Tag Archives: confidence

Journal – The Girl with no Fear

 

Here’s a funny thing about myself. I always have majorly overblown confidence about a thing until I’m halfway into it.

“I’m not afraid of people. I love talking to people! I can face down a crowd.” Then I blithely stand up to tell a story about a coworker at a small friendly retirement party. I am shocked when, halfway through, my hands are shaking hard. I have to breathe and calm down but my punchline falters a bit. Am I afraid of public speaking? Looking back to when I did theatre in college, it was the same: one hundred percent confidence followed by shakes on stage.

“I like rock climbing! I like nature! I’m gonna sign up for this little class and learn the knots and then I can hang (get it?) with my rock-climbing big brother and sister.” I take the class, start climbing the first little practice tower, and hit critical mass. I am shaking so hard I don’t trust myself to climb any higher. My hands have locked down on the rock climbing nubbins. “I forgot I’m afraid of heights!” I call back to my bemused classmates from a whopping ten feet high.

I got to meet a new friend on videochat recently. No fear there. Slept like a baby. Excited, happy puppy enthusiasm. “Yay, a new person to love!!” We talked, and she was awesome, and the conversation was easy, and everything was fine as long as I didn’t get distracted by my own reflected strangerface and lose track of the conversation.

After I hung up, I started making some oatmeal. As I stirred the pot I thought, “Where is that quiet screaming coming from? It’s getting louder. Oh, right! My own head.” After some puzzling I figured out that it was latent anxious adrenaline rush from meeting her. DID SHE LIKE ME WAS I STUPID DID I HURT HER FEELINGS???

 

Anyway, I thought it was just a funny character trait, but now that I’ve written it down, I see it’s my old friend Emotional Repression popping up. Hello again. Let’s never talk.

I have definitely gotten better, but digging my emotional core free is a slow, slow process. Sometimes Repression pops up and bites me in the ass, just like old times. It bites less than before, but it still bites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

On Charisma

 

What is charisma?
Charisma is
Integrity of action
Integrity of word
Integrity of thought.
Charisma is
Knowing so fully who you are
That other people are entranced.
The only way to know yourself fully
Is to forget yourself fully.
The only way to forget yourself fully
Is to accept yourself fully
And to accept yourself fully
You must know yourself fully.

Animals have charisma.
Some people have animal charisma.
Some people have no charisma
(an unnatural trait found only in humans).
A whole person
One who is wholly and unapologetically himself
Has charisma.
You can learn diction, body language, all the right behaviors
You can learn to sing perfectly
Or to act, draw, write
Negotiate, debate, present
All of these things help
But people can sense what is real.
Your core should always be on display
Because it is the only part of you that matters.
What is charisma?
It is what you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Feeling Large and Heavy

 

I got to play on an obstacle course

I didn’t have courage for half of the things

And wasn’t physically capable of the other half

I felt very large and heavy

I think if there’d been more adults on it

I wouldn’t have felt so silly

And maybe would have tried harder

 

I urged my sister

“Climb the 10 foot warped wall, for women everywhere!”

She looked at me funny.

Wondering if I’d said something sexist,

I revised my statement

“I mean… just for me, right here.”

I wanted her to do it

(I’m certain she could)

Because I was incapable

And I’ve spent my life feeling athletic

Vicariously through her.

 

Feeling large

And barge-y

Stomping around on my giant feet

I have grace

For one my weight

But no one else here is like me

The kids are swift, slender elves

My sister is strong and light

She is bamboo

She is tendons veins gristle

She is elegant cheekbones and arched brows

And blessed melanin, actual eyelashes, tanning skin

She slips through anything

She climbs like a rat

She swings like a monkey

 

Here I sit, here I sit

Pores full of shit

Not fit

 

Just the same I tried to flip

And hit the trampoline

Like a thrown elephant.

WHAM!

A man quickly approaches me

“You did sign the waiver, right?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Journal – How to be Cool at Parties

I promised to tell you my awkward adventure from Thanksgiving break last week.

It started first thing in the morning. I was on vacation from work, so I slept in, and when I oversleep, my dreams sour. I dreamed I was back in college, and I forgot to wear my shirt! How did I miss that? I tried to play it off like I was just a really confident free-the-nipple nudist type, and pretended I wasn’t bothered by the awkward awareness of those around me. When class ended, I tried to get the fuck out but promptly got lost in the building. The changing corridors and endless room after room was like Hogwarts or a dungeon, except with postmodern decor and architecture. Then a teacher found me and engaged me in a long conversation about an assignment, while both of us tried our hardest to act like I was fully clothed NOTHING WAS ODD HERE.

I woke up feeling like something that got dug out of the mud. I hadn’t had a dream with such bad confidence in ages.

I checked my phone and saw that my nice neighbor, with whom I have a budding and fragile friendship, was having a party today so that everyone could help her put hair in dreads (apparently it’s a very labor intensive and time consuming process). I wanted to go so badly but was really disgustingly sick, with full-on sinus drainage and coughing my way through contagious phlegm walls. I decided it was most polite not to go to her house and spray-sneeze mutant germs on her adorable toddler. Also, she might not appreciate having a disease permanently knotted into her dreads as I worked my dried-snot fingers through her hair strand by strand.

So I sent her a text explaining why I couldn’t come and said I’d pop by real quick just to see the finished result. She never answered, I figured she was busy with her friends. I waited until an hour after the time she’d said the party would be over, put on human clothes, sanitized myself as best I could, and knocked on her door.

She answered the door, silky-haired, not a dreadlock in sight. I stared at her confused, and said, “were you not… um… getting your hair done… today?”

It was her turn to look confused. She sort of turned toward the inside to address someone else and it dawned on me, dodo that I was, that this wasn’t the girl I knew. It was her sister.

I am bad with faces. Really bad with faces. Like, really, clinically bad. I think I’ve got a strain of Asperger’s in me somewhere. I should have known her face. I’ve been to her house two or three times before, she’s been to my house at least once, I’ve seen her drawings, we’re friends on Facebook. I had NO excuse. Granted, her sister looked a bit like her, same hair, similar features, but not similar enough.

I was mortified. There was a stunned moment while the sister realized my mistake, and I realized my mistake, and then she let me in. There may have been additional dialogue where I apologized in embarrassment and explained I was bad with faces, but I can’t remember the exact dialogue, only the trauma ricocheting through my soul. I walked in the door and was immediately faced with six of her family and friends, most of whom were wrist deep in her hair (three hours, five people, and it was only about halfway done, yeesh), all of whom had witnessed my blunder. Gaawwwwd.

Then came a round of introductions, and all I could think was, I am carrying Plague. Everybody here will curse my name in snot and misery in 48 hours. Blah blah name, sister. Blah blah name, other sister. Blah blah name, sister’s boyfriend. Blah blah name, friend and dread expert.

Hello, hello, hi, I say. Nice to meet you oh Jesus so many people where I expected none, howsooncanIleave?

I smiled at the toddler. The toddler smiled at me and presented me with a Barbie hairbrush. I wanted to take it to show her what her hospitable gesture meant to me, but I didn’t want to infect and kill this sweet child, the only person here with whom I actually felt comfortable.

“Well,” I said weakly. “I didn’t expect all these people to be here and I have a cold and I just wanted to see your hair real quick… maybe you could pop by later and show me when it’s done…”

“I can do that,” she said pleasantly, being the paragon of a gracious and polite hostess that she is, as well as twelve times my superior in matters of real life and social niceties and parties and facial recognition.

So I calmly left the house and shut the door. Then I hurried back across the lawn to mine… no. I fled. I ran like the most awkward party moment I’ve encountered in my adult life was nipping hard at my heels. I ran like a fucking deer. I raced to my door, skidded to a stop on the welcome mat, well, not so much skidded to a stop as skidded out entirely. The cheapass $3 welcome mat which I’ve had for ten years, the least welcoming household item I own, which looks like filthy hell and is utterly incapable of meeting any of the expected welcome mat functions, took my momentum as an opportunity to escape with my life in tow. My feet went sideways, and my ass went straight down.

I skinned my big toe and scraped my knee. Grownup injuries are different from kid injuries. When a grownup gets an injury, you can’t just cover that shit with a gentle kiss and a Little Mermaid band-aid. You need three fistfuls of wadded paper towels to mop up the dripping body fluids, and you have to get down on the floor and track yourself through the house to find and scrub out lost droplets and toeprints.

So that’s how I scraped my knee and toe. My adventure was so lame, I was literally lamed by the end of it.

 

P.S., She didn’t visit but she texted me a selfie and she looks super cute and she doesn’t seem to judge me, so I might still have a small, brittle hope for a future friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Inner Kitten

I didn’t draw tonight! Too too tired.

 


 

inside of me is a tiny kitten, shivering

it only eats hugs and chocolate

it must be well fed

it eats every thirty minutes

if it doesn’t get its food

it starts to see monsters

In the shadows on the walls

it shuts its eyes and imagines

and if you let it alone too long

it panics.

 

here kitty kitty

don’t be scared

these monsters you see

are just your own shadow

this thing with claws

that’s you

this thing with horns

that’s you

this red wall

that’s you

all of it is you

but it’s no use

talking to a kitten

when all it really understands

is hugs and chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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