“You can be whoever you want to be”

I can’t remember who said it, but someone said that to me recently. On my year abroad, I’ll be in a new place with new people, no one will know me. And I can be anyone I want to be. I wonder if it’s true, if without expectations, I can be a different kind of me. I don’t want to be someone I’m not, but at the same time I don’t want to be the me that I am here, at the moment.

I have realised I’m going to have to do something before I go to Germany. I am working in a school with kids up to 16. It would not be ok for me to be mistaken for a student… I am 20, 4 years older than the oldest pupils.

But I look so young. I am frequently told I look about 15… And when I went into my boyfriend’s work, someone asked him who I was, and said that I looked about 12. That’s not nice. And I think this is definitely a major factor in my lack of confidence.

Body image is a difficult one, a lot of people struggle with it. I don’t know if I see the me that everyone else sees, but I don’t like it… The list of criticisms about my appearance is endless. I feel so ugly, and no amount of reassurance from S or anyone else helps.

So my plan for before I get to Germany? I’m going to try and get a new style, hopefully so I look closer to my age. Everyone always says “You’ll be happy that you look young in a few years”, no I won’t. The chances are I won’t still look young when I get older, but right now it is incredibly difficult to be taken seriously when I look this young.

I hate it that I look so much younger than I am. I am a quiet, anxious and cautious person anyway, but the fact that I look so young takes away even more of my confidence. Why would anyone take me seriously when I look about 15?!

And so my plan starts tomorrow – I have booked to go to the hairdressers tomorrow afternoon, and I’m going to ask them if they can do something (ANYTHING) to make me look a bit older less young!

And I think I’m going to have to try and dress older too. It is easy to wear comfortable stuff – jeans, jumpers etc, but that doesn’t help with me looking young. So with the exception of the elephant jumper I bought the other day (Who could say no to an elephant jumper?!) it’s probably time to start buying clothes to suit my age.

I would love to feel good about myself. There is only one time that I can remember that I thought I actually look good. And that was when I did a photoshoot with artist, and I had loads of make up on and the photos were edited… so it wasn’t even really what I looked like. But in those photos I look confident. I would love to have confidence. I would love to walk along the street without looking down at the floor as I walk. I would love to walk into a room and not be scared that people might be looking at me.

I have a very low self-esteem. In my eyes I will never be good enough in any way. I don’t know how to change this but I’ve decided it needs to change. I want to feel good about myself.

So this summer things are changing in Ellie-land, I wonder if I can pull it off…

2 thoughts on ““You can be whoever you want to be”

  1. bpshielsy says:

    I agree with those that say in a few years you’ll be glad you look younger, but then I read on & saw you disagree. Soooo, why not look at it like this, if people look at you as younger & not be taken seriously, use it to your advantage. People may underestimate you, which allows you to get a step ahead & surprise them.

    Also who cares what people think of you. I know its hard to get into that way of thinking, it took me long enough. Remember what you’ve achieved so far, getting in to uni, completing your first year & successfully getting a placement abroad for next year. All this whilst suffering from anxiety. Just think what you can do when you start to control your anxiety better 😀

  2. WeeGee says:

    A new image is great – I’ve always thought the clothes you wear should refelct ‘you’ in some way….. I guess my point is remember to actually be you – you can’t hide behind your hair and clothes and stuff. Also – people’s perceptions are a lot less about the way you look than the irrational, insecure brain would have you believe.

    I’ll tell you what though…..looking young isn’t always a bad thing. I always looked young for my age and I hated it but I promise when you hit your thirties it turns in to a blessing 😉


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