I know I learned the words lesson much earlier in life, but one particular incident stands out. I was (and still am) a very insecure woman. By the time I was 13 or 14 years old and had never had a boy show interest in me, I turned to my cousin, Lisa, who was a couple of years older than me and always had a boy or two hanging around her, for advice. She told me to stand up straight, look them in the eye, and smile. I’m sure she told me other things, but those are the ones I remember. So, I practiced. I practiced in the grocery store, the mall, at church, and anywhere else there were boys or men.
Fast forward a couple of months and I’m at church camp with my family. Now, church camp was a VERY big deal. This was the main place that couples were made and broken. For almost all of us, it was the biggest dating pool we had since we were not allowed to date “unbelievers”, went to a private school, or were homeschooled. We went to church camp three times each summer. Most of us paired up and “dated” for the summer. This basically involved walking around the camp on the circular drive, which takes you past many of the cottages, and sitting together in the cafeteria and church.
One evening, my cousin, Sharla, and I were walking the circle. We were talking and pausing to chat with people we knew who were sitting on the front porch of their cottage. As we were coming abreast of a cottage that had a group of boys and girls our age hanging out, one of the boys yelled, “Hi!” I remembered everything Lisa had said about confidence and replied, “Hello.” The group laughed and the boy said, “Not you, her,” and pointed to Sharla. I was mortified. Sharla ignored them and we just kept walking, but it took me a long time to even think about talking to a boy after that.
This lack of self-confidence, which was reinforced by an emotionally and mentally abusive marriage, has translated to every aspect of my life. I still find it hard to believe any compliment given me, I don’t believe people really like me as a person, and
I never think anything I do is good enough, including my writing. I’ve been working on all of this on my own and with counselors for years, but I don’t know that I ever will think that I am pretty or talented or competent. Sometimes I can fake it, but we all know that never lasts. This is one of the main reasons I joined IWSG. I’m hoping that with your help I can gather enough courage to write and then submit my writing. I know that I will never be a world famous author, but it would be nice to have something of mine published even if it’s just for posterity.
P.S. This is my first ISWG blog, so if there was something I was supposed to do and didn’t please tell me. I’m not blog savvy and I’m not sure I did everything in the instructions I was supposed to do.