Jan 1. 2017
“What is it about me?” I asked him, he replied slowly, “Confidence”. With tears running down my face I sat there as the word kept hitting me, slapping me harder each time I repeated it in my head. I have lost my confidence for almost two years. Been searching for it in the wrong places. Relationships. Friendships. Career. Even if I had the romance, the friendship, the career, none of it would mean anything because I lack confidence.
I got out the car, dried my face and walked into church. It felt different this time. The atmosphere smelled different. Steady walking, more tears are coming and I can feel my face is hot and red, my eyes swelling up. I feel small. I feel like giving up right now at this very moment and doing something drastic to take away this feeling of “empty”. I find a seat, waiting for service to begin. The tears just won’t stop flowing. My mind all over the place. I can barely breathe, I hate this feeling. I hate it so much! I wanna scream from this agony that has been pulling me down for two years.
Service is starting off with prayer as it always does. I stand to my feet, wiping more tears as they are coming so rapidly. His voice is in my head saying that word again. Confidence. I cringe. Trying to focus on the praise team, its slowly grabbing me around the neck, squeezing me gently and slowly. Confidence. I’m singing along “You are my strength. Strength like no other. Reaches for me.” Here it comes again, I can barely breathe. I’m out of breathe. The room is spinning, my vision is blurry. Confidence. Confidence. Confidence.
There it is, in big black bold letters on the screen. CONFIDENCE EXPECTANCY. I stare at them. It stares back. Making me feel small again. I look down. It’s making me uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable. I glance up at it again. It staring back. Not going away. It won’t let me look away this time, it has my eyes focused on it. We’re staring at each other. “You can’t borrow it! You didn’t ask for it! You can’t buy it at the store! You can’t go looking for it! It’s already in YOU!” When Pastor said those words I cried so hard. I never cried like this in church. I’ve cried at the altar. I’ve had an ugly cry. But this was a cry of despatation.
Those words set a fire inside my soul. Literally. And to think I woke up tired and almost didn’t go to church. The entire sermon was about confidence. A word that I deleted from my vocabulary. A word that made me cringe just from the sight of it. A word that would have me crying many nights because I longed for it. A word that was separated from me and was trying to find its way back into my life. It was a bad breakup. I pushed it out. And never looked back. But it showed up that Sunday. Waiting for me. Staring me down until I could look back at it in its face. We missed each other. It had been about two years we’ve been apart.
“Stop taking pictures of me! You always take them when I’m looking a mess!” I shouted at him. He took the camera away from his eye and said “Why you don’t want me taking your picture Ash?” I said “I just don’t. I look a mess.” “No you don’t”, he replied. I got up and went to bathroom and sobbed. How was I suppose to tell him, that I didn’t want my picture taken because I felt ugly. I felt unattractive. I felt small. I knew I couldn’t continue on like this. Day after day, barely looking at myself in the mirror when I brushed my teeth. I hated how I looked. I hated everything about my physical appearance.
I reached out to a close friend and told her how I felt. She didn’t get it. She kept saying “I don’t undetstand Ash. You look fine to me. You care too much what others think.” She was right. I care way too much about what others think of me, how they view me and feel about me. Why? Why was I allowing this to take over my life? My thoughts, my mental state of mind? WHY?! I was angry with myself for letting it happen. I spent 2015 trying to get it back, I really did. By the time 2016 came, it was a lost cause. It was gone. I pushed it away. I gave up on it and vice versa. I cried all of last year every night hoping it would come back. Crying myself to sleep, praying and wishing for it to come back.
Confidence. It drove me away from blogging. My last post was from the Summer of lasy year. I wasn’t happy with the content, I felt like I was trying to follow too many trends and not being myself. I went thru a breakup. I almost got evicted. I was unhappy at my job. My mom and aunt came to live with me in my tiny studio apartment. I cried. Every night until they moved out. I cried cause I didn’t understand why this was happening to me. What did I do? I questioned myself until I vomited. This was unfair. I’m a good person I kept saying. Were these events happening because of my lack of confidence? My shyness? I didn’t understand it.
In the Fall of 2015, I got a promotion at my job to be a supervisor. I was stoked about it. I didn’t get evicted after all. My fam found a place. I was dating. Things were starting to finally look up for me. Confidence. I still cringed at the sight or hearing of this word. It made me tense up. It was trying to force itself on me but I wouldn’t allow it. I felt scared and shy. I kept my distance from it as much as possible. My new position started off rocky. I didn’t quite master the difficult talks I would have to have with my associates. I didn’t speak up enough. I didn’t feel like I had been promoted even. I felt empty. Again.
I was making more money and had control of my schedule more so than ever but I never felt promoted. I came into work more unhappy than before. It was crazy. The manager started having convetsations with me about my role. I sensed something was up. The guy I had been seeing was here and gone. My tiny studio apartmemt was filled with gruelsome, painful memories that I wasn’t yet ready to let go off. I dreaded coming home. My apartment was ugly and I felt that about myself. As the year 2015 was coming to a close I felt like 2016 was my year and I was ready. I told myself this. Over and over again until I laughed at myself. Deep down I didn’t believe myself. Who was I lying to?! Certaintly myself. I was gonna make 2016 the best year to come. Or at least I hoped for.