A Message From The Girl Who Got In Over Her Head

A Message From The Girl Who Got In Over Her Head

It's about to get personal guys...
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It started out harmless enough. It was nothing. You brushed it off because you never thought it could turn into something so big and all consuming. You told yourself that you could handle it, that you were bigger and stronger than this. You’d never met a situation that you couldn’t talk out, fix, or handle with little effort. You’d learned to manage everything that gave you problems. Maybe it took a little work but you got there. Anything that had the potential to be a problem, you’d squashed before it got too big. So why should this be any different?

Because this was something you couldn’t completely control. Something that was unpredictable. Before you know it, it's out of your hands and it's not so easily fixable. You're slipping and you aren't in a hurry to stop because it's exciting and you never want it to end. You tell yourself that you can fix it whenever you want. And before you know it, you're drowning in it.

This happened to me this semester, in a couple aspects of my life. I'm someone who likes to have everything settled, handled, and resolved. I was always really good at it, and in someways I still am. I like to think that I possess good judgement, especially of the people I choose to surround myself with. I'm careful with the people I trust, the friends I have. I'm especially careful about the men I date, due to past experiences. As a result of this I only have a couple guy friends who I trust. I've also always been a loyal person, I try to be that for my friends, family, and anyone else who I feel is worthy of that loyalty. And once I've given it, it's hard to take back. Once I'm set on something, it's hard to dissuade me. Because taking back that trust means admitting I was wrong and that I need to make an adjustment. I've seldom had to do that.

But this year has been an exception. I lost my cool, my chill, and a bit of my self respect. And for someone as self aware as me, that is the most embarrassing thing I've ever had to admit. I got swept up, tossed around, and may or may not have lost my grip.

But let's be blunt for a second here. Fact. This year I found myself somewhat "involved" with someone that I thought would be good for me. That was not the case. Unfortunately, it took a couple months for me to realize that. What I thought was genuine care for me, was actually something else entirely. It was a game, and I was lying to myself about that. I kept on thinking that if I gave it time and space, went slow, that we'd figure it out. But I wound up having to pull myself out of the situation entirely to spare myself any more pain.

And I had nothing to show for it except mild embarrassment and hurt feelings.

The scary part about new factors in your life is that they can be foreign and unpredictable. I found myself in a lot of new and unfamiliar situations this year. As someone who's still young and growing, I'm having to deal with managing those factors and I've found that I need to work on my judgement.

What's important, is that I know that. That I accept that this is something I need to work on. I've been faced with the recognition that I can't simply "handle" everything. Not everything is easy, I struggle with things that some don't. I've learned that self-assurance can be dangerous and self-awareness is underrated. When I feel that resolve wavering, i remind myself of these three things

1. You really are stronger than that which you face.

2. Regardless of how down on yourself you may feel, remember that you are only human.

3. You learned. You've accepted this. But all is not bleak because you've gained that knowledge.

Cover Image Credit: Alena Mayer

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I Struggle With Cystic Acne, But I Am No Longer Letting It Define How I Live My Life

Acne is a common struggle for a lot of people, but don't let it be how you define yourself.

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You only get one face and that's it. Your face is how others identify you, recognize you, and ultimately know you. Faces can bring back memories, good and bad. Faces have the power to inspire millions, express some of life's most difficult emotions, and show the joy that is so contagious it influences others.

What do you do when that canvas has been tainted? When the one thing that most people know you by, is the last thing you want them to know you by? Struggling with acne feels like a never-ending battle and it's so easy to want to give up and let it take over your thoughts and emotions. I have been wrestling with this sense of defeat for a few years and I don't think I'm the only one feeling this way.

Cystic acne is defined by Medical News Today as, "a severe type of acne in which the pores in the skin become blocked, leading to infection and inflammation."

I have determined that my cystic acne is caused by an imbalance in my hormones. Which makes it extra prominent during "that time of the month." It wasn't always this way; back in high school, I had small breakouts here and there. Unlike today it was nothing that made me want to skip class. Gradually my acne got worse and I didn't know why.

As I went through my college career I would have weeks where I would break out and then my skin would start looking better; only for it to break out again a week later. I am sure we all know the feeling of finally seeing a good skin day, then waking up to a huge zit forming on your chin. Nothing humbles you more than acne can. Wearing a cute outfit? Having a good hair day? That's nice, I bet it'll match well with a huge pimple as an accessory. *dramatic sobs*

Then I met my boyfriend, and if you are in a relationship and struggle with acne I am sure you know where I'm going. No matter how many times he says, "babe, you look gorgeous even without makeup" I still won't believe him. See here sweetie, either you're blind (which he's not he has impeccable vision, damn him) or you're lying because you can clearly see all the scars and pimples ALL OVER MY FACE. But thanks honey for trying to make me feel better! :)

I've come to realize this post is mainly a long list of me complaining about the struggles of having acne. But I know there is someone reading this that is hopefully saying to themselves, "Oh thank God I am not alone!" I have gotten to a point where I still don't know the best way to deal with my breakouts, but why should I let it steal my joy? Why should I let my acne cause me shame and discomfort when I know myself I am working to improve it.

In this season of my life, I want to learn to not hold myself back from being who I truly am just because I have acne. Yes, some days are REALLY hard and I can't even leave my room because I don't want people to see my face. But who knows how long it will take me to find a reliable cure. Months? Years? So why should I put my life and happiness on hold?

I want to encourage you to make peace with your appearance. Sometimes you can't control how you look and that's okay. This is all apart of the grand scheme of learning to love yourself, just as you are. Because I promise there is someone out there who sees you for who you truly are. And guess what? They absolutely adore you.

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