Dear Insecurities, Let’s Break Up

I amย 33 next month and still feel like a student. I dress like a student, living in skinny jeans and ankle boots. My khaki summer jacket wouldn’t be amiss in the college corridors, wisping through lecture room to coffee shop to library – oops no coffee in the library! I still wear my baggy jumpers, my KISS ARMY t-shirts – albeit these are confined to bedtime clothes most of the time – I am and always will be an indie girl at heart, and I frequently quote phrases from Friends. And I also have many insecurities.

I haven’t changed. My mentality han’t changed. I think that I ‘think’ like a 19 or 20 year old. I don’t but I still feel like that college girl, that English student who hid away in the second last row of lecture theatre A. To this day, I still watch groups and cliques gather around me in work, in meetings, at conferences and seminars and remember the English Quad Squad, as I referred to them, glide into the lecture theatre and take their seats in the middle, right in front of the podium, giving them the chance to stare straight into the lecturers eyes. Approving nods and agreements thrown his way if eyes locked. They were the students who were remembered, who were given references for future employers by their tutors and senior lecturers. Not the girl in the back on her own who ran for the bus as soon as lectures were over, the girl who skipped tutorials because the two hour wait between classes was unbearable on her own. The girl who avoided the student bar because, one, she didnt (and still doesn’t) drink alcohol and, two, she didn’t want to expose herself as an unworldly and timid freshman. The girl who introduced herself ‘My name is Geraldine’ to hear ‘Oh Jolene, what a lovely name’. My voice was low, my heart was lower, I did not correct their mistake. I was not the most confident as you can see.

***The song Jolene was almost forever ruined for me until I heard my husband sing it… he has an amazing voice! Thank god for singing husbands and amazing songs!***

So, I still feel like that girl, the 19 year old.

But the difference is, I’m not a teenager, I’m not hip or trendy (do they still say that?), my clothes are not new, in fact they’re five years old or more. My hair has not been cut let alone styled in 3 years. And I often forget to pluck my eyebrows. I go out of the house with little to no make up and there are times when I simply don’t know if my clothes are clean or not. Parenting has taken over as time runs away on me but underneath my insecurities are still real.

My 19 year old self whips me back to a time when I watchedย Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wornย big jeans and decorated my canvas bag with beads, gemstones and tippex painted symbols from Charmed. Anytime I encounter a situation when I’m nervous or shy, I feel like that girl again. I’m no good at making friends or keeping friends – so if we’re still friends, yayy! I’ll do my best to keep you. And if we’re not I’m sorry but I remember you fondly. I’ve never forgotten a single friend and appreciate all they have done for me.

Somewhere along the way, I grew up.
I graduated. I watched the English Quad Squad throw their hats in the air. I took the obligatory awkward graduation photo which hangs in my parents house. And then I got a job, got married, we have a beautiful toddler and a bungalow on half an acreย – with a lawn that takes up to three hours to mow – and we’re deciding on primary schools. No, I’m not in my 30s, I’m a 19 year old from 2002 who has simply grown up. I still shy away and avoid people as much as I can. I lean on my husband – he gives me confidence just by being around him – he oozes charisma but suffered his own insecurities and dealt with them. With him I can do anything. Without him, I find myself needing to imagine tree roots are growing from my toes and heels and rooting me to the ground. I find I have to channel Karen O and hear her melodies singing in my head to banish any nerves or stress I have of talking to new people, old acquaintances and yet I want the relaxed and soothing nature of Bowie to ooze from me. I want to look and feel confident but that 19 year old creeps back in and I doubt myself.

You may know me.

But you probably don’t know that beneath it all, I’m nervous. You may not know that the first time I met you, I was probably desperately searching the archives in my head to find conversation filler, that I was hoping you didn’t want to talk to me, that I wished I could have hidden behind the curtain before you approached me. I’m better than I was. B has given me confidence, he taught me how to laugh at myself, raise myself up and stand tall but it takes effort, mental effort.

Now I’m stronger. Because I don’t want A to see my insecurities and think that they are the norm. I don’t want her to worry, to stress, to fear confrontation. To feel small or be shy. I want her to be brave, to be adventurous, to explore and be confident. I want her to see Momma Bear stand tall and not cower or shy away – or run away more like! I want her to look up to me. I want her to be proud of me and see me being confident and strong. Because of her and because of B, I am becoming a stronger person. I am less quiet, I force myself to put myself ahead, approach people first before they find me hiding behind a curtain. I stand tall when I feel miniscule inside and I speak loud when I fear my voice will fail. A will not have my insecurities – no doubt she’ll have her own – but I promise
I will not pass on MY insecurities to A.
And I will NOT hold on to them for myself.

This post is linked up with the following:

3 Little Buttons

Cuddle Fairy

Admissions Of A Working Mother

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29 Comments

  1. Wow, beautiful. I bet the courage it took and the fear you faced to write that article made you feel stronger the minute you publicized it. If not, it should have. This is a piece women and men and children and teens can all relate to because on some level, we’re all fighting our insecurities and all hoping to just take them off like a jacket, but it’s not that easy. Nor does it happen overnight. And I think that’s the hardest part of being a parent… Because you set an example early on and they follow. I’d never want to see my sweet Alaina as insecure as I was once and sometimes still do feel. And I know you feel the same way as a mother yourself. Your message here screams it loud and clear. You’re brave and beautiful and talented. Keep writing, mama!

    1. Oh Thank You So Much! I wasn’t sure about whether or not to publish this post and I’ll admit I restrained myself from writing a longer more intimate piece because I know friends and family read this. A lot wouldn’t know that I did and still do feel this. I just know that I Hope my daughter is stronger and braver than I was and that I want to set a good example to her. Thank you so much for reading and commenting

  2. ” I was probably desperately searching the archives in my head to find conversation filler” I do that too, just so know you’re not alone. I have to try and make myself more extrovert for my kids sake. Also, regarding your last bit about friends and family reading. I worried about admitting certain things on my blog because of that too. And then I thought why? I have nothing to be ashamed of. Well done Geraldine.

    1. Thanks Beth. At the beginning I was questioning how much honesty I should add into my blog and the more I post the more honest I get. This one being my most honest. I’m glad I’m not alone ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is a lovely and really honest post. I used to be embarrassingly nervous. I’d be nervous so I would blush and then I’d know I was blushing so that would make me more red… The past few years have toughened me up though and I now seem to have a bit more confidence. It’s lovely that your husband has helped your confidence #bloggerclubuk

  4. lovely post! I think our children can really spark change in our lives, because we can grow for their sake. I feel insecure like my younger self, less and less these days!

  5. Oh I love this post and this could be me! I still think that I am that teenager and still wear clothes from my teenage years. I live in baggy jumpers. However, like you I am making a real effort not to pass on my insecurities to my daughters. I want them to be brave and to believe that they can achieve anything #bloggerclubuk

  6. Brilliant post lovely. So truthful & heartfelt. I love the baggy jeans – I had a pair just like those. Mentally I find myself stuck around the year 2000. When I realize it’s 16 years later it’s a real shocker to the system. It’s great that you are getting rid of insecurities both for your daughter’s sake & for yours too. Thanks so much for sharing with #BloggerClubUK

  7. I love this – I was nodding along all the way through thinking, ‘this is me’. I think for the first 6 months, I felt like I was babysitting someone elses child instead of accepting that I’m now a mother! But like you I really don’t want my daughter to feel my insecurites, I want her to be strong and confident xx ps: I also have a very charismatic other half and often wish I had his confidence!

  8. I was and I think still am like this! I was also the indie rock type of girl, friends, charmed, all those shows I loved. I spent so much time not wanting to be in focus or getting anybodies attention! And like you my husband is the charismatic charmer that boosts me, he can see the real me and gives me confidence every day. He was the reason I started my blog- this post really resonated with me. Loved it! #stayclassymama

    1. my hubs is so supportive of my blog and has kept me motivated (he also keeps me in the now and pulls me back to real life when I get sucked in to the blogging world). I admire anyone that is able to stand tall and proud and be seen. I’d like not to skulk in the corner, but all in good time. I imagine my daughter will bring me out of my shell. Love your blog by the way ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. It’s so easy to get sucked in to this world I get that as well ๐Ÿ™‚ my son is helping me come out of my shell as well. Thank you very much! I’ve been following your blog for the past few weeks now and I’m loving your content also ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. This is such an interesting read. I think you can pass on feelings and thoughts to your little ones, but their personalities will be their own and will shape in their own way. Perhaps with a touch of influence… but always their own. Being a cautious person isn’t a bad thing. We all have insecurities, but here you are, writing about them. It feels like this post is your positive step forwards. *mummy high fives ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam

  10. Wow what a powerful post. You are so honest and raw talking about your feelings and how you still feel like that 19 year old freshman year of college. I feel like this as well, it doesn’t change at work there are still the same cliques that form and political drama. It’s in any community of people, for some reason it always happens to form. But you’re right, having children makes you realize that you need to be confident and strong so that they will have these characteristics, and at least for me, has made me realize those cliques and popularity contests are not important anymore. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    1. I wonder if I’ll ever fully shake my insecurities. I can only imagine how I’ll be at the school gates with the cliques. Ill try to ignore them of course but you know how it can be. Thanks for reading and commenting

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