|A photo of me circa 1995. Taken within a year of my return from STL back to Tennessee. I always liked this picture my buddy Rob took of me. There were few pictures I liked of myself. I think I liked the sepia tone. Seemed to hide a lot.|
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places
It wasn’t just a country hit by Johnny Lee in the early 80’s aptly covered by Buckwheat on SNL. It can become a way of life for someone who can’t determine her own self-worth. And so it goes for probably 1000’s of young girls every year who enter college each fall: out there on their own for the first time; a little homesick; a
little lot more freedom; and looking to fill a void caused by all of
those conditions in addition to an engrained inferiority complex (be it self-inflicted
or otherwise). There’s an easy way to make
all of that go away and inflate your self-worth temporarily on a Friday night after
several beers and just the right college co-ed applying just the right kind of
attention at just the right time.
So often times it goes back to a generally universally accepted difference between the sexes. Females equate sex and emotion. Men do not. Is this true for ALL women and men? No of course it is not. However, for women with low-esteem and/or any kind of daddy issue whatsoever, they simply can’t fathom that a man who wants to have sex with them would possibly want to do so if he didn’t A.) find her completely attractive and B.) have some kind of feelings for her. And that’s the rub cause it just ain’t always so. Men, especially the young inebriated college kind, will have sex with women they A.) don’t find completely attractive and B.) have no feelings for. So, her Friday night validation turns into Saturday’s gossip, Sunday’s shame, and an addition to a lifetime of self-loathing and mistakes. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Ad nauseum. Yes, we can be that dumb many times over. Women who look for love in all the wrong places never seem to figure it out quickly enough.
So, college life didn’t do much for my self-esteem either. I was one of the 1000’s who was homesick with more freedom than she knew what to do with and trying to fill a void. Guarantee you that did
for my self-esteem issues. I arrived a
solid size eight and jumped to a 12 within two years. Any hope that furthering my education would
expand and/or change the critical view I took of myself, well, that hope was
dashed. The rigors and stress of
attending classes full-time and working full-time took a toll on me mentally
and physically. My health was sorely
lacking as a priority in my life and really took a dip during my sophomore
I began my sophomore year in college in August of 1993. By the end of the school year, I would have my dorm room broken into and all of my jewelry stolen; my bank account cleaned out by a less than choice selection in dating material; a complete black out on a final exam; and bouts with bronchitis, strep throat, and scarletina. To say it was not a good year would be an understatement, and, believe me, those were just a few of the highlights. The year left me drained, exhausted, and humiliated. Par for the course in my mind, I just couldn’t measure up once again to where I felt I should have gotten. The fact that I managed to skate through the second year with a cumulative GPA around a 3.5 after taking classes full-time and slinging burgers at the local McDonald’s 40 hours a week didn’t impress me. All I could see was each and every failure or thing that went wrong. I particularly couldn’t wrap my brain around why I couldn’t seem to find Mr. Right.
After two years in St. Louis, I tucked my tail between my legs, and headed back home to Tennessee for good. Surely, once I got back home things would look up. Maybe I could get to work on my health, get my mind straight, re-focus, and maybe even find Mr. Right. I did, after all, have a timeline to adhere to in my quest for the perfect life for the imperfect girl. I just needed to settle in back home, and get myself squared away. Things would work themselves out. That’s how it works, right? You just will it in your mind to go just how you pictured it should.
If I thought the last two years had been rough on my already damaged ego, I had no idea what was about to hit me right between my eyes. My quest for validation and my need for life to move along at its proper pace was really going to take me on a roller coaster. My motion sickness meter would be on full throttle without a Dramamine in sight. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Ad nauseum. Remember?