Will there come a day when I like myself again?

You want to change the world but the world won’t change for you.

I wake up in the morning and wonder where I am. Come to my senses try to put my best face on. It’s not so easy before the sun rises. I’ve got to make an impression, got to be the one all the boys want. That’s what I’m talking about. You say it’s not true, but you don’t know the way they look at you. That look can mean so much, it can be everything.

You find the clothes that look best today. Whatever happened to my favorite pair of jeans, that comfy sweater that reminds you of rainy Saturdays and Monopoly? That doesn’t cut it any more. I dress with my back to the mirror, not wanting to know the latest. Maybe tonight I’ll be in better shape to face the music. I know what the magazines say, but my body doesn’t want to cooperate on Monday mornings. You wouldn’t cooperate either if you had to get up this early, with this little sleep, with this much to do.

By the time I walk out the door, I wonder if I’m really myself. I don’t listen to my mother’s makeup advice anymore. Nobody does. Someone from New York whom I’ve never met tells me how’s it done. That’s who everyone at school listens to, and I do the same. Once upon a time it was normal to be yourself. But no one’s interested in this self anymore. So I do what I can, I try my best to make myself presentable, acceptable, likable, lovable.

I never quite know if it works, if I can manage to pull the wool over their eyes, over my own eyes. Sometimes I just pretend it works, and ignore the fact that my pants are too loose or too baggy, that my shirt is too tight or not tight enough, showing too much cleavage or not enough, showing enough of my stomach or not enough. Sometimes I pretend my thighs are slim and my stomach is taunt and my breasts are just right. Sometimes I don’t give a shit.

Sometimes as I walk to the bus stop I wonder if I’ll ever look in the mirror and see myself again. I wonder if on the other side of the adolescent jungle is something worthwhile. I wonder if adults go through the same self-flagellation, or if we grow past this pathetic phase of gratifying total strangers and jilted popularity mongers.

Will there come a day when I like myself again?

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