Confidence is a funny thing…it comes and goes, and not at convenient times. I have been told many times – after dates, interviews, by friends and co-workers – that my confidence is one of my strengths.
It only makes sense that I’m an amazing actress, because this idea that I have confidence, much less enough to be admired, is one of the more bizarre things I’ve had to get a grip on as a human person.
I know the things that I am good at – I’ll even be so bold as to say that there are some things that I feel I am one of the best at…in my field…in this area…during this time period…but still. Piano, art, teaching, all areas I feel truly confident. I make bold choices for my home and I don’t worry about them or question what anyone else will think about them. That’s confidence, right?
There’s not even a word, however, for how I feel about other things…inconfident, unconfident, nonconfident? It’s not the same thing as self-conscious, though I definitely suffer from that curse too. It’s more that sense of being judged, being talked about negatively by the popular girls, being measured up against. I can put on an outfit I love, fix my hair and makeup perfectly, choose accessories that I know people will compliment, feel fabulous about myself, and still as soon as I step out of the car to walk up to a place, I’m as close to panicking inside as a person can get without a diagnosis. Does everyone feel this way? Was my maturity stunted in junior high by some traumatic girl-incident that I’ve blocked out of my memory?
Yesterday, my hott husband and I had a chance to take advantage of the perfect day and go out on the motorcycle. We had been wanting to ride up to The Heights and cruise through the cool old revived neighborhoods and eat at BB’s to get our Cajun fix. Since it was 70ish degrees outside and likely to cool down as the night wore on, I wore a Nike jacket, running tights, and my new snow boots since they are warm and cover my legs where they need to be covered to serve as protection. We parked and started walking toward the restaurant where, I must say, I immediately noticed that everyone was dressed as if it was an occasion. Standing in line to get a table, I heard a guy behind me say to his date, “those are some awesome shoes, aren’t they,” and I swear he was pointing at my shoes and snickering. Granted, I would have been the person in line behind me thinking “What was that girl thinking? It’s April in Texas – put the Uggs in the attic, or better yet Goodwill,” because yeah, sometimes I’m that mean. Oh. My. God. That’s why I’m inconfident…It’s my own fault.
What the person behind me should have thought, which was what I was screaming in my head, was, “THERE’S A VERY GOOD REASON WHY THIS INTELLIGENT GROWN-ASS WOMAN IS WEARING SNOW BOOTS IN TEXAS IN APRIL!” And now, as I preach to myself, I must remember the same.
That tattoo might be weird and not make sense to me, but I’m sure that’s not how the recipient felt about it when they got it. That shirt might be buttoned up two buttons too high, but she or he chose that number of buttons to button and who am I to judge? Or CARE, for that matter?
I think what I’ve learned here is that I may never know true confidence in these areas until I learn to stop worrying about other people’s choices. Accept it. There it is. Just accept it.
Actually, I’m thinking about the things I don’t understand about some people and I’m realizing how hard it’s going to be to just accept certain things. So, I’m going to learn to accept without understanding. That’s better. It’s like agreeing to disagree, but better because I’M going to be better for it in the end.
Ugh…this is stressful already. But I want confidence so badly – the kind that a forty-year old should have earned by now. I’ll let you know how it goes…this might take some falling down and getting up.