The Awkward Phase: Part I

Everyone goes through an awkward phase, unless you’re Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry or something. It’s inevitable; a fact of life. I think tall women get it worse, though, because there are so many factors working against us during this time. Not only are we just hitting puberty which is a big change in of itself but to grow 10 inches on top of that is a huge adjustment to make. And because we are so tall, we are usually the center of attention and that is not the best place to be when you are not comfortable with your body.

This is at the beginning of my growth spurt. I would say that I am about 8 or 9 here. My dad hates it when I say this, but I look like a boy!

I readily admit that I had an awkward phase from the ages of 9 to about 19.  I hit my growth spurt between the 5th and 6th grades. By the time I graduated 6th grade, I was 6ft tall and I wore a size 12 shoe. I just turned 11. Needless to say, growing so fast at such a young age, was more than just a little awkward. At a time when most kids haven’t started growing yet, I was taller than most adults. All my clothes and shoes had gotten too small and back then, there was not a lot of clothes that fit me and were appropriate for a 10/11 year old to wear. Sometimes I had to wear my mom’s hand me downs or worse, men’s clothes. We made regular trips to Sports Authority for tennis shoes (men’s sizes of course). I also started wearing glasses when I was about 9. They were blue and had these big round frames that took up half my face. My mom picked them out. (Thanks mom.)

I was long, gangly, a little shy and definitely didn’t feel attractive. I was teased a little with the occasional nickname: Shorty, Lady Godzilla, Jolly Green Giant, the Iron Giant and so on and so forth. I was hounded in school (especially middle school) by the coaches to play basketball. Every time they saw me they would tell me to come play. That didn’t really help persuade me. Now that I look back, I think that because so many people wanted me to play, I decided that I wasn’t going to. (I was a little stubborn.)

6th grade graduation, age 11. Notice how I tower over everybody else? It still amazes me.

I guess on the upside, everyone knew who I was. (I was hard to miss.) I was the tall one that could help you with your homework. I may not have had the best clothes or all the friends but I was not going to slack off in school. My mom made sure of that. (Thanks mom.) I graduated high school in the top 5% of my class.

I don’t think I really started to come out my awkward phase until I was in college. I started to find my purpose and felt better about myself and how I looked. But this is a topic for another post. So stay tuned for The Awkward Phase: The End. Feel free to share your stories on your awkward phase in the comments section below.

Check you later!

Elayna

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