.
While the average young adult was cramming for mid-terms, I was lip-synching to Def Leppard and Bon Jovi on stage.
When I first started stripping at nineteen, I was too young to dance topless. I shook my tail-feather in nothing more than a string bikini while wearing a halo of denial and naiveté. The type only a drug addict could know.
Selling $5.00 a dance in-between performances, I provided some PG-Rated entertainment for lonely military boys stationed on O’ahu.
Looking at this photo reminds me just how young I was. The look on my face says it all. Channeling my inner supermodel, trying to convince the world I was worthy.
I still have occasional periods of feeling less-than. The difference now is, instead of trying so hard to convince myself of my worth, I let go and remember…I’m already there. 

.
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“I am older than I once was, younger than I’ll be and that’s not unusual.” ~ Paul Simon
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Here’s the part where you tell me: Where were you at nineteen?

21 comments

  1. At 19, I was in college discovering very important things like how learning the complexities of Medieval literature has absolutely no impact on your adult life, but learning the complexities of beer-pong does.

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  2. Awesome! You touch on something that's all too familiar. The certain days where we don't feel like we can conquer the world anymore. I'm going through that right now. At nineteen I was in college studying film, still dating my high school boyfriend, living 30 miles from home. I had no idea how much would change a year later. I moved to LA, knew no one, and jumped into the pool of sharks…

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  3. I may not be much, but I'm all I think about….and that less than thing, when I was on top of the world, I'd wait until somebody'd notice and call everyone else's attention so they could bring me down.At 19 I was still learning how to mess up a good thing.

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  4. At 19, I was in college. And like you in that picture, I was young and glorious and I had never felt it, not a day in my life. It took a long time to feel that way. And now I look back at silly mistakes and my lack of self esteem and it is one of my only regrets, that I didn't have the power within myself to understand the importance of me. I know now and I make sure every day my three daughters understand that. We may have fought a good, long hard-earned battle for women's equality but I think we have yet to win the war on empowering girls and lifting each other up. You were beautiful in that picture. You are even more so now. Because you finally believe in that girl. Beautiful, as always, Christine.

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  5. At 19 I was newly married and looking forward to a brief career, as I fully expected to have a bunch of children and be their mom.Today, I never had children, am widowed, own a small business and have worked all my life.All my adventure in life happened after 50.

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  6. @Hipster – Isn't it amazing to look back? How brave of you! @Fishy – Thanks (I think?). I'm a sturdy broad. @IT – I think you just described Youth. Wow – well said. @Joanne – I can tell you are an amazing mom. Those young women are blessed. Thanks for the lovely comment. xxoo@Charlene – I applaud you and your survival. 🙂

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  7. Ugh, a month after I turned 19 I had my 2nd child. Just 1 year, 1 month and 2 days after the first one. I wouldn't trade them for the world, but things could have been SOOOO much different. Such is life I suppose….

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  8. At 19, I was shaking my uncovered tatas for mostly men 10+ years my senior and face down in a pile of white powder joking with my "friends" about how we'd quit doing drugs when we're ready. She moved on to Vegas (and meth) and I moved on to a pacemaker at 21. I'll be 30 in July, clean for 9 years and starting my sophomore year in college. What can I say, I was a late bloomer in the responsibility department. Definitely, wise beyond my years in the life experience department.

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  9. At 19, I was a college student who was insecuree, naive, scared, bullied by hallmates, friendless. I hardly ever studied, avoided family, broke up with anyone who I sort of became friends with. I was never in the present; in fact, I don't have very many memories from those days because I always resisted feeling. I always blocked everything from myself. 9 years later, today, I'm married with a baby. I feel a lot better than before- enough so that I can recognize how ill I was, and from reading all your stories, I feel like better days are ahead of me.

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  10. I must say, this got me misty eyed. I thought that this kind of things only happened in the movies.It's really nice to see how different your life is now. When I was 19, I was just starting college and went on a drinking binge since I never had a taste of it.Now that I'm four years older, I know better. This is inspiring. Thank you!

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  11. At 19, I was in the exact same boat as you. I look back on that insecure, angry girl and I hardly recognize her. I wasn't meant for that life; no one really is. I am forever changed by those experiences because of the knowledge I gained, but so grateful that they don't define who I am today. Ten years later and I'm now a wife, a Mommy and an aspiring writer full of hopes and dreams. Thanks for sharing your story; I relate so much!

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  12. At 19, which isn't too far off from today, I was a completely different person. I had let everyone up to that point in my life walk all over me. I was shy, was afraid to say "no" and had many friends I knew wouldn't be there for me for everything. After being hurt several times from a lying boyfriend, two not-so-best friends, and some seriously brutal college professors-I'm now outspoken and have created a completely different image of myself. I feel like I can relate to you in that sense. Thanks for this post.

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