Confident Girl

The prompt for today is: “Describe an outfit that makes you feel good. (It can be from any period of your life.) Double points if you post a picture of yourself in the outfit.”

In high school I really wanted to be on the short flags team. I tried out to be on the team freshman year and didn’t make so I tried out again the following year and made the team. It’s just the kind of person I am–I never give up on my goals! Even though I felt awkward and ugly during those years I always felt my best on game day Fridays when I wore my uniform.

That uniform meant so much to me. I really earned it, like honestly truly earned the money for it myself. Not only did I not make the team the first time I tried out but when I finally did make the team I then had to figure out how to pay for the very expensive equipment needed to be on the team. Making the team was just the first hurdle.

I needed to buy a uniform that included a skirt, top, long sleeve under shirt, bloomers and special Nike shoes. I also needed a warm up suit consisting of custom pants and jacket. On top of that I needed to buy the duffel bag, also with custom embroidery, to store all my things in. We can’t forget the flags. I needed to purchases two flag poles from a specific vendor along with two sets of flags–one for practice and one for performance.

Then there were the extras like summer camp, matching customized team outfits to wear at camp, hair bows, foam curlers, blue eyeshadow and competition fees. Then once I was on the team for a year I earned a varsity letter. So of course I needed to get the Letterman jacket. I shouldn’t forget to mention the design of our uniform AND performance flags changed each year I was on the team.

Monique Gonzalez Abrahamsen ACHS Short Flags

My first year on the team my mom and biological father helped me but we struggled a lot financially and my mom couldn’t pay everything on time. My uniform was taken away from me until we could pay it off. My coach loaned me the money for my warm ups and I eventually paid her back. We did have some fundraisers to help defray some of the costs but still, a huge chunk of the financial responsibility fell on me.

I took a summer job at McDonald’s when I was 14 then quit when school started. I then worked at Taco Bell the following year and finally at the Gap Outlet. I did this to earn the money needed to stay on the team.

You can bet after all that hard work I felt proud and confident while donning that uniform. When I wore it I felt so good about myself. No one could judge my clothes–only a select few girls wore the same uniform as me. We were part of something special. I practiced with the team and made time to practice in my backyard almost everyday to ensure I would perform the routines perfectly with the rest of the team.

That uniform even FELT good! The material was flexible, made for twisting, turning and sweating. Putting on the uniform was like putting on a costume. I was incredibly shy but when I had my uniform on and we stepped out onto the performance stage (whether it be football field, basketball court or competition stage) I suddenly turned into this happy, smiling, bouncing, talented, and CONFIDENT girl. It was the only time I didn’t mind crowds of people looking at me.

Go ahead! Look!  I earned this! I worked hard, practiced hard and I feel great!

Monique is Blog Signature

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