A Day in the Life and Thoughts of a 28-Year-Old Woman

Hallie Gould

Middle school is perhaps one of the hardest time periods in life. You're going through puberty, unfamiliar hormones are surging through your body, and you feel weird all the time. You're certainly convinced you look weird, too. Popularity and blending in were two seemingly opposite but equal dreams—if you couldn't have the former it was mandatory to achieve the latter. I remember taking a chair from a different table and squeezing it in between two others just to sit near the cool girls. They wouldn't move their chairs to help mine fit. Nothing felt comfortable.

Recently, an uncannily astute seventh grader performed a poem about those feelings that struck me to my very core. I had a visceral reaction to every sentence, each word transporting me back to the times I straightened away my curls and put my newly-formed body on a diet. I couldn't believe the fearlessness it took to recite those familiar but perpetually hidden thoughts in front of her classmates. "Pick out an outfit that will fit in with the latest trends and won’t make you the laughing stock of the school more than you already are," she begins. "Don't forget to style your hair in elegant curls. You can't let everyone at school see how your hair frizzes up like an electrocuted monkey naturally. ... As you gaze into the bathroom, mirror you see a stranger that somehow stole your reflection and replaced it with a completely different girl." I'm gutted by her prose in that devastating I know exactly how you're feeling kind of way. She keeps repeating, "Why am I not good enough?"

Studies show standing out in comparison to peers, or deviating from the norm, often exposes adolescents to the risk of peer harassment. Results also conclude early developing girls are more at risk for peer victimization via malicious rumors and gossip. Both of those findings are associated with subsequent depressive symptoms and low self-worth in middle school age girls. In essence, science proves girls have it pretty rough during those years. Though, this girl's six-minute-long presentation had me wondering: Have our thoughts and insecurities changed since middle school? I decided to log every confident and anxious thought I had for a full day to find out and list them just like she did. Keep reading for the unfiltered life and thoughts of a 28-year-old woman.

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