A Black Female Medical Student

Made Up Face to the World.

Posted on: September 19, 2011

So I have the tendency to be really hard on myself. I mean, I really beat myself up. My ex-bf would laugh at me because my standards for myself were extremely high, and when I would not meet them, I would really rag on myself. He thought it was so ridiculous.

But that’s my reality. I run in highly accomplished, very competitive circles. Which is great, because you are continually challenged to do better and to be better. But on the other hand you’re constantly comparing yourself to the next person, and if you’re competitive, you will always be trying to outperform the next person.

It gets tiring.

I’m trying to get out of that mindset, and just give myself a break. Not necessarily to rest on my laurels, but just ease up on myself a bit. I mean, you need to see me when I embark on a new project. I’m quite focused, very intense. Nobody ever sees, cuz I usually hole myself up in a corner to keep from being distracted, but yo…. there’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into my work. And then when its done, I kinda get up, rearrange my skirt and present my smiling face to the world… and go back to my normal, ultra laid-back, fun-loving self.

Speaking of this “face to the world”….

I am the biggest fraud I know. People really think I have my ish together. Its not like I try to put forth this false facade, but seriously no one could ever know exactly how scatter-brained and eff’d up I am behind closed doors. They would be frightened. So I keep it to myself. But sometimes, I get a glimpse of how people see me, and I cringe. Cuz I feel like a fraud. Like when I get a coffee and ask for no-whip iced caramel latte with a fruit cup, and I see the plus-size girl who just ordered the grande-mocha frappe with a big chocolate brownie glance over quickly and look down at her drink self-consciously, I cringe. Cuz I know what she’s thinking, look at this skinny girl with perfect skin and perfect shape, she probably eats right and exercises, she probably has great self-control and discipline… that’s why she’s so thin…but… I don’t. I just ate 7 wings and basket of french fries by myself. I have been putting off starting an exercise regimen for over 2 yrs now. The only reason I order my coffee with no whip is b/c I hate the texture of whipped cream. And I didn’t get brownie because I was afraid of making a mess of myself and getting dark brown stuff caught in my teeth. I love brownies, but I’m the messiest eater I know. I’m always getting stuff on my shirt and on my face. And the only reason why I’m skinny is cuz when I’m stressed out, I forget to eat. And I’m almost always stressed out. So I forget to eat all the time. Seriously. You know how people gain 15lbs when they start college? I lost 15lbs. Go figure.

But people see me as the gorgeous girl with the enviable figure, who has the nerve to have gorgeous skin and a great bone structure on top of that, with her Ivy-league educated self, with a medical degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the country, no actually… the world, haha…  decent closet full of clothes, makeup always done and well applied (and its drugstore makeup, never brand name), a cute, quirky sense of humor, cute boyfriend, always somewhere having fun on the weekend, bright future…. I’ve had several people tell me that they see me as the future [insert whatever  honor/accolade/prestigious position here]. Old white people always want to take me under their wing. And I want to just yell at them, do you even know what you’re talking about? How do you not see who I am? Have you seen my bedroom? Do you know what a mess it is? Do you know the last time I did laundry? The last time I cooked a real meal? Do you know how much I struggled through medical school? Through undergrad? Do you know how much public speaking freaks me out? Do you know how much I sweat during interviews? Do you know how much I doubt myself? Do you know how many times I’ve screwed up? Do you know how many times I’ve almost screwed up and would have had one of my friends not come through for me and helped me? Do you know how much help I need? Have you seen my love life? Do you know why I can get any guy except for the one I want? Do you know why I always have something to say except for when I NEED to have something interesting/intelligent/witty/thoughtful/insightful to say? Do you know how many nervous breakdowns I’ve had this year? Do you know that nobody knows this…. not even my parents? Not even my best friends?

I’m only writing this because I have a lot of people look at me and tell me they look up to me, and I want to tell them “Child if only you knew… you don’t even know the half.” Its embarrassing.

So whoever she is. That girl who everyone thinks has it all together, that everyone looks up to, that everyone thinks is so great and so perfect, and so ___________. I’m just going to let you know right now, you don’t even know the half. She’s probably not nearly as screwed up as I am…. there’s no way. But there’s probably a lot more going on than you think.

The only reason I could even think to post this, is because I’ve been on the other side. I lived my life on the other side. I was awkward, shy, no style, bad hair, dorky sense of humor… and then I don’t know what happened. Got through puberty, made it out of high school, grew some boobs, got a summer job and some better clothes, discovered EtOh, got  a little bit of confidence, and just blossomed I guess. Whatever happened, its like I’m in a different world now. Its like I took the red pill and could see the matrix for the first time. And once you do it, you can never go back.

Sometimes I want to go back. It might be better if I never knew. Its okay to not measure up if you don’t know that you don’t measure up, to not have to live with all the pressure. Its not so bad to live your life in a bubble… as long as its a nice, secure, well-ventilated bubble of your own design and making, what’s the problem? Why not just be happy?

Sigh… I dunno. I’m rambling. Its late. I have class in the AM and homework that I need to start tonight. Then I have studying that I literally put off all day and all weekend. Ugh.

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1 Response to "Made Up Face to the World."

Wow!!! I can SO relate to you!!! WOW! ALL of my girls will be reading this by the weekend!!!!!!!

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