this week was my first week of orientation and training for my service with americorps. all in all the week went well and i'm feeling good about my placement. i was however fairly anxious most of the week with meeting tons of new people. while i know that i am perceived as male now (i cannot remember the last time i was mistaken for a female), i am perceived as a very young looking male, probably a young teenager. being seen as a young teenager has been extremely frustrating the past few months and i'm sure will continue to be. in one of my placement interviews for americorps one of the interviewers told me that i looked like a 12 year-old. while the interviewer did try to say it in a light, joking manner, i didn't really appreciate this. i KNOW that i look like a 12 year-old and honestly it really stinks. it is especially a downer when i'm in groups of people who are around my actual age, like this past week, and people just won't take me seriously, listen to me or even acknowledge me. it's difficult to constantly be fighting against others' perceptions of you and to have to again and again establish yourself as an equal, or just someone that deserves respect.
i feel that if my facial hair were farther along, i might not necessarily have this problem. i know there are older men who probably have about as much facial hair as i do, but the other men i'm working with this year have beards and visible stubble. i'm trying my best to be patient and know that in time i too will have facial hair, even possibly a beard. right now i just have to take life as comes and know that eventually my time will come.