This post was made in 2009, where I try to come to terms with my teenage self by comparing everything I did to the contestants of America’s Next Top Model. I don’t know why, but until I wrote this post I never had any peace with the person I was before I struck out on my own.
You know the I LOVE JESUS girl on America’s Next Top Model? The one who constantly cried and screamed about how she loved Jesus, how the burning sensation you have in your loins for men should be for Jesus? When the other ladies called her out on being a drama queen she said ‘I keep to myself and mind my own business.’ and everyone in the home audience and in the room with her was like ‘yeah OK not true.’ She loved to make a giant drama stew, adding in enough obnoxious behavior that everyone from every cohort of life would be offended, then claim she was minding her own business. I was that girl in high school. This girl on this random TV show is the closest mirror image of my teenage years that I have ever come across– how in the world did I have any friends?
I was overly dramatic and loved to exaggerate. I would always talk about wanting to be left alone, but do outrageous things I knew would keep me in the lime light. I have no idea what I was fighting against internally, maybe just being a teen?
There was another girl in the finals that struck me as similar to my needy high school self. She kept talking about how mature she was, and how she tried to keep herself hidden while at school. She followed this up by claiming she used a dirty rusty wheel barrow to carry her books around the school, but couldn’t understand why people talked about it/her. That was me, too. I loved to make a scene but pretend I wasn’t doing it on purpose, acting shocked when people dared to notice my “normal” behavior. Were all teenage girls that messed up?
This show made me realize that the reason I get so uptight and defensive when people call me a drama whore now is because I used to be that, and it took a lot of work and effort to stop being a centrifugal force of drama. I still rarely see middle ground and instead jump to extreme conclusions (I messed up once, he isn’t going to love me anymore,… I yelled at Twinkle, now she will grow up to be a drug addict because I didn’t care enough… I missed a deadline at work, I should take home all my stuff in case i get fired tomorrow…) and most of the time my conclusions are extremely off base. But at least I don’t purposely make situations more intense/worse/weird through exaggeration and drama.
I know no one cares what you did in high school, and that it doesn’t really matter in adult life. I get that. Once in a while, though the pictures of myself from back then just creep into my consciousness and make me wonder out loud how I could have ever been that person.
When I wrote this I was days from shutting down a different public blog thanks to the commentary I received regarding my drama-loving tendencies. In honesty this post was more of a step 1 then a pronouncement of personal growth. When confronted with the image of someone I found both thoroughly disgusting and strangely similar to my younger self I knew I needed to make more changes. I cut people out of my life that inspired drama and anger, I took a different approach with the people I couldn’t cut out of my life, ignoring ingredients of drama and meditating on the positive instead. And I realized that maybe a small part of me did really like the gasps I received when I told our family’s story.
Thanks, America’s Next Top Model, for being the unexpected source of introspection I needed to change my life.