3 minutes ago I was trying to fall asleep in my quiet dark room and those nighttime thoughts came flooding in. I am afraid, terrified, that I am going to overstay my welcome, or say the wrong thing, or be the person everyone just wants to leave. I put on my favorite outfit and walk into work, a store, the mall…wherever and I see someone cooler than me. And I want to hide myself. I get a brand new cut and color and go home feeling fabulous, until I see someone with just a shade darker or lighter, or a bit longer, or shorter, and I am back to square 1.
I always go back to childhood, where I have clung to my status as a nerd. Where I remember the moments of being bullied. And I wonder, was it really as bad as I remember it? I know there were a few horrific moments. When I was not allowed to play with some girls because I did not have name brand clothes on. Or tagging behind a group of cool girls in the mall, they in their Coke shirts, hi top white Reeboks and Esprit bags and me in my black stone washed jeans and Matt Nokes Tigers T-shirt. That day at the mall, I knew I did not fit in. They watched soap operas for goodness sake!
But all those people I though were poking fun of me in the hallway? Were they really just laughing at their own joke? Did they even notice me? Likely not. And you know what really is horrible, is that I though to be cool you had to bring other’s down. So I said some horrible things to people. I will always have regrets, trying to fit in is ugly business.
So now, 20 years later, I still worry when I do not get a return email or text. I still stress about what to wear. I still wonder, if someone is having a bad day, if they are mad at me. Or worse, sick of me.
But tonight, for whatever reason, it is keeping me up. And I have learned when I write it down, I can let it go, at least for a little while. But remember this faithful readers, you have the power to lift people up. To make them feel worthy. To be their friend.
And just as important… Those insecurities suck. But they are not an excuse. So I go to some of my heros for advice.. There is no reason that we have to live in someone else’s box. To live up to someone else’s standards. And maybe, we the people who try to be unique, who fight for what is important to us have moments of insecurity because we have strayed away from normal. And that is not such a bad thing…