Add another one to the list of invisible chronic conditions suffered in silence by millions. People rarely open up about it, but it is real, believe you me, and can be very painful. What I'm talkin' about here is a new cause du juor: MI or Massive Insecurity.
Lisa Kogan, a columnist over at Oprah Magazine (which I read only in doctor's waiting rooms, I swear!) has penned a heartfelt piece on the trial and tribulations of MI:
"My first bout of MI hit in seventh grade, right before Marcy Needleman's roller disco bat mitzvah party," one patient bawls. "How many nights have I lain awake asking myself the same question: Why, why, why did I choose that day to try parting my hair down the side?"
From my side, I was looking over question #22 of the new 52-questions meme and thinking, my Worst Enemy? Why self-doubt, of course.
Looking back at photos now, I can see that I was actually a very hot teenager. But I never had a single boyfriend all through Jr. High or High School. What's up with that? MI, for sure!
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Even when I was good at stuff, like the newspaper, I always opted for a "background role" like copy editor, rather than being in charge of anything that might plunge me into limelight. Why? MI.
Now be honest people, most of you suffer MI, too, right? Or at least you have several friends and a great aunt who has it.
"What started this epidemic of insecurity?" Kogan asks. And she's just so darn funny that I have to quote her verbatim here:
"Maybe we were all left to cry it out in our cribs for too long, and it kept us from developing a healthy sense of entitlement. Or maybe we were held so much and hugged so close that it rendered us incapable of standing on our own two feet with any real confidence. Maybe we should blame our fathers, if for no other reason than it serves as a delightful change of pace from blaming our mothers."
"Or maybe it doesn't matter who started it. What matters is that we don't seem to know our own worth. What matters is that we still worry the cool kids won't want to eat lunch at our table... So here are the choices: We could either hold a telethon to fight MI and perhaps raise enough money to get scientists started on a vaccine that will wipe the damn thing out once and for all. I mean, if we can destroy an entire layer of ozone in my lifetime, how hard can it be to get rid of our insecurities? Or we could decide to take a risk, say what we think, get up and dance, wear our crow's-feet like crinkly little badges of honor, acknowledge that it can be really, really scary to face the world head-on armed with nothing more than a strong sense of irony and a good pair of shoes—and then do it anyway. "
Kogan's holding out for the vaccine, but we PWDs know how long these things can take. Me? I'm putting on my very favorite Kenneth Cole Reaction shoes and going for it, from now on.