Through my journal, I was reminded of some of the truths about Teenage Britt. Here are some of them:
She was an avid journal keeper.
I filled many journals from the time I was ten until I was about 22, so it's no wonder one of them was the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Journal. As a young adult, I carried a journal with me to church each Sunday and wrote in it before sacrament meeting started. It was around the time I became pregnant with Nicky that I stopped keeping a journal. That was about the time I started blogging, so that's probably why I stopped keeping a hand-written journal. I still have one, but I only write in it a few times a year.
She was very self-conscious about her face.
I had terrible acne when I was a teenager. I tried every over-the-counter and prescription acne treatment known to man. I think my body was composed of 10% salicylic acid by the time I turned 20. Nothing worked. I was always trying to cover my face, but I couldn't afford fancy make-up, so I just caked on the cheapest Cover Girl foundation I could find. I avoided swimming pools like the plague, and if I had to get in water, I never let my face get wet.
I finally found a prescription that worked when I was in my twenties. It was called Evoclin, and my insurance didn't cover it, so I had to pay about $120 for it. Now they make a generic version, and it's much more affordable. My skin cleared up and stayed clear as long as I was proactive about using the prescription. After that, I tried to get rid of my scarring through chemical peels. They didn't really help.
I used Evoclin until I was about 27. Then I went off it, and my face remained (mostly) clear. I still have minor scarring, but for the most part, my face has healed. I still get zits but not like I did as a teen and young adult.
She didn't get asked to high school dances.
I never got asked to a dance at my school.
She made some really weird date choices.
I didn't go to any boys' choice dances, but I went to all the girls' choice ones, and I asked some really strange boys. One time it was a boy who worked at Chick-Fil-A in the mall. I don't know why... he wasn't interested in me at all. Our relationship was purely customer service oriented - I bought chicken nuggets from him on my lunch break from work. He said yes, and we went, and it was incredibly awkward. Then when I was a senior, I asked a sophomore to Senior Ball. Again, incredibly awkward.
I don't know what my thought process was.
She was a liar.
Until I was about 25-27 years old, I was very dishonest. I must have very desperately longed to change this as a teenager because in my Chicken Soup journal, I mentioned several times that I wished I were more honest.
I have some pretty good ideas about why honesty was a struggle for me, but I wont go into it. It's something that took a long time to overcome, but I did it. I believe I'm an honest person now.
She couldn't function without boys.
As a child and as a teen, I put way too much stock in boys. I was always longing for someone, anyone to like me. It wasn't just a crush or "taking interest" in the opposite sex. It was absolute desperation. It was pathetic and sad. I don't know how it looked to the observer, but I know what I experienced and felt at the time, and I don't think it was healthy.
She had amazing friends, but she didn't know it.
I am still very close to a lot of my friends from high school. Not all of us see each other regularly, but we try to meet up with at least once a year, and we have a great time.
She had questionable hygiene.
Of everything I could tell you about my teenage self, this is, by far, the most embarrassing. I had terrible hygiene! I did not bathe nearly as often as I should have. I washed my hair and face, and that's it. AND... I was on the dance team! Which means I sweated for hours and hours each day.
I also rarely washed my clothes, and I always slept in them. I never wore pajamas. Sometimes I didn't even take my shoes off.
I was probably the stinky kid, and I was clueless. No wonder no one asked me to dances!
She was good overall.
Even though I lied a lot and might have been smelly, I was a really good teenager. I did well in school, I was responsible, and I stayed out of trouble.
She held herself back.
I was a very timid person (still am). I wanted to try out for the school play or be in the choir. I would have loved to do student government or play volleyball or basketball. I was so incredibly scared of failure, that I never let myself try anything. I still struggle with this, and I worry that I've projected it onto my kids.
She had incredible faith.
This is the one thing I still can't wrap my mind around when I think of myself as a teenager. I had such a strong testimony. I studied my scriptures diligently and carried a Book of Mormon everywhere I went. I lived for Personal Progress and seminary (even though I sluffed sometimes). I listened to spiritual music more than secular music, and I went to church alone a lot of the time.
There was something in me that was very spiritually mature. Sometimes I wonder if I was better at it then than I am now.
Teenage Britt had a few strengths, but I am so very glad that she doesn't exist anymore. I occasionally pay tribute to her by jamming to N'Sync or telling "Back in my day" stories, but I always follow those events with a big sigh of relief that I never have to be a teenager again!