But my previous oral surgeries and tooth sensitivity prevent me from being able to do so. I drink a lot of tea so my teeth are a big insecurity for me. Sometimes I panic when I run out of my whitening toothpaste. But it’s obviously important to also question the concept of white teeth. Whitening something does not make it cleaner- it only makes it whiter. And frankly I’m happy with my smile. My high school self would pat me on the back.