|The kanji for worth (with thanks to about.com)|
Sometimes, this is where on earth I just put the cordless phone I was holding five seconds ago. Other times, it’s the fact that, when I was in jr. high, I was so terrified about getting a good grade in a class I already had an A+ in that I seriously tried to steal my mother’s books to get extra credit. It’s survived now as a funny story, but at the time I was so desperate to get an A that the fact I already *had* an A didn’t console me in the slightest.
Looking back from the peaceful vantage point of relative well-adjustment, I can see that I was so desperate to be the smartest because I was absolutely desperate to prove my worth to the people around me. I couldn’t fit in with the other kids, and felt that the fact I didn’t even really want to – I was lonely, but they were stupid – was another flaw in me somehow. But I was smart. I was smarter than any of them. And if I could keep stacking up those As, I could show the world just how wrong they were to dismiss me.
Now, I’m not nearly so desperate anymore. I’ve found people who can see my worth without me having to prove it to them – not many, true, but as many as I need. More importantly, I can see my own worth clearly enough that I don’t doubt it anymore. And I wish more than anything that I could reach back in time and convince my teenage self of that very thing. Maybe even hug her.
She’d deserve it.