Confidence – Or bust
I’m starting a new journey today. A journey to rebuild my confidence.
Well, when you can’t speak to your child’s teacher without stammering and going red, AND he’s younger than you, you know you have a problem. That really happened to me today. Having a simple conversation, I could actually feel my cheeks starting to burn, my throat get scratchy and dry and my heart thumping in my chest. That isn’t even the WORST example. A few days ago, I was at the checkout of a shopping centre and it happened there too. What made this incident worse was that I had taken my daughter to the checkout with the stuff she had chosen, which she was to pay for with her own money, so that she could perform the exercise on her own. My daughter, you see has my problem. Instead of making it easier, I went into a state of splendid stupor (red face, stammering, giggling like a school child) and when I looked down at my daughter, I realised her cheeks were as red as mine felt. So I failed miserably in that quest. The youngster at the till couldn’t have been older than eighteen and I think that he felt embarrassed by our embarrassment. the whole thing was a complete shambolic waste. I call these my Bridget Jones days. And I have many days like that! SO now you see why I need to rebuild my confidence. Not only is it important for me, it is important for my daughter. I don’t want her to go through what I went through at school.
The first step on the road to recovery for me is to really think about when it all went wrong and why. When I was in primary school, I had no confidence problems. I had one or two teachers that made my life rather difficult but I think that it was easy for them because of my generally gentle nature. It certainly did not damage my confidence. On to high school, I was fine for about the first six months. I took typing as one of my subjects back then and my teacher was horrible to me. So horrible, in fact, that at the end of the year I dropped typing and took up Accountancy instead. What happened next is something I believe could only have happened to me. The accountancy teacher left and guess who replaced her? My typing teacher. It was a year of absolute HELL.
Added to that, I had been seriously ill (A long story which I will keep for another post) and was mentally and physically very weak. Personally, I blame my confidence slide on a combination of my illness and what my accountancy teacher put me through. It degenerated so rapidly that it was not long before I couldn’t even stand up in front of my classmates and say a simple speech. So bad, in fact, that my mum – being a good worried parent – sent me to speech and drama classes. They did help me, to an extent. I was able to stand up and say speeches after a few classes but I shied away from many other things.
The big change in my confidence came with a move. When I finished my schooling, my parents decided to move to Natal (South Africa). It was probably the best thing they could have ever done for me. I knew nobody in Natal. I went to College and had to meet new people, make new friends. And that was on top of starting a new course in a new town. It took a lot for me to get through it but I did. I passed my college course and made new friends, met my (now) husband. And I have to say, I found talking to strangers and meeting new people was not as hard as I had initially envisaged. In fact, I found my confidence boosted so much that by the time I started my Bachelor of Education Degree, I really thought that I would easily be able to do it. And I can. I’m great with kids, although these days I stick with primary school children even though I am high-school trained. Yet,here I am again, back to square one and my confidence has taken another serious dip. What could have caused that?
I think it’s the result of the following, all tied in together: hard knocks at work, the changing face of the country I love, falling fast from that high pedestal down to the deepest mires of humanity – crime and in particular violent crime – leading to a loss of faith in the system of my homeland. All of that coupled of course, with a MAJOR life changing move to England and the loss of all that I know. The burning question now is, can I get it back?
What can I do to restore my confidence? I’m not exactly sure yet, but I think it will have to start with baby steps. Something small. Have the confidence to tell my daughter’s teacher something interesting without gagging on my own words. That’s a good small thing to start with. And another, larger thing but something I know I am capable of doing, write a short story to submit to a story competition or a magazine. Those are my two immediate goals to begin my journey.
As I complete my quests and add more, I will continue to update this space, so stay tuned 🙂
And my mantra to start my daily routine:
PS: Spoke to my daughter’s teacher today. Did not crumble, did not fail. No Bridget Jones moments for me today! I’m a happy bunny 🙂
Quick update: I have been looking for competitions to submit short stories to and can’t believe that you have to pay an entrance fee for the majority of them! If anyone knows of any free writing competitions, please let me know. I really want to do this! – Karen
Copyright © 190412 by Karen Payze