Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Ugly Duckling wasn´t so Ugly After All.

So I spent my life believing I was an ugly duckling as a kid, and I come to find out that the boys at school thought I was cute AND smart? So all the kid and teen years of having complexes, being shy, believing I was too thin or too fat or too intelligent or not sharp enough were wasted? The years of therapy? Oh.My.God! I mean, really … Am I alone in this, or are there others like me? I wish I would´ve known. But then, instead of having my heart broken I may have broken one or two hearts myself … or maybe I did and I just don´t know about it!

When I first joined Facebook and people from my school years started popping up, I was sure they would be amazed at how outgoing and pulled together I looked compared to that hideous introverted bookworm they knew 30 years ago! Alas, that is not what they said! ¨You look as stunning as ever!” “You are just as beautiful and nice as you were in school!” “Oh, I used to pine for you” is what I got. At first I thought they were joking, then I imagined they simply did not remember me well. And after a good friend from back then wrote me today in an e-mail that “all the boys in our class thought you were the prettiest, but they were intimidated by your intelligence and maturity”, I had an epiphany.
Should I laugh? Should I cry? But wait ... How many other women are still feeling like ugly ducklings when they are in fact, beautiful swans?

I look at the picture of my sister and me when we were little, and then compare it to the recent picture of us and wonder what the heck happened in between. Why did we waste so many years, so much energy, so much LIFE thinking we were too thin, too fat, too ugly, too smart or too stupid? Couldn´t I have realized at 14 what I have come to know at 46? Namely that I was OK! We were both OK, Laura!

I want to go back in time and tell those two little girls above that they are fine, they are loved, they look perfect and that they are good, that they have what it takes. That things may not always go smoothly, but that they will overcome it all one way or another, and become very strong and capable women. I cannot go back and tell those little girls that, but I can realize now that I really never was Ugly Betty except in my head. I know for a fact that my sister wasn´t!
I can also tell the two little girls in the last picture, my beloved daughters, that they are OK, that they are beautiful inside and out. But … fortunately, they already know that. I hope that as they grow up, they don´t forget! I will certainly do my best to remind them!

1 comment:

  1. Qué verdades!!! Yo también me sentía fea y flaca, con gafas y aparatos en los dientes!! Sin embargo, si tengo el recuerdo de tu hermana y de tí pareciéndome princesas, con ese pelo rubio... Lo que es seguro es que, no tenemos la misma percepción acerca de nosotros mismos que la que tienen los demás y, desgraciadamente esos períodos tan vulnerables en nuestra adolescencia, en nuestra madurez nos lo hacen pasar fatal, innecesariamente!!! Bssssssssssss!!!