My one word for 2017 is fear. I’ve spent most of my life being terribly anxious but feeling the need to keep a lid on the crazy to stop anyone else knowing. If I make a social misstep I will go out of my way to never see those people again, and then imagine they are all talking about me behind my back.
Like the time I was talking about how my ob/gyn had heaps of jokes about water births and how much he hated them on his website, only to find out the woman I was talking to had had three that were the best experiences of her life. Never went back to that book club because I was too embarrassed to ever face her again. In actual fact, she was probably just making conversation but in my mind, she spent every subsequent meeting berating my friend for bringing the loser that one time.
Or the fact that I talk to people all week for my job and it is incredibly hard to have to imitate a normal human and then hyperventilate in the workroom afterwards. Because the company I work for is huge, I frequently have interactions with people who I don’t recognize and whose name I don’t know. They ask me about my son and we chat about work and afterwards I spend hours over analyzing the situation, trying to figure out if they knew that I had no idea who they were.
I never used to be this way. In my teens and as a child I was the most bubbly and gregarious person ever, even a little bossy. If I said something thoughtless, I’d apologize but I wouldn’t churn through it for hours or avoid the person in the future. But then as it does, life happened. Ever since, I’ve had a voice in the back of my head telling me I was a loser, that people really hated me and wished I would shut up. It was so loud and shouty that it drowned that confident young girl who loved to tell stories and write poems and act and sing and dance.
It’s taken a lot of time and effort and therapy but I’m finally taking steps to banish that voice for good. Blogging has been a big part of that. Seeing all the lovely comments you leave each week has helped the voice of that confident girl get a little louder and made me realise that I’m not stupid, or useless. That maybe people want to hear what I have to say.
So that’s why my one word for 2017 is fear. This is the year that I finish what I started and stop letting self doubt rule my life. My first step is book club. I’ve been an online member of a local geek social group for about two years and never once attended an event. I made excuses for myself – someone was ill, I couldn’t leave Bear, I was too tired or poor. It’s a small step sure, to go in a room with people I already ‘know’ but just haven’t met. But to me, it might as well be walking on the moon.
What would your one word for 2017 be? Share in the comments or join the link up hosted by the lovely Denyse!