The Pimple Years

Puberty is defined by many as that equally delightful and unpleasant time when hormones, emotions, and pimples rage like there’s no adulthood. For me, the rage percentage was 10% hormones, 10% emotions, and 80% pimples. At its peak, it was -5%, -5%, and +110%, respectively. The core part of my adolescent identity spun around pimples. While my high school classmates were busy deciphering the intricacies of Algebra and Physics, I was busy conducting my own anatomic exploration —Pimples 101. Every morning, I’d wake up to a face that resembled the map of Andromeda with millions of glowing stars represented by zit breakouts. They overstayed their welcome on my face; I named them all, like astronomers naming stars and planets.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I was willing to try anything to banish those pesky pimples. Clearasil? Check! Calamansi? You bet! Lyna cream? Of course! Johnson’s baby powder? Sure! Nothing worked. Instead, they multiplied faster than I could name them.

By college time, amidst the backdrop of martial law in the Philippines (because apparently, even the abusive government couldn’t handle my acne uprising), the pimples finally retreated like a defeated dictator after a long and arduous battle. But those pimples weren’t going down without a fight. Sure, they left behind their battle scars, but I wear those marks with dignity. As I gaze into the mirror, I see not just the remnants of acne wars past, but a reminder of the resilience that got me through it all. Because let’s face it, all battles can be won face-to-face, especially if the problem is your face.

So here’s to surviving puberty’s epic battle of the blackheads vs. the whiteheads; to clear skin and the wisdom that comes from facing adversity face-on. And remember, no matter how bad it gets, just keep smiling —it’s harder for pimples to find a home on a happy face.


If you’ve been touched, amused, or entertained by this post, or it put a smile on your face, please favor me with a cup of coffee. I will continue writing.

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