Who are you? Deep down.

by , under personal, Pirate

In my vlog, I mentioned that I’d been freaking out (about a lot of things, including freaking out). One of the ones I didn’t mention was the whole freakout that started when I posted this ridiculous GIF.

whit kiss aviators

Which I should point out I made because I was bored and because I’d been joking with S about losing fifteen minutes staring at this GIF of Misha Collins (so I joked I could make something equally distracting and life-ruining):

misha life ruiner aviators

At any rate, I posted the GIF and got a really nice response to it- but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I’d been bracing myself for the worst, which was for people to tell me that I was a ridiculous loser and to knock it off.

Why? Because somewhere deep down is the insecure girl that I was in high school. I think we all have that deep down, that little voice from who we were in the past that tries to undermine all the progress we’ve made.

I wasn’t that bad off in high school. I was in the honors/AP track in high school, and graduated with an 3.83 GPA. I was active in our theater department, and acted & sang outside of school. My school wasn’t as bad, clique-wise as other schools. There were literally too many smart kids to torture them relentlessly. And for the most part, the drama kids just were on their own.

But I dragged in a lot of baggage with me. I skipped a grade when I was younger, so most of the kids I was in school with knew that I was younger than them, and I was also one of the shortest kids in my school. There wasn’t any avoiding people knowing any of that about me. I’d been in the same honors classes with the same kids since I started the GATE program in the fourth grade. When I graduated, I was a whopping 5’0″ – I actually grew almost 3 inches the summer I graduated and through my first year of college. And I was pretty flat, breast-wise, with a baby face and short hair.

I was invisible outside of a classroom. That isn’t to say I was lonely- I had some great friends, and we had a lot of great times. It was just extremely rare for anyone to actually look at me unless I was on stage or singing, and certainly it was rare for anyone to be attracted to me (I had one boyfriend during high school, one stalker- and any date I had to a dance was a friend). While I wanted to be seen, it was safe being invisible like that. It meant that nobody could break my heart, not really.

Things changed once I got to college. Nobody treated me like their kid sister- I was actually asked by a film student if I could get naked for his student film (No worries, I did say no. He was seriously trying to make an adult film with two girls and he thought that “it was with a girl so it isn’t real” and “I’ll pay you in pizza” were compelling arguments). And it was even more obvious at Disneyland, where the very moment I started training at Autopia, people were trying to push me towards a certain dark-haired cast member with broad shoulders (hint: I married the guy).

For awhile there, I thought that fear of being hurt was gone. Right up until a few people I’d thought were friends managed to crush me. I let them in, and they hurt me deeply. TheBoy and Jerad were there to help me pick up the pieces, but it told me that my high school fear was valid. Walls went up.

Which brings me back to all the comments about the GIF. Having people actually see me reminded me of all that pain, and I panicked in a big way. Because if people were seeing me, it meant I could be hurt.

I do laugh when someone says that I come across as being confident and pulled together. Apparently I’m a better actress than I thought.

For the most part, I am secure in who I am. I am Whitney Drake, writer, mother and wife. I am a geek to the core and my hair was always supposed to be teal. My head is filled with stories that are begging to be told. There are tattoos written under my skin begging to be uncovered someday.

I’m also the girl who was is afraid of having her heart broken. The only difference is that now, more than a decade later- I’m willing to take that chance.