I’ve been feeling uncomfortable lately. It’s not that my shoes are too tight or I don’t have enough cushions for the couch (that is never an issue), it’s that I’ve been in situations where things have felt not-quite-right. There’s awkwardness – a distinct lack of flow – and it’s coming from me.
Usually when I meet new people or go into new situations I don’t care what folks think of me but recently I’ve been meeting new people and I want them to like me. I believe that I will lose something if they don’t.
I hate being in this situation – feeling I could lose something I value and it may not be in my control.
And the weird thing is, I’m not afraid of being judged on my unpopular opinions – of which I have many – but on my work. I feel I’m a disappointment when people find out I “just work in a bookshop” – despite it being a rare and highly sought-after (some would even say “dream”) job. But I have no evidence of this supposed disappointment of others. Seriously, why would they care what I do? I have a hunch the disappointment actually comes from me – that I’m not okay with working in a bookshop – and it’s all part of a lifelong dialogue around not living up to potential.
My social awkwardness actually stems from me – judging myself.
So all this has been tumbling around in my head this week but once I realised that it was about my own judgement (and knew I could do something about it), the discomfort dropped away and I returned to “It doesn’t matter if you like me or not” and “Yeah this is thrilling and fun”. Excitement conquers fear. Life rolls on.
It’s funny how these little insights can come from such unexpected places – that change (or growth) can begin with getting a little uncomfortable and that awareness can bring such freedom.