Saturday, June 30, 2012

"You look so young!" Ehhh

So I'm going to be honest.... I am so tired of not being taken seriously because I look young. I'm tired of looking like I am still in High School, especially since I feel like I've had way, WAY more life experience and maturity of someone twice my age. It's really, really frustrating. And before you go and leave a comment saying that I will really appreciate looking younger when I get older -- please don't. I know that I will be very grateful later on in life when I still look long... but right now it's terribly frustrating.

And for me... it really isn't an issue of vanity. It isn't at all. Much more than that.

Even though it's starting to bother me a little bit now, overall I guess I don't so much mind when people tell me that I look young. What DOES bother me is when I voice my opinion I get brushed off. When I try to show my competency in something they will go to someone else because I'm young and so therefore I wouldn't know. When I try to show compassion with something it's "cute" because I'm a young girl trying to comfort someone instead of an adult trying to comfort someone my age or just slightly older. As I said, I just don't get taken seriously and it bothers me -- a lot.

I think that people assume that I am still in HS and so I don't really get a chance with things... such as expressing my opinion, or even commenting on something that means a lot to me. I often times get overlooked when I am in a setting of adults that I have never met before. Even if these adults are only 5 years older than me... I still get treated like I'm in High School and oh, I don't belong there. People talk PAST me and not TO me.... Often times it's like I'm non existant.
Also because I look young, I think that people who know me forget that I am really 21, I've had tons of life experience, I'm extremely mature and rational, even though they know my age. I have had experience with more than one adult who treats me like they are my mother or something of the like. Granted I know that they are my elders, but sometimes I feel like I'm not being treated respectfully, and rather than be treated like a kid, I should be treated like a peer because of my, for lack of better words, ability and maturity level.

I think some of this comes from my confidence level, honestly. When Spence died I lost A LOT of my self confidence. It definitely was building up when I was with Spencer -- but now I've lost a lot of ground. I don't hold myself as confidently, I don't speak up when in a crowd as much as I used to, I don't hold eye contact as frequently, I always judge myself around other people... I'm not thin enough, she's prettier than me...etc, things like that that I KNOW I need to continue working on. But it's hard to do such a thing when I don't have the constant reassurance that I had from Spencer. I haven't actually heard the phrase, or anything similar, "Nikki, you're beautiful" in 10 months... ever since Spencer got critically ill - that's a hard blow. Just something else that I lost when I lost my husband. He was also very good about encouraging me and pointing out my strengths -- very good at that. One thing I miss. I was really starting to actually, truly see it for myself... all of my strengths.... when Spencer was alive. He always reminded me the "fake it until you make it" type of thing. Because eventually I would believe it if I just lived as I did. It's true - it was working. I'm just sad I've regressed. I just have to keep replaying his words over and over in my mind. It's hard, but hopefully I can return to gaining ground on my confidence issue instead of losing it.


  1. Nikki,

    Here's one for you. I am 21 as well, but people think I am 27. Others think I am 19. Do people take me less/more seriously for this? No, it kind of doesn't matter. Which is weird, because in the male realm, it definitely matters. So, the things I have learned to do is dress professionally and try to learn to be confident. It's hard to go into meetings, especially political or business ones, with just men at the table. But if I came in professional, and with a confident air, then I am a little better off. At first, I usually only assert my thoughts when I know them to be entirely wanted and accurate, and over time, I am more myself. But yeah, when people first know you, and even after, they will see you as younger than you feel. 'Tis the curse of being a woman, but if you work hard and shine over your peers, you can somewhat escape the world. And ignore what other women do and look like. They are in the same boat as you, and you want to get into the ship with the elders, where the mind matters.

  2. -hugs- I sooo get the 'you look so young' thing. It's SO frustrating. People tend to think I'm about 17... and the same, they don't bother taking me seriously or asking me to do things. I'm 22 years old!! And have been through things a lot of people twice our age haven't as well. So, so irritating. I'm trying to see if I can dress a bit older and carry myself more confidently to see if that makes a difference - I'm thinking if other people think I'm older treat me as such, then hopefully it might increase my confidence a bit.
    Hang in there :)

    p.s. I'm sure Spencer is up there yelling down to you how beautiful you are. Plus, I know it sounds a bit cliche, but you are God's creation. He saw everything he made and said 'it was very good'. Furthermore, we are made in his image. He rejoices over you with singing.