It’s one of those conversations that haunts my memories. All I remember for certain is that it was before high school because we changed churches my freshman year. Probably around 13, because that was when I hit 5’10. I went from half an inch shorter than my older sister to three quarters of an inch taller than her in one week.
We were in Sunday school. Front row, closest to everything in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. And up walked a church member and family friend to my sister and I. She effused to my sister about how beautiful and lady like my sister was (is) and turned to me and commented dismissingly about how tall, gangly, and awkward I was.
She honestly wasn’t wrong. I was an awkward adolescent, teen, and hell young adult. Puberty did not bring about magical Neville Longbottom style transformations. I look back on pictures of younger me and I can see that my nose, chin, and forehead seem too big for my face. I just exuded awkwardness.
I wonder how much of it stemmed from comments such as that church lady’s that burrowed their way into my soul.
It took a long time. But I feel like the grown up version of the ugly duckling now. I’ve worked hard to get where I am physically. And for the rest? I finally seem to have grown into myself. Body, mind, and soul.
The best part about reaching my 30s has definitely been loving myself. And maybe that’s what has made all the difference.