We all have them. That childhood fear we’ve taken into adulthood. I have a few.
Fear of having a really lame costume at Halloween.
Fear of heights. (Actually, it’s not really heights. It’s a fear of falling. I’m clumsy. Stairs are dangerous. So are rock cliffs.)
But the worst? Fear of saying something stupid and looking like a moron.
I am shy. You may not realize this from my posts on the interwebz, but that is because
I don’t have to look at you when I’m writing I have the ability to edit. A lot. And prolly not enough.
I’ve always been painfully self-conscious. I’ve always been highly self-critical. Hell, if I say it first, then when you say it, it can’t hurt, can it? As a kid, I was mostly afraid of messing up, making a mistake. Then other people would laugh at me or think I was stupid. I was also known as “the smart one”, so, no pressure, eh?
The combination is lethal as a kid.
In a recent Facebook post, a high school friend commented that they thought I was really quiet – and that is all they knew about me. My closest friends knew I was a little silly, but I don’t think anyone else did.
They didn’t know the smart aleck. That only showed in college, and more as a defense mechanism, initially, because I was still self-conscious and shy, and getting people to laugh, even if it was due to a self-deprecating comment, was about all I could manage.
twenty or so a bunch of years later, and not much has changed. I don’t do well with change, even if it is for the better, because I take comfort in the familiar. (Which is why I stayed in a job I was really unhappy at for so long.) I’m still really self-conscious.
The people who know me here in the UK would possibly disagree; however, making the move here – being one of the few Americans in town (read: having a really obvious not-local accent) – puts you in a fishbowl, and there isn’t the opportunity to be a wall flower, as too many people are curious about you. I’ve really, really had to work at talking to people – even though I want to – because I worry that they won’t get me, and mistake my self-conscious stiffness for snobiness.
Moving here has done the most to shake my self-consciousness. While I won’t be making public speeches any time soon (don’t look for a vlog, either, until I lose 2 stone), and I’m still very much prefer to be a behind-the-scenes gal, I’ve come a long way.
Its been sink or swim, baby.