I think we all have a battle with confidence. I don’t think confidence cares about age, gender, who we love, where we grew up, or how we look. Our battle with confidence is a common thread throughout humanity.
I can’t say exactly when this battle starts but for me it was definitely in full swing around puberty time. That’s when I started to compare myself to other girls, that’s when I started to feel insecure about myself, and that’s when I felt the most need to conform to society.
I wish I could say that my battle with confidence ended when puberty did, but my confidence battle is still something I deal with.
I would straighten my hair because I didn’t want to look different, I wore clothes that were “cool”, I always worked my huge nose into a conversation so that I felt like I could be in on the joke, and I hid my oddball sense of humor because I was nervous no one would like me.
Then one day my sophomore year of college when I was living with my girlfriends that I met at school, something changed. For some reason (I forget now what made me do this) I got curly hair cream at Walmart, the only cool place to hang out in Cortland NY, and I started to wear my hair natural. Now I wish I could say that I never straightened my hair again, but that would be a big fat lie. It took me at least another 3 years to never straighten my hair again.
When I look back now I always come to this one moment in time where my confidence journey really started to change for the better. I was working at a summer theater festival in Pennsylvania and my first few weeks of this job were awful. I have a lot of anxiety about meeting new people and so I lived in my own head for the first few weeks and spoke to no one. Little did I know that 2 of the girls that also worked in the costume shop were going to be my best friends for life.
So as the weeks passed the first show opened (I think it was Music Man, but once again grandma can’t remember). I worked backstage with the girls from the shop and started to become more and more friendly with them. One day my friend, Sarah, changed my life forever.
We were talking about something or other and somehow the conversation changed gears and I remember she looked me right in the eyes and told me to be as weird as I want. No one had ever said anything like that to me before, but I followed her lead and started to show people my weird. That is also the summer I got fired and had to talk myself back into getting the job I had been fired from, but that’s another story.
For me, that conversation and that summer with my friends Sarah and Vanessa changed my life forever. I started to feel more confident in who I was, I started to appreciate myself flaws and all, and I started to let my freak flag fly high.
My battle with confidence is not over, I don’t think it ever will be. I’m kinda thankful for that honestly. Now when I second guess myself, I can use everything I have learned in my almost 30 years of life and be proud of who I am and who I have become.
You are you. No one else can be you. So take a deep breath. You are not alone. And let your freak flag fly.
Love always your Cycle Half,