Fifth Grade

I was an absolute dork as a child. I had multiple bad and I mean BAD hair cuts, I was short and tubby, and I had more confidence than Donald Trump. I was very opinionated for my age. I think I really blossomed then. Which over the years looking back, I’ve always thought that was one of my most embarrassing phases. But now I envy who I was then.

Fifth Grade. Most of us are still not happy with our year book pictures, I’m sure not. For some reason that year I decided I knew exactly who I was. I knew what I wanted, and how I was going to do it. I wanted to be different, check. I wanted to be popular, check. I wanted to be confident, check. I wanted to be noticed, check. I wanted to be happy, check. I wanted all of these things and just by having the right attitude, I did it.

I guess we all look back and think fifth grade was a simpler time. It’s true. Our only worries then were; who’s the cutest boy in class, did I do my homework, do I have my shirt on the right way? In my heart then, I always knew that I would eventually go through puberty, even out, and my terrible hair cut would grow back. I was right. But how was I so sure of myself?

Was it really my mindset that made me so confident? It seems ridiculous, but the better looking I became over the years, the less confident I got. Of course this all has to do with more interest in boys and girl drama and the lovely phases of puberty but what excuse do I have now? I’m about 5’7, I weigh 114lbs, I can still wear shorts I had in fifth grade, my hair is longer, I don’t have braces anymore, I work out, I eat right, I have boyfriend who I’ve been with for more than two years, I have my own apartment, but my confidence is nothing compared to what it was as a fifth grader.

Back then I remember very vividly always doing exactly what I wanted. If I liked a shirt, I wore it. If I wanted to make a fool of myself I did it. I was always the friend in the group who would do any dare and anything to get people laughing, even in public, because I would tell myself, “you’re never going to see any of these people in your life ever again”. It was amazing. I had the same attitude all through middle school. High school, obviously, is where things get tricky.

After the first couple of weeks in high school I noticed how intimidating the upper class man were. Not only were they much prettier, more confident (or so I thought), and smarter, they just seemed better than me. It became much harder to be my goofy, non caring self, around all of these goddesses that walked the halls. I became more quiet. It was embarrassing to be the center of attention, especially if you weren’t the one drawing that attention to yourself. Boys were especially cruel in high school. For some reason they pretty much ruled the school. Girls become these quiet, self conscious creatures. And boys become these cocky, arrogant monkeys. The girls are constantly caring what the boys think. But the boys are still the same as they were in fifth grade.

Now I’m older, I went through high school, I became more confident, and now here I am again wondering who I am. All four years of high school I thought for sure I would know who I was by my senior year or maybe find out in college. I know the things I like and don’t like but I’m also very open to change. My mind is never closed. It’s constantly molded by outside opinions. Sometimes I wonder if my brain is made of literal play dough. I do care what people think. I don’t want to. Nobody really should.

I think social media makes our world so much more different than what it was in fifth grade. Back then we played on webkins not Facebook. Your social media appearance should’t matter. We need to get back to our fifth grade selves. We need to be kind like we were back then. I notice in public how everyone seems so timid. I would have literally gone up to any stranger on the street and started a conversation when I was 10. Now I’m 20 years old and have to recite my own thoughts in my head before I dare verbalize them. It’s like I have a rough draft as my initial thought, then I revise it…..revise it again, THEN I finally have it perfected and verbalize it (and some times still manage to stumble over my own words).

Yes I’m young. I’m still only 20 years old and have my whole life ahead of me. But that’s the thing, I don’t want to wait my whole life to have my confidence back. I don’t want to wait another 10 years to be comfortable with myself. Whoever you are, wherever you are, stop over thinking things. If you have something to say, say it! If you want to talk to a stranger about their cool hair cut, do it. Who gives a flying f*c%# about what anyone thinks but you. That’s all that matters and that’s all that will ever matter. You have all of the control. So let’s all go back to fifth grade because that’s what we all really want anyways.

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