When I was a little girl, my dad told me that, in order to be successful in life, I had to be smart and strong. As I grew up, society told me that I also have to be pretty. Magazines, and pop songs, and perfectly proportioned celebrities whispered in my ears that the best women were also the most beautiful. But who has time for all this? Now, as a 20 year old college student at UNC Chapel Hill, I realize that looks aren’t everything, and you can’t always be the smartest person in the room, and sometimes you’re going to have a crappy day and want to give up … and yet every morning I wake up with the same attitude. Every morning, I wake up thinking, I’m going to look amazing, come up with some really great ideas, and kick butt today or else I’m going to die trying.
Why do I have a case of almost reckless optimism? I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina (a lovely beach town with comfortable suburbs and one of the best doughnut shops in the country) and had an almost perfect life. I was fast-tracked into all of the classes for “highly gifted” children, did competitive gymnastics, ran cross country, played viola in the orchestra, taught myself piano, sketched and painted in my spare time, and never came to school wearing an outfit that hadn’t been meticulously planned. On days when I did something extra special, however, my dad always made sure to acknowledge it by fist bumping me and saying, “brain, brawn, beauty.” When I ran the mile faster than the boys, “brain, brawn, beauty.” When I was recognized in the newspaper for academic achievement, “brain, brawn, beauty.” When I came down the stairs dressed to the nines, “brain, brawn, beauty.”
Of course, in reality, I was like, a medium sized fish in a droplet of water. By the time, I stepped onto my college campus as a freshman, I looked around and everyone was so much more perfect than me, I had to wonder where all of these insanely beautiful, fit-spiration geniuses had come from. I tried to keep up with these superhumans but it never seemed possible. When I aced a test, I looked like a zombie. When my makeup was on point, I had been eating ramen for days and my body was basically just a salty noodle. When I found time to get to the gym, it meant skipping an assignment and regretting it later. What’s worse, my dad had died just a couple months before my freshman year started and all those validating fist bumps were gone. So what to do?
I’ve started this blog as a way to better myself. Here, I will be writing three posts per week, documenting my journey of becoming less of a piece of garbage, and more of one of those smart, pretty, strong, funny, amazing people that I keep meeting. Or at least a slightly more attractive, fit, smart piece of garbage than before. Either way, I’d like to come out of this journey looking like an adult woman who has it all together. And if you want to become that kind of person also, I suggest you read this blog and watch me struggle. That way, you can watch me try all sorts of new things so you don’t have to. And then just steal/try the stuff that works.
Please, thank you, and you’re welcome,