I’ve spent my entire life afraid. Afraid of what people think of me. How I dress. What I look like. What I say. And everything in between.
At the age of 57 I’m still afraid and I question, daily what is it that I fear? I’m not a great talker – I can’t do jokes, they never come out like the first time I heard them. I can’t tell a story because I’ve actually spoken most of it my head and then I start a conversation that no one can catch up to because I didn’t say the first part out loud. I am terrible at those “one liners” – I think of the answer in the middle of the night when I go over it and over it in my head and I open my mouth and rubbish comes out – people pull me up on that one.
As a kid I wanted to wear a dress to “Free Dress Day” and people (friends) commented that it wasn’t really the norm and I ended up changing at lunchtime into my arty jeans that were purple and red to “fit in” with the other kids – I think I looked more ridiculous but they thought it was better for me to join the masses.
I don’t like to stand out – I think of “Princess Diaries” when she said “I aspire to be invisible and I’m good at it.” I like to blend into the background but that is not normally the case for me.
I am a loner – I don’t have many friends but in a crowd, getting nervous means that I talk too much and get loud – very loud. I attend a Weight Watchers meeting every single Saturday and I walk in saying “Good morning Ladies” very loudly because walking into a crowded room makes me uncomfortable so I try to bring comfort to all those around me and then the meeting starts and I always have something to say even though I promise myself I won’t say anything! I can’t help it. I make people laugh and by doing so it makes the meetings so much more tolerable (not necessarily enjoyable).
So why do I do it? What makes me think it’s something people want to see and hear.
Why do I worry about what people think of me. As Eleanor Roosevelt said “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realise they seldom do.” This is so true because frankly, I don’t think about anyone but myself 95% of the time. Sure I can’t believe that woman who just passed me wearing lycra black and she’s a size 20 is shocking but then I look at her and envy that she could leave the house looking like that and obviously doesn’t care what other people think of her.
Fear is a powerful thing and yet it’s a waste of time but I still can’t get over it.
My family are very judgmental and yet they do it out of love – does that truly make any sense? My sister is a control freak has to be (due to her circumstances) and now her daughter is very much the same but I feel so inferior in their presence and it makes me so uncomfortable that I really don’t want to spend time with them. It’s hard to grasp that fact when I admire her so much and love that she is such a force who can deal with just about anything. I am sure she has her own issues but I can’t seem to get over my own issues to be “equal”. As always I fall back to Eleanor who says “No one can make your feel inferior without your consent”. So why can’t I read those words and believe them?
So much thought went into this blog and yet I don’t seem to be able to read the words and put them into practice. Why is fear a word in our dictionaries? It’s a word that I really don’t like.
Life is meant to be lived and not feared – luckily I’m working on this and hopefully over time I will not fear as much of the rest of my life.