There was a time when I was super confident in myself, in my abilities, in my special-ness. It was during my twenties, after I had escaped a particularly evil relationship. I was angry enough at everything that I just didn’t give a flying fuck what anyone thought. It is easy to be confident when you are young and angry, I think.

During that period, I met the woman who would become my very best friend. She further introduced me to a whole group of women who were confident in themselves for no other reason than they were awesome. I started to realize that being angry and risk-taking in and of itself was not particularly sane, nor smart. It was during this time that said BFF moved to Austin, TX. As I was in a dead-end job, and my then-lover had broken things off with me, I decided a change of venue was a goodness.

Home is where the heart is. And the amazing people and food and parks and clubs and and and…

It was in Austin that I found and lost misplaced some very important things. The things I found have been in staggered1 layers, and for the most part have been wonderful. The things that I misplaced were in teetering tiers of loss.

One of the most distressing ones that went into hiding was that wholehearted belief in self. Somewhere along the way, I lost my grip on the knowledge that I am supremely and fantastically human and because of that simple, single fact, I am2 amazing.

Loss of amazing can do awful, awful things to a person. Any person, anywhere. It takes your breath away, forces you to look at yourself through a lens distorted by fear. You find yourself comparing, and coming up short.

In response, I hid myself. When I did go out, I was quiet and withdrawn; or hid myself behind a curtain of bubbly (and often inane) chatter. Even in a room full of people, many of whom I was conversing with, I felt alone. A wallflower.

Go to the source page for this image. Read it.

At the start of this year, and after the meta-Verse didn’t disappear into a Mayan volcano spewing angry pets3, I came to a few important decisions.

Some of the more important (to me, at any rate) ones are as follows:

  • And while we are at it? Fuck this attenuated body image. As a friend recently told me, “Just OWN it!”
  • Because we are not passing any of this disconnected, stay home, with our heads down chattel to The Girl. She deserves better.

This is not about being an introvert, or being a bit shy. This is about losing your grip on your core personality. Everyone changes as they grow older, sure. But you shouldn’t stuff your true self into a corner, lock it down with chains and pretend that is the normal and right thing to do.

WARPED LIFE VIEW: Good heavens, are you still trying to win?
ME: Hello. My name is Bon Steele. You killed my confidence. Prepare to die.
*clang thwack clang*
WARPED LIFE VIEW: Stop saying that!
*whap clang smash*
ME: Hello. My name is Bon Steele. You killed my confidence. Prepare to die.
*thwing cling*
ME: Offer me hiding!
ME: Risky behavior, too. Promise me that!
WARPED LIFE VIEW:  All that I can inveigle you with and more! Please!
ME:  Offer me everything I ask for!
WARPED LIFE VIEW:  Anything you want!
ME:  I want my confidence back, you son-of-a-bitch!4

So, those are my Jack Handy-ish thoughts. What are yours?

1 – Staggered is an amazingly versatile word, don’t you think?
– We are amazing.
3 – Horrific Mayan mashup for the doomsday win!
4 – Totally swiped from “The Princess Bride”, of course.

2 thoughts on “Wallflower

  1. I nearly spewed chewed Lays potato chips all over my keyboard on that dialogue bit.

    I can relate to the majority of this post. Self confidence (or the absence of such) can make such a phenomenal difference in a person’s life.

    1. Also – If you haven’t watched “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” you should. It seems to me that you’d really enjoy it. It has nifty plot twists and cultural stuff I think you’d enjoy.

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