When I was in junior high I had braces with a medieval contraption called mouth gear that wrapped metal around my head, secured with an elastic band around my neck. I was short. I had stick straight jet black hair and didn’t look like any other kids in my all white school. I wore hand me downs and goodwill dollar bin clothes. I felt uglier than any child ever on the face of the earth. One day a pretty popular girl told me I looked like a cow when I chewed my gum and I felt her insult to my core.
Junior high is pretty universally accepted as a time of torture for most children. Our insecurities flared and we tried to camouflage them with wearing identical clothing. The lucky kids had name brands and no acne.
The challenge is that many of us never outgrow junior high. We still feel like the weirdest, most awkward kid in the room. No matter who we are we feel like we stick out like a lightbulb in black room. We try to hide our insecurities with charisma and wittiness, but fail to believe it ourselves.
As an adult who is educated, talented and beautiful Korean American I still feel that way some days – like everybody is looking at me, judging me, when I enter a room.
But its time for a change of perspective. We have been gifted with uniqueness, not weirdness. We have been given distinction, not difference. Life has offered us beauty in all forms and we make it ugly by comparing ourselves with each other.
I’m not the weirdest girl in the room anymore. I may be mentally ill, I am still short and my hair still doesn’t look like most other people I know. I wear athletic clothing all the time even though I don’t have the body of an athlete but I’m not weird. I’m blessed and special in God’s eyes and in the eyes of those who love me. That is something I will celebrate!