As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a bus with a gaggle of 18 year olds and thinking, man… was I ever that young?
Yes, absolutely. Holy crap, yes. And for as much as I really thought that I was awkward and dorky, I’ve recently gotten some actual video proof that I was also kind of awesome and in the right environment, pretty damn confident.
Please witness my adorable seventeen year old self and my old friend Boris (not his real name – it was a nickname. After Boris the Spider because he was such a fan of The Who) in our High School production of Snoopy. I was pretty self conscious about my schnoz so I really embraced the role of Peppermint Patty. I totally hammed it up… there is actual singing after all of the yuk-ing it up.
You know what I learned from watching this?
No really. I mean it. Look at that kid. Confidence! Energy! Excitement! Wow, put me on a stage and give me a song and BLAMMO! Magic happens.
Where exactly did I decide that I should sit down, be quiet, and unobtrusive? When did I get shy? And why? And why did I stop being a ham?
Oh hell, who cares when or why, actually. I’m getting that back.
Right now on this bus full of goofy, awkward 18 year olds who are ridiculously enjoying being among their peers and hamming it up.
We gals are told over and over by society to be quiet, be polite, be humble. Somewhere, I picked that up and put that in my suitcase. Probably right around the time when I started advancing in my career and overheard that everyone I supervised thought I was a bitch. And the time that my boss didn’t like how confident I was so she sabotaged me. What the hell, lady?
When I was seventeen, I remember thinking how great it would be to be an adult and know how to handle everything. I wouldn’t have to worry about doing the right thing because I would know what it was.
I’m forty two.
I still don’t feel like an adult.
Did I think some magic Confidence Fairy would sprinkle me with fairy dust and POOF! I’d know everything?
I’ve decided that adults are just as clueless as seventeen year olds. We just have more experiences to fall back on. More resources and reference material.
If social media has taught me anything, it’s that we all struggle with insecurities and uncertainties. With different things of course, but dammit, I’m done letting this control what I do and where I go.
It really shouldn’t be an issue anyway because, guess what?
(Psst! Let me let you in on a little secret…. You are awesome, too)