“L” is for Loser

swingaloneHey. Wanna know a secret?

Ever since fourth grade, I’ve been scared to wear the same outfit twice. 

Yeah. Like, not just “Oh, I wore that outfit yesterday so I won’t wear it again today.” But, like, “Oh, I wore that outfit last month, so if I want to wear that shirt again, I need a different scarf or different shoes.”

That sounds kinda pathetic. Okay, reading it, it sounds really pathetic. And totally shallow. But, let me give you some background.

I was always a kinda dorky kid. An adorable kid, but a dork nonetheless. I parted my hair down the middle, wore polka dots with plaid, and watched “Arthur” until the 7th grade. I never gave much thought to fashion and figured any dress automatically looked pretty, so I was never too picky about clothes. If I liked a shirt, I would wear it every day, until my mom finally forced me to throw it in the wash. Yeah. I was that kid.

All of that changed when I moved and switched schools. I no longer had the security of an equally dorky (and totally fantastic) best friend. I was suddenly surrounded by a bunch of cool kids. Kids who “dated” ,and listened to Hilary Duff, and shopped at THE stores like “Justice” and “Claires”. My “Arthur” -watching, plaid-and-polka-dot wearing self, was totally out of her element. I finally realized that I was indeed, kinda weird.

I wanted to fit in SO badly. I remember coming home, crying, because I just wanted to belong but had absolutely no idea what to do. I was a wannabe. An unhappy, awkward, lovable wannabe who was really quite awesome–I just didn’t know it.

So you can imagine how crushed I was when one of the cool girls gave me the once-over look and snootily said, “You always wear the same outfits. Don’t you, like, know how to shop?” 

Apparently, every other 4th grade girl cared about fashion a lot more than I did. Still–those careless words stung more than a slap in the face. I was devastated. Like, came home and cried my 10-year old heart out. It was the ultimate rejection. Because of my lack of fashion sense, I was deemed unworthy of the people I so desperately wanted to be friends with.

I still didn’t really know how to dress. But that didn’t matter. Suddenly I was all about trying to look good and throw together different outfits that I thought others might like. Hoping to earn acceptance from my peers, I began to live to please others.  I became trapped in this fear of being rejected. Of never being good enough. Of being discovered as the dork I really am. (Because, lets face it, everyone has an inner dork).

Even though those 4th grade divas are long gone, and I’ve grown so much in understanding of the Lord’s heart and who He created me to be, I’ve noticed that some of that old fear still lingers around. I still find myself wondering if everyone else will like my outfit, or if I’m funny enough or smart enough or cute enough to hang out with a certain group. I feel that nervous, quirky, I-just-want-to-be-liked, 10 year old girl coming out. She’s my inner wannabe. (And, no, I’m not talking about Spice Girls, here).

I’m willing to believe that most of us have an inner wannabe. Some may feel it more than others, but at the end of the day, we all have insecurities and we all long to feel accepted and loved. Wannabe moments and the desires to feel important and treasured, aren’t necessarily bad though. They’re opportunities to draw closer to the Father. However, most of us don’t like these (really vulnerable) feelings, so we tend to push them aside or try to figure out how to “not care”. But…frankly, that seems like a waste of time.

The real questions we should be asking are, how am I currently navigating those insecurities and longings?  And, how should I be navigating all of those feelings?



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