Confidence and self-esteem, those two so closely tied together things, are tricky.
Sometimes I really think I have this confidence thing down. In a workshop, I speak enthusiastically to and with the large group, everyone's eyes upon me, with not even a twinge of fear. I go up to individuals afterward to tell them how much I liked that comment about sustainability they made, or simply to introduce myself with a smile and a firm handshake. I say "yes" without pause when asked to speak somewhere, and think cheerfully of how much fun it'll be.
This confidence leads into self-esteem: wow, people like hearing what I have to say, like meeting me, like me. I have some awesome friends. That's cool. I'm proud of what I've done and do. I like who I am. I like me, too! Hell, I love me!!
Then I'll say or type something seemingly inconsequential without putting much thought into it. Or, even worse, think long and hard, then realize only just after I've opened my mouth or hit the send key how stupid whatever I said just sounded to me. Then comes the twisty feeling in my gut: how could I have said something so stupid??
Then, like the opening of a dam, usually kept tightly closed off in some part of my mind, comes the rush of all 10,000,000 other things I've ever said or done that have made me wince: brought on waves of shame and regret, or even just mild twinges of it. Every single thing...
This tends to happen especially when around certain people, people I think are especially cool, or especially cute, or especially smart, that I seem to be unable to say or do anything cool or intelligent when around them or in communication with them.
It only takes one event, or one slightly low mood and a surfacing memory, to make me spiral down this path of self-hatred.
Of course, in an hour or two, I'll likely get a nice email, or have a friend say something, that gets me all happy and confident and self-loving once again.
I feel like this is probably a fairly normal occurrence for a lot of people. But really? It sucks.
It feels really strange to be posting this, actually. I've come to feel obligated to write a *certain type* of post on this blog. Posts that are of a higher quality with more constructive content. But... I'm trying to keep in mind what I want this blog to be, and that's to be a place I can freely express myself online. That expression often is about unschooling, and often is in a more article-like format. But when what's on my mind is something far more... I don't know, personal, I guess, I want to feel that that's okay too. Which is why I'm posting this, despite reservations! That is all.