Have you ever sat and wondered what your life would be like if you were funnier? More popular? Prettier?
I have many times. For most of my life I never felt like I fit in. I always seemed to be too different from everyone else. I wasn’t a cool chick, I wasn’t funny, I didn’t have a bubbly personality and I wasn’t gorgeous. I’ve never been a confident person and have never seen myself as someone people would want to know. Although I’ve always had friends, I felt like I was on the sidelines, that it didn’t really matter whether I was there or not.
Since I was a teenager I noticed my idea of fun was very different from most I knew. I loved watching musicals such as The King and I or Singing in the Rain, listening to Elvis, Frank Sinatra and later on Michael Buble (I swear his songs are the soundtrack to my life) or reading. Until now I’ve never had any friends who were interested in these. I would go to musicals with my mum and now with my mother in law. I built amazing relationships with both women because of this connection, but when you’re a teenager, its probably not the coolest thing to do.
As I got older I found that not drinking was another thing that made me too different. I like going out but really don’t enjoy alcohol and for reasons I don’t know this has always bothered people, as if I am killing their buzz by not drinking. It meant that in my 20’s I didn’t have party girl going for me either.
All of this has made me very uncomfortable in certain social gatherings. For example, if I know only one person at a social occasion, I will most likely not go. The idea makes me physically sick. To this day I will rarely go somewhere if I don’t know many people.
A large area of pride for me was owning a business and then following my dream to be a writer. It forced me to go out of my comfort zone, to be more confident in myself and my abilities, to be more secure in engaging with others. Professionally both areas have made me a better person. Socially… well I’m still working on that.
I did find that meeting the right partner and right friends had a huge impact on how I view myself. I have never felt more beautiful than I do with my husband. He helped me to learn to love myself, just as I am. He taught me that when you are beautiful on the inside then you are beautiful on the outside. He taught me that confidence is sexy. He helped me to realise that being different is ok, he loves me because I am different.
My wolf pack has shown me who I really am, that I am fun, funny (who knew!) and that I am an important part of their lives. I realised that my real self comes out when I am with them. I seem to hold a part of me back when I am with anyone else, as if I feel silly or inadequate, scared of being judged, but with them I have no cares about who I am or how the world sees me.
Between them I am becoming a more confident person, I still have days where I don’t feel like I contribute much, but those days are less. I don’t always love the way I look, but those days are fewer than before.
To anyone who struggles with similar thoughts, I can tell you that it does get better, you will learn to like yourself, even love yourself, you will learn to appreciate your uniqueness. Being different, having different interests to others, it’s a blessing. I think it makes me more interesting. In fact in a recent job interview I was asked to give an interesting fact about myself that they wouldn’t already know. My answer… I’m a girl who loves musicals and war movies. Not many do and that makes me interesting.
Its taken me 33 years but I can say truthfully that I love myself more than ever before. I’m more confident and happier than ever before. Embrace your uniqueness and don’t worry if not everyone likes you because of it. Those who do will be those who see you as you are. A star of you own story.