Sunday, December 2

Sunday Shine* { Obstacle }

I am so goddamn insecure & self-conscious.
It's a hinderance.
It is preventing me from writing, publishing, photographing, traveling, teaching, networking, reaching out, showing love, performing, smiling, making eye contact, dancing, dressing up, living... the way I know I can.
I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't understand why I think the way I do. I'm trying to make connections to my childhood but I got nothing there. I was pretty confident up until puberty. I don't think I had it harder than anyone else, but I must have taken it harder. Things that were told to me 10, 11, 12 years ago still play over and over in my mind.
I have a lot of good ideas & a lot of creativity that doesn't go beyond the pages of my notebooks. Friends may catch a glimpse and push me to take it further, but I always back down.
I am surrounded by creative imaginative daydream believers, movers & shakers. I moved to this city to take advantage of this community and the doors are wide open and I'm standing right outside, too shy to knock. I may peek inside, I may even smile, but then I always walk away.
I've become my biggest obstacle.

2 comments:

Susana said...

me too. and especially lately.

i'll respond to us both with a mis-quoted, re-interpreted, un-attributed saying:

I'm afraid to go out on a limb -- but that's where the fruit is.

a dear friend said it once, about herself, and it's stuck with me for years.

you only get to do this once. if you have to, force your eyes shut, and just jump. you will always land on your feet.

SuperWeed said...

I hope you don't mind a comment from a stranger.

Two comments, really.

(1) You say that things changed at around 11 or 12. Carol Gilligan has charted a pretty common phenomenon wherein previously self-confident girls change at that age in response to gendered socialization. The book on that study is called "Meeting at the Crossroads." You might want to check out the research on that, especially if you are or will be teaching girls at that age. I think that the sample for that study was kind of skewed in terms of race and class but that subsequent studies by other researchers on more representative sets of girls have tended to confirm the findings.

(2) As someone who has struggled with shyness and self-doubt despite what others perceive as considerable accomplishments, I want to encourage you not to let the persistance of the shyness/doubt/etc spiral into a cycle of feeling ashamed about being ashamed. Until you get a grip on their source, you'll just have to go on trying out different ways to work around those feelings. Sometimes your strategies will succeed. Sometimes not. Please be gentle with yourself either way.