Monday, November 24, 2008

Waves

I have a lot running through my mind these days. Thoughts of the present. Thoughts of the future. Thoughts of the past. I have not done all of the thinking that I need to, but I am beginning to realize a few things.

People seem to like me. This first thing is difficult for me to understand. I can accept it as I have repeated tangible evidence to that effect. This evidence still does not help me understand it.

There is a large gap in the way others see me and the way I see myself. It is strange how our capacity for self esteem is set in our elementary school years, and is difficult to change. Yet, life holds so much for us past that early time.

In the TV show Cold Case, there is one episode ("The Sleepover") about a young girl in middle school who doesn't fit in. She is the victim. At one point in the episode, the girl talks about how great life will be in just a few years. How popular they will be in college. How the "in crowd" won't matter much longer. Later the killer breaks down and confesses that she just didn't understand that you can survive those rough childhood years.

Cold Case is interesting in that in many of the episodes it shows people who strayed from the status quo. They did, or wanted to do, or planned to do, something special. Dare to be different. Take a man's job. Stand up for what is right. Work for change. In the show, these people suffer. They are killed. Yet, I don't find this depressing. The show does a good job of portraying the desperation of those who want things to "stay the same" while still celebrating the lives cut short. And, of course, they always catch the killer.

So where do I stand... and is that where I want to stand.

Everyone has to answer that question for themselves. There are little things and big things and nothings that all are part of the thought process.

To myself, I stand in a whirl-wind of un-realized potential and self doubt. I stand in fear, not of change, but of embarassment. Oh, and I have pittifully low self-esteem.

Everyone knows that I am shy, yet most people don't realize I am an extrovert. That is not a contradiction. The shyness comes from the fear. But what is there to fear? So people laugh, so you get reprimanded, so what. As Seth Godin says in the book Tribes, they don't literally burn people at the stake anymore in most of the world.

Despite all the self doubt, I know I have potential. I seem to attract people. I know my skills. The question I need to answer for myself is whether or not I am putting them to use appropriately. As I said, I have a lot of thinking to do.

I am not saying all of this to fish for comments or to get attention. (I am tempted to turn comments off on this post.) I am saying it, well to say it. And perhaps my words could help one other person to not fear. To step with me outside that warm comfortable zone to see what is waiting for us.

4 comments:

BrandG said...

Somehow, quiet as you are, I always suspected this about you. I look forward to the time when you feel comfortable enough with me and mine, that you'll be able to chat freely.

If it helps any, I'm much worse. Seriously, when I was a kid, I couldn't talk to anybody, because I was always afraid of something I couldn't really even put my finger on. I knew I didn't want them to laugh at me, but I don't know why I always thought they would.

Luckily, I'm not a bad actor. So what I did was play James Bond. He was always cool, always cordial, always confident. I just started pretending like I was the same way, walking like him, acting like him. Suddenly, being afraid of embarrassment seemed wrong, like it was stepping out of character. It helped me enormously. And, although I normally don't tell people, I'm still doing it.

Over the years, I've had enough personal success with this system that a lot of the confidence has sunk in. Still, there are times when I'll be saying something, and in the back of my mind I'm terribly afraid that the people I'm talking to are about to humiliate me with withering scorn.

BryanG said...

I am glad that you resisted your temptation to close the comments on this post. Thank you for your trust.

You might not believe it but you are standing at a similar cross road life as were I stood a number of years ago.
Your story triggered my memory and all of a sudden I was back in time.

The time when I did not trust anybody, afaid to burn my fingers and get my feelings hurt. The time that my storm, my rollar coaster ride began.

It was (and still is) a beautifull strom, it brought me to China and beyond, it brought me also lot of friends (some of them as beautifull a person as you).

So I still remember the day that I saw the storm around me with great joy, altough I also know that the moment I saw the storm it scared me like hell.

So love the storm and let it empower you.

joy said...

Yeah! laura Cold case is an terrific show!!!! I always use to admire its storyline,characters,featuring everything is just fantastic.Its truly an best TV show for years..I'm glad I got the opportunity to catch this show.U too can Download Coldcase Free. Enjoi!!!! :):)

Cmaaarrr!!! said...

Brilliant post, dear. :)