Do you ever catch yourself looking back through old photos of yourself & you think, “who in the world let me leave the house like that?” Well that’s me then and that’s me now somedays. Sometimes I’m shocked that Anthony will be seen in public with me because I am truly a candidate for the next What Not To Wear show.
When I was a child, I was a tomboy to the EXTREME. If my brother wore it, so did I. I lived in slicked back ponytails, Harry Potter circular glasses, a T-shirt, my pants that zipped off at the knees that matched my best friend Matthew Imbriaco, and my clunky Etnies. I was the epitome of fashion and good looks. (Insert crickets chirping here) because I was most definitely not the cutest girl in my 3rd grade class.
Middle school was not much better unfortunately. This was the time that I decided I wanted to be “girly” for the first time since I told my mom I was not wearing pink anymore at the age of 3. We went shopping in the little girls section and I picked out all the lovely bermuda shorts a 12 year old could dream of that came with those cute little sash belts. I wore my camisole under my Aeropostale T-shirt and I was living my best life. Again, I was not the top pick with the boys by any means but this was the time where boys and girls were blossoming and puberty was snatching people up left and right.
Now, middle school Bryce was not the curvy, crop top wearing, James Charles makeup palette wearing teenage girls you see today. I was thin. I was awkward. I had braces and a horrible haircut. I was extremely under developed and overall lacking in anything womanly unlike the rest of my friends. Middle school was ROUGH when it came to the whole loving your body image. I used to get made fun of so bad for the lack of filler in my T-shirt. I can remember specifically in my language arts class where a boy who shall not be named because he may or may not read this blog sat behind me and would say, “Roses are red. Tires are black. Why is your chest as flat as your back?” And I’d have to come up with something equally as clever like, “God made me this way so I can run fast for track. I’m build aerodynamically.” Which lets be honest, was probably not what the cool kids were saying back then.
But man, kids can be so mean! It’s hard enough being a 12 year old girl in a sea of friends who look like their 18 already surrounding you. It’s hard when your besties are dating someone new every week and the only thing you want is for someone to notice you, just once. I wanted all the boys who didn’t want me back. Story of my life till 18 & Anthony honestly haha But puberty was most definitely not my friend. She was brutal in all forms. She gifted me with acne and oily hair. She came with monthly torture and severe awkward moments. She was beauty and grace to my friends and an ornery stinker to me. It wasn’t till lately do I feel like I’ve finally blossomed into my own self at 25.
I’m still dealing with acne. I still have messy hair. I’m still under developed compared to most of my friends and I’m definitely no Miss Congeniality. Or if I am, I’m like pre-Gracie Lufreebush before she got her makeover. I’m a hot mess express but I look in the mirror and I see the 3rd grade girl who’s now a woman and I’m happy with all the changes I’ve gone through.
This body birthed a gigantic baby. This body has breastfed for 14 months so far. This body gained 18+ lbs and then shed them. This body has survived all the hurtful words and silly songs sung about it. It’s survived heartbreaks. It’s survived broken bones and surgeries. Sure, it’s taken a long time to get to a point that it’s ok with who it is. But that’s the beauty of change. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel after you’ve learned all your friends bought their first training bra years before you did. Whether you blossomed early or late, you blossomed exactly the way you meant to. And you’re beautiful. You’re perfect the way you are. Even if you’re 25 and currently sitting here with pimple cream on your face. You’re gosh darn BEAUTIFUL my friend.
And believe me, if I can survive all the torment I went through then I promise you, that you can do it too.
You’re loved. You’re strong. Your blossoming into exactly who God crested you to be. Keep on blossoming.