In 6th grade, I was unbearably uncomfortable with my body. I thought I looked ugly, misshapen, with a back that reminded me of monsters in children's stories and a long pale face that smiled grimly to frame bright blue braces. I had long brown hair that was nothing extraordinary, and my failing eyes required glasses which i thought completed the look of an old spinster with funky teeth. But the next year I got a scooter and I felt more confident with myself. I thought it made me a better person, less self conscious, more free to focus on my personality towards people and less on how my back affected my looks. But then people started commenting on how I walked less. My aid at school told me I waddled like a penguin, that I didn't smile and that I shouldn't laugh the way I did; she said it threw people off and pushed them away. So I stopped laughing, I stopped smiling and I stopped walking in front of people I thought would judge me. And again i became more aware of what I looked like and what people thought of me. I couldn't understand why something so coveted as boobs and good teeth made me feel so awful and caused so much pain. But I moved that year, and my braces came off. I stopped getting a kick in my confidence every time I went to school. I became more independent, and I found activities I loved and people that I could relate to, and wasn't afraid to bring home. I was still self conscious, but much less so than before.
Camp helped a great deal with that. Texas told me it was OK to roll instead of walk, and that there were other people like me who were comfortable with who they were, even at waist height, and didn't care what their mode of transportation was. The first year I worked at Pine Tree let me know that I could hold a job I loved and that I could be good at it, I could be independent and I could work with other people.
College was a different story, and what started off as nerves turned out to be paranioa. I was afraid of being rejected, being alone, being homesick, and failing myself and my family. Towards the end of the year I just fell apart, because so many medical problems happened at once and I just couldn't keep up. But then I got my boob job, and no matter how against I am towards plastic surgery, I have never felt more confident in my own self. I never knew how much my boobs dragged me down, and I never knew how much my self image affected my everyday life. C's are so much better than D's and a butt that is bigger is better than no butt at all. I like myself a little bit more now, and even though you can never stop improving, I'm now at that point where I can be proud of the body I have.