Oh what I'd give to not crumble with awkward and haziness when faced with a situation in dire need of some self confidence. It's easier, in ways, when you're on your own - bumping into someone on the streets, you've got no other to compare yourself to, you get on and converse, you don't notice your awkward self as much, you think oh that went alright, why do I always get so nervous. Yet when I'm around others, especially those who ooze charisma and confidence, I always hide behind, slightly in the shadow, all through my own fault of letting them take the lead because I know I fall far behind with my lack of confidence anyway. I'm overpowered is how I feel, but not in a malicious way.

I was known to be a very shy kid, despite being a lively toddler - growing up I was flat out quiet. I do believe the struggles with my hearing, made me live life in my own little bubble, because quite literally that is how you feel, all in your own head, you hear your thoughts and self more than those around you. I was never taught any coping mechanisms for such disability, I did genuinely just embrace the way I was and just got on with it. It wasn't until secondary school at the age of 11, when I met one of my best friends who would miraculously help me out of my comfort zone. She was a bit of a shock to my system, I was quiet, I didn't talk much, on the other hand she was loud, lively; she was a firecracker. I think in the best way, through out the next few years, we complimented each other. She lead me out of my shell and I willingly followed, I met more people due to the little but very valuable gain in confidence, we had the best few years. If it were any different, I'm not sure I'd even be where I am today, I wouldn't change anything for the world.

I feel I grew to a more seemingly normal level of confidence, yet today a decade later, I still struggle but in new ways. Before I wouldn't know how to not only initiate a conversation but keep it going. Now? No problem, easy. Typically, the more modern day struggle, most youngsters battle with, is comparison, but it's not always a comparison in appearance or lifestyle I stress and break over, it's personality, the natural charisma, confidence, their lack of my personal friend anxiety. It's not jealousy that this boils over, it's my own shame in my lack of confidence. I feel a sense of disappointment that I haven't got enough of it, angry that I haven't done enough in progressing towards such personality. I don't think I've ever been comfortable with just how shy I can be, it's not as bad as it once was when I was a kid, sure, but it lingers, even when I am loud and lively, it is there and will creep in when I'm next ordering coffee at a busy cafe, standing in line at the post office, or sat in the doctors room. As a little girl, I embraced it, now I'm ashamed of it. I'll tell myself get a grip, then feel mentally down and battle the underlying awkward pit in my stomach for the next 24hrs.

I suppose I admire another's likability, their ease and candidness with people around them, at the pub, in the workplace and so on, I constantly overthink of someones opinion of me, always kicking myself afterwards that I could have said this or that, I could have spoken louder, with, yes, confidence. If there's one thing I've picked up on, is that I'm unapologetic for my personality and I, when I'm not around too closely to where I grew up. I'll too often then remember how I used to be and feel it in my gut, I'll assume it's me still, I'll forget how much I've grown. It's like certain corners haunt me, dare I say certain people too. This was proven when I went to an event at the start of this year, in central London, away from where I've always been, the confidence I there expressed, humbly, was a delight surprise, but I also didn't notice it too much, until I was told by someone else that I had been. All I felt was relaxed and professional and enjoyed it. I don't know if I'll soon embrace my quieter side, appreciate the confidence I have or learn how to deal with that slight shame I feel in the lack of it, but it's something I've had heavy on my chest for some time and not something I feel I've heard another saying other than wishing for confidence, I struggle with the shame in not having it.
Do you?