Guest Submission


  • 17 years old
  • Dallas, Texas


  • 39 years old
  • Centennial, Colorado
  • Sales Manager

My Story...

This picture was taken during my senior prom in Dallas, Texas with my boyfriend Craig in 1992. I was 17 and thought I was punk rock by shaving my head and wearing platform heels because I wanted to stand out. Which I am sure I did. My mother was so mad at me for doing that to my hair! This was shortly before the nose piercing and tattoos that made her equally angry with me. I am now 39 years old living in Centennial, Co with my husband Jeremy and two young kids. After being laid off from my corporate cubicle job, I decided to join my mother in expanding her promotional marketing products business. So at this time I am currently training to be a sales manager aka business partner. As much as this old photo embarrasses me today, it also reminds me of how far I have come in changing my life and how I think of myself now. I remember in grade school how one kid used to call me “fat lard” and some people used to make fun of my crooked teeth and frizzy hair. I took those criticisms to heart but also let it fuel my desire to change into a more confident and healthy person. I am no longer that awkward and insecure high school girl and Merilee’s Awkward Years Project helps communicate how all of us eventually do “grow out of it”.

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