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Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lessons We All Should Have Gotten As Girls

This is not just an opportunity to shamelessly exploit the awesomeness of Jon Hamm. Not completely anyway. In this short video Hamm addresses the questions and concerns of a few teen girls about everything from passing gas in front of a boy (something I STILL hate to do!) and what's up with the guy who doesn't want to take things further faster, "Slow your roll" he advises the girl.

The thing is, for too many of us how we feel about ourselves is based on how boys/men (for some that moniker of boy never changes) feel about us. What I love about this is Hamm is encouraging girls to be cool with who you are. All on your own.

Why is this message so muddied and so hard to learn? I am a grown woman, I own a home, I have a career I love, I am attractive, kind, have lots of all accounts a successful life. I have many friends in the same boat. So, why is it so much of how we feel is based on a guy liking us????

Why should the temperature of our self esteem go up or down depending on what some guy thinks? Maybe if we had more guys in our lives who, like Hamm, giving us the message during those impressionable years telling us, "The world is your oyster." Who cares is Johnny in seventh period chemistry doesn't think you're all that, screw Johnny, love yourself, sister.

It's taken me until well into mid-life to finally begin to get that message - how wonderful and lovable I am is not based on a guy's opinion. It's a message I wish I had gotten sooner.

I came across a picture of me taken the summer before I turned 15, and when I saw it I remembered thinking I was fat and ugly. I was not.

How I wish I could have seen what I see in her now - a pretty, sweet, and lovely girl, who sadly had many years of battling her demons ahead of her. How I wish I could tell her not to waste her time worrying about what guys thought and to spend that precious time figuring out who she is and what makes her happy.

For girls like me who did not have a dad, it's especially crucial to make sure that message gets received. When Hamm says at the end. "I'm a 41-year-old guy, you don't have to listen to me, but it might be in your best interest to," he's right. Girls can learn from words like his. The thing is, the guy worth your time and love is the guy for whom you are perfect. Just as you are. But you have to decide you're perfect first. No one else can give you that. Know you are a catch and you are the decider. Don't focus on a guy picking you, figure out if he's worthy.

Someone very special to me with whom I had a relationship helped me get that. He told me I had to decide if someone was worthy of getting to be a contestant in the game of getting to date me. Be that decider. Don't settle, don't compromise.

I'm finally getting it. Accepting being loved for myself - not a thinner, prettier, less angsty version on me. It's taken me all this time to realize I am enough. Just as I am. And so are you.

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