If only I’d realized it at the time.
Back then, it seemed like there was always something about me that needed fixing. My face, my hair, my body -- I had problems in every department. And I knew if I could change them, I would be perfect and my life would be totally different: I’d be more popular. I’d get the attention of that cute guy in study hall. I’d meet the girl who played Blair from ‘Facts of Life’ and she’d let me raid her closet.
Life would be AWESOME.
My features are dark, so back in the day I idolized similarly featured teen super model Phoebe Cates. She graced the pages of Seventeen magazine on a frequent basis -- that is, until her role in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High where she played a VERY sexually active teen who took her bikini top off in a rather hilarious dream sequence. She didn’t appear in the magazine after that. Go figure.
Well, a little while ago I chanced upon one of my old high school year books. Biting my nail, I flipped to my picture. Yep, it was me, Eighties hair and all, and you know what? I didn’t look bad. In fact, I looked pretty dang good. What had I been so uptight about? Skimming through the photos I noticed everyone looked good. And to think of how many lunchroom conversations we wasted talking about what we’d change about ourselves. Stupid.
I wish I would have spent far less time worried about perfection and a lot more time enjoying who I was. Life would have been so much more fun. Even now I have to catch myself. I’m not getting any younger, you know. But I bet when I’m sixty years-old looking at photos of me today, I’ll be thinking I didn’t look half bad.
So do yourself a favor: Next time you look in the mirror, focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And who do you think is the most important beholder?
That’s right, baby.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High photo credit: http://929dave.radio.com/2011/08/14/gallery-now-then-fast-times-at-ridgemont-high/#photo-17