Now, if you’ve met me, you would probably think that I am the least shy person in the universe. That I could talk the leg off a donkey, and then convince it to go for a walk. That I am bolshi, and brave, and bossy.
But for a long, long time, I was really shy. Super shy. So shy that I was the butt of every playground joke, and found it almost impossible to make friends. I was a bookish, nerdy, strangely dressed freak, who never cut her hair, never saw the cool tv shows, and even had a weird lunchbox (my mum had this strange drive to put food in there, not junk). I was “that kid”. The one that spent every recess and lunch time in the library. The one that hated going to school so much that I developed a painful cramping condition in response to the stress of going to school. The one that was bullied, and teased, and taunted, and then, eventually just ignored. Invisible.
At the end of year 11, I switched schools. Thanks mum and dad, I know it didn’t seem like it did me much good academically, but socially, I was in a new world.
Nobody knew me, so I could be whoever I wanted. I fronted up at school that first day as an unknown quantity, and became one of the cool kids. Finally, I realised that the only difference between the cool kids and me was that the cool kids acted like they knew everything, were comfortable in every social situation, and always knew how to act. They didn’t of course – but they knew how to pretend. Fake it ’till you make it.
Eventually, I grew up a bit, and didn’t mind being a freak. And I realised that we’re all freaks. And the only difference between the freak in the corner, and the freak on the dancefloor, is that one simple trick. Just keep talking the talk, and one day you’ll find yourself walking the walk.
Inspired by a link posted by a friend on facebook the other day – How to be More Confident.