The Voice Inside My Head

“You look so good.  Professional.”

I respond automatically.  “I’ve been trying.”

That’s the god’s honest truth.  For a while, I wasn’t trying.  I lived in the land of jeans and sweatpants with my hair in a ponytail solely because I could.  I’m starting to change, and I see that but I don’t know how to articulate it.  I don’t know how to put into words the person that I’m becoming.  Confidence is a difficult concept for me to understand.  

I allow myself to be bound by my circumstances.  I claim that I want to be more but I often fail to give myself that opportunity.  Case and point: last week I was eating dinner with someone and we were having a conversation about teaching and issues that come up in the classroom.  She mentioned a problem that she was having and I suddenly found myself talking in regards to solving the issue even though I probably had no business doing so.  After I had been talking for at least a minute, I realized WHO I was talking to and clamped my mouth shut with a hasty apology—I was certain she knew better than I did what sorts of things would solve classroom issues.  Surprisingly, she encouraged me to continue.  It occurred to me then that I maybe know a thing or two about, well…things.  There are many times where I doubt this.

It is easier for me to be unconfident because it’s what I know.  When I was younger, I was made fun of for the clothes I wore or my makeup or the way I did my hair or really ANY number of things about my person.  My friends would chastise me for speaking when I wasn’t spoken to, for trying to force myself into conversations where I had no place being.  I went from high school to marriage; my (now) ex-husband tried to force me into a box of his creation and seal the lid, and I went along with it.  I didn’t see another option.  His voice was the strongest that I knew and the one that I was supposed to be listening to.  

Now, however, I have many awesome people in my life.  I wear decent clothes on a fairly regular basis (with the understanding that it’s because I want to look nice, not because it is required as was my previous thinking pattern).  I wear crazy colored tights and glittery shoes and I do my hair and I try.  Because I care more.  I have people in my life who think that I’m amazing, who appreciate the fact that I have my own thoughts, who support me in my decisions, and who just want me around.  I’m trying to reach out and make connections and be a real, whole person.  

Here’s the thing though.  It’s still his voice that rings the strongest.  It’s still the thought that I don’t fit, that I never will, that I will always be in the shadows.  No matter how many times someone tells me that I am awesome or strong or amazing, no matter how many publications I get or successes I attain, I still hear him telling me that I’m not good enough.  I’m not working hard enough.  I’m not doing the right things.  I, the person who I am, the real me, am not enough.

I am different though.  Sometimes I wake up and find myself afraid of the day, like today, and rather than caving as I would have with him I tell myself that I am not afraid.  That I am stronger.  That I am better.  I fake it until I make it, as my very wise advisor has told me to do so many times.  I hear his voice, and I tune it out.  I’m starting to forget what it sounded like.  I am detoxing from the box that he built for me and making a life that is my own.

I want more moments like I had the other day at dinner.  I want to know that I know what I’m talking about.  I want to be sure of my abilities on my own terms.  I want to be my own person who can listen and interpret but not absorb absolutely everything.  I want to be confident.  

Most of all, I want the only voice inside my head to be mine.

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4 thoughts on “The Voice Inside My Head

  1. […] The Voice Inside My Head ( […]

  2. raskoearno says:

    A difficult situation you’re in. Reminds me somehow of the film ‘Lost in translations’. The main character does not know what’s happening in this strange new world (Japan) he finds himself in, to play a role in a commercial to promote whiskey. It confuses him. He misses the ‘clue’ all the time, and at the same time it leads him to his deeper inner world, beyond ‘fancy’ appearances and shouting voices.

    Anyway… Nietztsche would say: “What does not kill you, makes you stronger”… But then again… He was a man, beautifully exposed in Irving D. Yaloms book “When Nietzsche whept”.

    Question: Do you believe you speak in your blog through your inner voice?

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