I have always been a shy person and there are so many reasons for that. In part because genetics have not been my friend. I was sporting eyeglasses before I started school, got asthma in first grade, wore braces starting at age 11 for five years (yes 5 years!) and those braces were super awesome with rubber bands, then due to the congenitally missing teeth as a teenager I was missing two front teeth and had a super fun retainer with fake teeth which through a couple surgeries was then replaced by dental implants. And I won't even go to my frizzy, coarse thick hair, bad skin, or abnormally long legs with a short torso (which equaled high water pants)....the list goes on. Basically I never felt confident in my appearance nor was I given any reason to feel confident in my appearance.
I can now say that my appearance issues for the most part have resolved themselves - even my hair (yay!) and I do feel confident in my appearance. But inside, I'm still that teenage girl sometimes and I tend to regress to her emotional maturity. Which means that I basically crawl inside myself socially.
This is where the demons have found their ways in. The cracks in my facade have left them plenty of room. The insecurities are deep and profound at times. Wyatt and Eli's lives and deaths only intensified those feelings and urges. During each of their pregnancies and after I delivered them I felt that my forehead had some kind of neon sign announcing that my baby would or had died. I was sure that sadness was just seeping from my pores most days. I didn't want people to see that, I didn't feel comfortable with many people seeing that. My answer was to huddle in where people couldn't see that. And each time, it took a lot of time for me to venture back out into the world. Even then, I was so fragile, so afraid of just breaking apart. I avoided so many social situations and find myself still doing so even two years after Eli's birth.
Until last weekend. Through fate and a long string of fortuitous circumstances I didn't just agree but volunteered to organize and create a new spring carnival for our elementary school's pto. Did I mention that the school has almost 700 kids? I put over two months of blood, sweat and tears into it and had many sleepless nights wondering if it would actually happen and then if it did, whether my ship would sink or float. Friday was that night. But to make it happen I had to stare my demons right in the eye. I had to put a smile on my face and look people straight in the eye, over and over and over and over that night. Not something that is easy for me to do. Definitely sent my flight reaction into overdrive. But I did it! I walked around that carnival all afternoon and evening organizing volunteers, introducing myself, talking to participants and ... I enjoyed it! For me it's just more proof that I can get through anything, even when that self doubt creeps in.
Because of my boys I can always tell myself in a difficult situation that I have been through much much worse and I know that's true. I know that I made it to the other side not once but twice and that most anything else is small peanuts.
Take that demons.