Monday, June 25, 2007


I can't believe that it has been ten years since I graduated from high school. My own high school graduation has been on my mind lately for a lot of reasons--Partly because I had several young women graduate this year; partly because my mom brought to my attention how common it is for kids to cheat in school, and that a majority of the Valedictorians of my sisters' graduating years were cheaters; and partly because I got something in the mail telling me that my 10 year class reunion was being planned. Crazy.


So what has ten years done for me? Well, a lot. I feel like I am a different person in many ways. Here is one way:


I have finally started gaining confidence. Although throughout my life I have been blessed to know and feel like Heavenly Father thinks I'm super cool, I wasn't comfortable with myself for most of my youth. I remember being a little girl and thinking that I was different from the other girls (probably because they had hair and I didn't). I remember that as I got older I was always obsessed with the fact that I wasn't as pretty as so many of the girls around me. I remember that when I was with my family and my closest cousins or friends, I was fun enough, but when I entered a situation or environment with which I was not familiar, my personality was sucked right out of me and I had nothing to offer. I was always pretty smart, but for most of my years, being smart was not cool. And neither was being honest. I remember wanting to be rich like so many of my friends. I remember wishing I was more adventurous, more talented...Oh, man, I could go on forever. BUT the point is: NOW I know that I am cool.


I am finally comfortable with myself. I can go to the store without mascara. Heck, I can even go DAYS without mascara. (No one but those other unfortunate souls with short, totally blond eyelashes can understand this freedom.) I can wear a swimsuit and even get my hair wet. I can participate in conversation with people I don't know. I can respect and enjoy people who are different from me. I can laugh and be laughed at. I can recognize my weaknesses and appreciate my strengths. I can run a marathon. I can help a struggling boy get on a mission. I can say sorry. I can try new foods. I can admit my insecurities. I can perform in a talent show. I can do ten pull-ups. I can go a whole day without yelling. Woops! Thinking about my coolness is leading me to be a little deceitful. Those last three things were complete lies. The most important thing, though, that has contributed to my being comfortable with myself, is having a husband and almost three kids who love and appreciate me, and living in a place where I can't escape the opportunity to serve.

9 comments:

nikki said...

I remember you in high school, and even though we were not buddy buddy I thought you were cool enough. I think those feelings sort of come with the territory of adolescence. We all felt awkward and insecure in some way trying to fit in and compare ourselves to everyone else. It is great to be comfortable in your own skin and to know that weaknesses are normal and the people we thought were perfect... were so not. Adulthood has its blah moments but for the most part it is a glorious stage of life. I didn't go to my 10 year HS reunion mostly because I was in Greece. But I didn't really care that I missed it.

The Harper Family said...

Congratulations Ann! How far along are you? Did you know that Lisa Malan is having a baby too? I am very excited for you! Wow three. you'll have to let me konw how that is before I do it. I'm really struggling with how far apart to space the next one.
Anyway, I love your blogging. I think this is what it is all about. I have fun posting my pics of the girls but this deep insightful stuff is so much more growing. I just can't seem to take time enough to be that deep and so I really appreciate it when you and others do.
I am so passed those crazy adolecent years too. I recently had a very similar conversation with another friend. I feel that I honestly relate to most everything on your post. Insecurity was a huge issue for me. I always looked to admire you because you were so smart and I was so slow to catch on. Looking back I can see that I really just had very poor study skills and lack of confidence in my ability to learn and accomplish things. Always trying to fit in and not knowing how so I found myself being this social misfit. Thank goodness for growing up. I am so glad not to have all that pressure on me. Feeling good in your own skin is a wonderful thing.
I did not know we had a HS reunion coming up but I really have no desire to go. Maybe that is sad but I just assume leave that there. It is fun when you come to town though and we get our little group together.So are you going to go to the reunion?

Talltiffany said...

I am so glad you have a blog. It has been a year since I left Florence, and you literally were one of the coolest people there! It has been fun to read your blog and get updated on you and the family. I was recently up in Florence for a little family vacation. I wish I could have gone to church and seen everyone. That didn't work out. My grandpa was updating me on everyone though. I hope all is well.

Ann said...

Leela,

Thanks so much for your response. That is seriously so funny that we have decorated the same. Do you like to decorate? It is my favorite thing! I'm certainly no pro, but I'm learning. I'm always so jealous of women whose houses are decorated so well and they don't even really have an interest in decorating--I guess because it doesn't necessarily come easily to me. I think I am getting better with the placement of things, though. See...you mention something related to decorating and I get all crazy and excited to talk about it.

As for high school--yes. thank goodness it is over. However, I wish so bad that i could have gone through it with confidence. It would have changed my whole experience. Have you not gotten a little postcard thing in the mail asking you to confirm that the reunion planning committee has found you? Well, a while back, I noticed you were not on the alumni list (probably because you attended the Las Vegas Academy for part of high school) and so I added you. I hope you don't mind. You know, at this point, I'm actually really excited to attend the reunion--I think because I really do feel like a new person. I will be about 9 months pregnant by that time--but my doctor said that he'd let me go if i haven't yet started to thin or dialate. And I plan on sneaking on the plane. A friend told me that if you don't mention that you are pregnant, they won't ask about it, so it is rarely a problem...Anyway...Leela, I hope you decide to go. As for having three kids. Yeah, so I'm a little nervous about it. I've got a little over three months to prepare myself. Brian and I have wanted 4 kids or so, but this pregnancy came earlier than we were hoping or expecting. Darn that irresponsible night! Ha Ha.

Ann said...

Tiffany,

I have loved looking at your blog too! I will start making comments. I just feel kinda like a stalker when I am reading someone's blog and they don't necessarily know about it. But I guess you DID invite me to read it a while back, right? Well, that settles it. I am not a stalker. Do you mind if I add it as a link on mine? You and Joe seem to be doing so well! Oh, man. The girls are not going to be happy when I tell them that you were in town and did not come see any of us...You owe us big time!

The Harper Family said...

Yes, I absolutely love decorating! The problem is that I do not have enough rooms for all of the ideas I have and when it comes to kids rooms I go all out, even a little overboard maybe. I spend more money on my home than anything. It is horrible. I am slowing down though; partly because we don't plan on staying in this house and because the next house we are in I want to do a whole new color scheme. One of my hobbies is to go to model home and scope out ideas. Well, it used to be a hobby but I don't like dragging the girlsaround for that so it has been a long time.
The funny thing about our conversation earlier is that I started thinking about it and wonder if my confidence would hold up against seeing everyone again and if my lack of confidence would come back when I see these people because they know the old me. But the reality is, I think all of us, every single one; smart, pretty, popular, jock, etc... all of us were insecure. We were all trying to find out who we were and who we are. And HS isn't realistic to what life is about anyway. I wonder now though how to prepare my children for it. I think we can try to build their confidence by letting them develop their talents but they will still find that they compare themselves and wonder if they fit in. The most important thing I think is to teach them the values we know to be true so that they have something to stand up for. Their strong convictions will help define them and set them apart from the world around them. They will have a better prospective too. Hey, we turned out alright, yeah?

Ann said...

Leela,

Yep...we managed. I've worried about going to the reunion and feeling insecure all over again too, actually. I'd just have to pray before I went just like I had to do in high school.

Ann said...

Tiffany,

What is your blog address again? I think the email you originally sent with it was recently deleted. By the way, in the pictures on your blog, it looked like you have cut your hair. Is that right? It looks awesome!

Nicole Cave said...

I think all of us have felt those same familiar feelings of inadequecy and not fitting in. It is also funny how I have kept alot of the same friends that I had in High School ( I was so blessed to have good friends) But also friends that maybe I was intimidated by back then, I am not so anymore. I guess it is all just part of growing up. And also, even though alot of us had parents and leaders to teach us of our importance, you kind of have to figure that out on your own!! Now I just feel such an obligation to teach my own children and make sure they know just how COOL they are! I already admire them so much. Ann, when are you due!? Three gets a little crazy just as a warning. Don't say I didn't warn you!!