They say life starts at the end of your comfort zone. Well my life should have flourished 20 years ago because not for one second have I ever felt comfortable in my own skin. I have always felt different and weird and always had thoughts of “I wish I was like her.” So I’m putting it out there to change this thought pattern and saying – life begins when you get comfortable being you!!!
Even in the short time since being on this journey I’ve had a massive shift in the way I see myself. Putting out to the world all my “ugly” bits that I’ve previously been ashamed of, has lifted the shame and the guilt that I always carry. It has lifted the stigma of not coping sometimes. It has lifted the pressure I felt to hide what I was going through out of fear that people would laugh at me or judge me.
Growing up as an introvert with a resting bitch face is fucking hard. The relentless comments of ‘what’s wrong with you, why are you grumpy?’ These comments were started by a teacher at high school. Each morning we had a specific class for roll call which I think was only 10-15 minutes long, but it was the worst 10-15 minutes of my life each and every day. He was relentless in pointing out that even when I smiled I looked grumpy. I was 13, riding the rollercoaster of puberty, scared shitless about being in a new school and this asshole decides it’s a great idea to belittle me in front of my peers. It was not a great start to high school and it has had an enormous and lasting effect on my self-confidence and social skills. It took me 33 years to accept my resting bitch face and to not get offended and upset by people’s comments. To have the strength to stand up and say ‘this is my face and it’s not going to change.’
It was actually my ex that pushed me to that point. After 3 years of being together she would still accuse me of being grumpy almost daily, purely because of the way my face is built. I finally snapped and said “my face isn’t changing so shut up, stop picking on me and deal with it.” Probably not the nicest way to put it but when you constantly feel ashamed and have been honest that those type of comments hurt and someone keeps saying them, you eventually snap.
The other relentless comment I’ve faced is ‘What’s wrong with you, why don’t you talk much?’ Maybe because I’m built in a way where I see small talk is totally pointless for starters. But also because I find it hard to trust people so my walls are up and it takes time for me to pull them down and allow people in. When I’m comfortable with people and when I trust them, you can’t shut me up. I love talking for hours and having deep conversations about life, spirituality, death, what makes people tick, fears and insecurities, favourite memories, what dreams mean, what bad things people have done, the human body. I like depth in conversations. I like hearing different opinions and having open discussions with people that think differently to me so I can get to know how other humans work. I would love to sit down with someone who is homophobic and genuinely ask their opinion as to why they think it’s wrong. Unfortunately I haven’t found someone yet that is willing to have this discussion.
It blows my mind that as a general rule, society has still not accepted that each and every human on this earth is different, and these differences are amazing and interesting. Some people meet others and are completely comfortable and at ease and talk nonstop. Others need some time to get to that point. Why we are still judged on how we are built? I’ve never said to anyone why do you look so happy even when you’re just sitting there doing nothing. I’ve never questioned someone as to why they feel comfortable so quickly when they meet someone new. I just accept that they are probably an extrovert and that’s the way they are made. There is nothing wrong with them. They are just who they are.
The most common comment I’ve heard from people I finally get to know is “I thought you were such a bitch when we met because you didn’t talk much, but you’re actually such a nice person.” Why are introverts immediately judged as being unkind?
The hardest thing I’m trying to achieve in this journey, is learning how to be comfortable with being me. To accept me for me and stop judging myself. To stop wishing I was someone else. I’ve spent my whole life putting myself down and listening to others when they put me down. I’m finally saying to myself, enough is enough. I’m trying to look at myself in a way in which I’d look at someone else if they had my qualities. I know deep down I’m a good person and if I knew someone like me, I’d think they’re pretty awesome. So why is it my whole life I have only ever focused on my ‘bad’ qualities? Why is it I can focus on other people’s good qualities, but not my own?
My inner critic is such a stubborn bitch. She is relentless in finding faults in everything I do. She is relentless on judging me for the most basic things that if I saw in someone else, wouldn’t bother me at all. It’s such a bad habit that I’ve formed and I’m finding it really difficult to stop it. But I’m definitely getting better at it and I’ve found a few ways to snap me out of it before the voice gets too mean. And the feeling I get when I stand up and say to myself “You don’t have to say those things about yourself” is so empowering. It makes me smile like crazy. I feel proud for stepping up. I feel proud for making these changes.
This is not to say it’s all sunshine and that it’s by any means easy. It is really difficult to do and I’m still finding that sometimes it takes a while to shift this thinking. But again I’m just focusing on showing up for myself each day. Focusing on how far I’ve come already. Putting the same positivity that I put into my training in that as long as I’m moving forward, that’s good enough for me!! I can truly say that the moments I have where I feel 100% comfortable in my own skin are so freaking magical and I want to feel that all the time. I won’t stop on this journey until I get that. I deserve to feel that way all the time. Everyone does!!!
So instead of chasing this dream of getting out of your comfort zone…. start getting comfortable with who you are and I guarantee you, you’ll see life in a brand new, beautiful light.
I am who I am.