In grade 7 I had a crush on Steve. He was funny and smart and hung out the popular kids, and let’s be real people what more do you want at age 13?
One night, sitting beside my friend Kylie in her parent’s basement, we struck up a convo with him on MSN, logged in under her account. “Let’s ask him about you because he doesn’t know you’re here” she suggested.
“Okay,” I responded. Nervously. Apprehensively.
“Who do you think is the hottest girl in our class?” she asked.
“You” he responded. My heart sank. Kylie looked at me.
“It’s fine,” she said. “He’s just saying that to be nice.”
“What about Leah?” she typed to Steve.
“Leah isn’t hot at all” was his response.
In that moment, I wished I was different. I wished I was cooler, prettier, had nicer hair. I wished I was better. In that moment, I wished I was anyone but me.
I’ve had that feeling a lot since then.
When I was 15 with bad skin and glasses and a high school boyfriend who dumped me days before my 16th birthday, I wished I was different.
When I was 21 getting stupidly drunk, puking in a hallway and feeling so self-conscious the next morning.
23 and and trying out bangs (Hint: they did NOT look good).
27 getting caught in a conversation with some really important people and making a joke that no one appreciated and/or got.
I mean, just yesterday I ran into a car on my bike & bounced off of it with such force that I landed on my ass in the middle of College street. It was completely my fault and completely weird, and no one really knew how to react so I just scrambled up off the road and apologized to the driver and rode away into a very embarrassing pit of emotion.
Time and time again, I’ve wished I was different.
Now? I’m 28 years old. I ‘ve got a great life. A cool job. A downtown apartment and a decent tan. I like myself. I have good taste in music and great taste in beer. I try shit. I fail at a lot of it and try other shit. I eat a lot of vegetables. Like, I’m good. I’m doing good (minus the whole bike-hitting-car incident).
But sometimes I wish I was different.
I wish I had better style, watched cooler shows, had a nicer speaking voice.
I wish I looked more like her. Had a life like his. Understood what contouring actually was.
I wish I enjoyed different things.I mean, I have a really hard time enjoying my downtime. Relaxing is stressssful when you’re stuck in this mindset you should be productive at literally all times. So when you’re not, it takes this conscious effort to actually enjoy your time, which makes it SO overwhelming because now you’re judging yourself for spending time the way you spend it; for enjoying the things you do. I mean, I wish I didn’t want to watch 10 year old Survivor DVDs instead of GoT. I wish I didn’t want to spend my spare time re-watching Susan Boyle videos on YT & sobbing into my bag of potato chips because she’s so damn inspirational. I wish I didn’t enjoy eating alone.
I wish I was different.
But the thing is, I think we probably all do.
We all feel ugly. Hate our clothes. Can’t figure out how to read that obnoxiously trendy food menu.
We do things we wish we didn’t do and say things we wish we didn’t say and watch people do shit with their lives that seems way cooler than whatever we’re doing. We all watch shows we never mention and love songs we don’t care to admit. And through it all, we all, always, have fleeting moments where wish we were different.
And weirdly, that makes us all the same. Because all of us, at some point or another, wish we were more like someone else.
And A) I think that’s kind of comforting. Because ultimately, we’re all over here just giving life a go and wishing we had done it differently. And B) HOW COOL to think that someone out there, somewhere along the way, probably wished they were more like you.
So relax. You’re fine. You fucked up today but I promise she did too.
We’re all the same.
Different, trying, but all the same <3