Never forget

Clayton needs to have his wisdom teeth taken out, and last night as I was urging (read: nagging) him to make the appointment, we started talking about when I had the procedure done several years ago.

I had my wisdom teeth removed right before my senior year of college and had the absolute best experience one could possibly hope for. After the surgery, I was totally groggy but didn't experience any pain. In fact, during my weekend recovering at home, I only need half of one Vicodin in total. My face wasn't that swollen. Nothing really hurt.

A few days later, I developed a dry socket, but even that didn't bother me. I just remember running my tongue over the incision and thinking, "Hmmm ... that doesn't seem right." So I saw another oral surgeon when I was back in Bloomington and they took care of it. Again, no pain. Just felt weird.

See? Bizarre experience. Definitely not the norm.

And you wanna know something else kind of crazy? Getting my wisdom teeth removed actually straightened my teeth. I know that the pressure of your wisdom teeth growing in can shift things around in your mouth, but I had no idea that getting them out would improve my smile.

Rehashing my experience with Clayton last night reminded me that I used to have a gap in my mouth. I totally forgot about it!

I had braces as a tween, but I was terrible at wearing my retainer and my front two teeth never fully closed. That gap was my biggest insecurity as a teenager and young adult, but now I can't even remember what it was like to have it. Granted, the gap was never massive, but it was big enough that I was fully aware of its presence and sometimes hesitant to smile in photos.

The day after my surgery, I remember looking in the mirror and seeing that the gap magically closed. "That must be the swelling," I told myself. "It will reopen when I'm healed." But it never did. (And if you remember, I said I wasn't even that swollen.)

The following picture makes me want to hide in my closet until Armageddon, but it's the best I can find after trolling Facebook for old college photos of myself ... and a painful reminder that awkwardness lives forever on the internet.

The only pictures I could find of my gap are unflattering because my friends and I started using Facebook before everyone became obsessed with crafting flawless online personas.

Looking at these photos now, I realize that the gap was only ever really noticeable to me, but isn't that the way these things go? If you have chubby ankles, you assume that everyone is staring at your chubby ankles when really, no one else cares. Why? Because they're too busy wondering if you're staring at their big ears or weird belly button. We're too hung up on our own insecurities to notice anyone else's ... and that's a truth you can take to the bank.

Ah! I'm cringing going through these old photos right now. Apparently my awkward phase spanned almost 2 decades. UGH.

I'm super mad at my roommates for letting me think this was an okay color to dye my hair:

I'll see myself out:


But you know what? Screw it. All terrible hair colors and questionable fashion choices aside, it's part of my story.

Never forget the awkwardness. It's part of the journey that made you the beautiful butterfly you are today:




  1. Oh girl, I feel your pain! I, too, had a gap between my front teeth growing up. My wisdom teeth actually pushed them together (my junior year in college) and 15 years later, I still have all 4 of my wisdom teeth!! I often wonder if I ever need to have them pulled if my gap will return.

  2. Hold on to those wisdom teeth as long you can, girl! :)


Post a Comment