I think it might be human nature to be self-conscious. We are ourselves, so it makes sense to be most aware of ourselves. And we are the most aware of the things that other people don’t notice. Most of the things are stupid. Some of them would go unnoticed for years if we didn’t point them out. Some of them aren’t even real. Some of them aren’t noticed, even if we do point them out.
So here are a few things that I’m self-conscious about:
1. I have a lisp
When I was a kid, my lisp was really bad. Now that I’m older, not many people hear it. But I hear it. I hear it in recordings of my voice. I hear it when I talk to guests. And as soon as I hear it, I try to fix it, but when I try to fix it, it gets worse.
I was telling this story to my manager one time. I used to work at a camp in Sonora. One day I was in the snack bar with a girl that I worked with and it was really slow. We thought it would be funny if we used accents when we talked to guests. “Or we could have lisps!” She announced. “Oh wait… sorry.” She apologized when I gave her a look. I laughed. This story makes me laugh, but my current manager told me, “You don’t have a lisp.” He fully doesn’t believe in it. He can’t hear it.
My best friend can hear it, but only when I point it out.
Really, I’m self-conscious about my speaking in general. I talk fast. But I work in customer service, and I often deal with foreigners whose first language isn’t English. So I try to speak slower for them, but it’s a heavy effort. When I get excited, I speak much faster. And I mumble. I trip over my words. Not always, but enough for me to notice.
I also talk too much. I have so many things on my mind all the time, that I just want to say them. I find myself annoying.
2. My Handwriting
I have terrible handwriting. I mean, terrible. It’s legible. But it’s really not pretty at all. And it’s inconsistent depending on my mood. I look at it and cringe. Thank God we’re beyond the days of guys asking for a handwritten number.
The worst part about this, is that I’m a writer. I write all the time. I heard that messy handwriting is a sign of intelligence, but it still doesn’t make me happy. Maybe I should have been a doctor?
3. Texting People First
I would much rather give people my number than get theirs. Unless I am standing with them at the exchange and text them right then. I hate texting someone I’ve never texted before, or someone that I haven’t talked to in a long time, and them responding with, “Who is this?” It makes me feel so awkward. Like, why do I have your number? Are we friends? Most of the time, I don’t even want to respond. Which is probably more awkward.
4. Dancing/Playing sports
So, I’m not a horrible dancer. But I hate when people watch me, or if I feel like people are watching me. If I’m with the right friends, it’s great. Most environments, I’m too self-conscious, so I’d rather stay in my seat.
As for playing sports, I used to be good. I had fun. And I still have fun, if we’re just messing around and it’s not competitive. But if I kick the ball wrong, or if I fall while snowboarding, or miss a block in volleyball, I don’t want to play anymore. Unless I can laugh about it. If you’ll laugh with me, I’m fine. If you’re mad, or if you give me a hard time, forget it.
5. My Appearance
Obviously we knew this one was coming. Every female, scratch that, every human, is critical of their appearance. But I didn’t used to be. When I was younger I thought I was pretty. I thought I would be thin forever, which is kind of what my mom told me. I had always been active and eaten whatever I wanted. I had clear skin. I looked great in a swimsuit.
And then that slowly started to change. I stopped swimming competitively. I went through puberty (dear god). I hurt my knee running, so I had to take some time off. But I still ate what I wanted. I have my mother’s hips. And I’m short, so I feel as if my body is disproportionate. I’m not even fat, but I feel like I am. We all feel like we are. I hate my stomach. I hate my legs. I hate my butt. And I hate when people draw attention to my body at all. Girls do it far more than guys do. But I just wish I could hide.
And my skin is not clear, not all the time. It’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I don’t break out nearly as bad as other people, but if I get one spot, I mess with it, and it only gets worse. And I have moles on my face. They’re not harmful, and aren’t even that bad, but I am very aware of them.
I obsess over every stray hair. I have never had good hair, and I am shocked when I hear that people actually do like my hair. I’m lazy, and I do nothing with it. I just dye it a lot, because I get bored. Really, I probably shouldn’t have hair at all.
But none of these things make me a bad person. They don’t make me ugly. They don’t make people like me less, even if I sometimes feel like they do. They won’t keep me from finding someone to spend my life with. They don’t affect me as a writer, and they shouldn’t affect me as a person.
Remember that you’re beautiful. Don’t sweat the little things, but that’s just what they are, little. No one notices but you. And if they do, they’re not worth it.