I believe in doing something that makes me uncomfortable every day. It took me twenty-three years of living in a self conscious box before I discovered the joy uncomfortableness can bring. When we’re kids, most of us are lucky enough to be free of inhibitions and the fear of embarrassment. I was not that kid. I spent my childhood sitting on the sidelines watching the other children play games because I was terrified of getting picked last for kickball or striking out in baseball. It got so bad that I was constantly accused of being “stuck up” because of my insecurities. Shyness mistaken for ego. This fear of being rejected followed me into adulthood. I missed out on friendships, good times and a sense of freedom because of the fear of putting myself out there. In my quest to get through life unscathed, I found myself missing out on the everyday adventures that make life exciting. When I was twenty-three, I met an incredible guy who embodied the exact opposite of every fear I was holding onto. Always the first to volunteer to sing karaoke, or to act out a funny story in a crowd, he lit a fire under me and encouraged me to step outside of myself despite my insecurities. To embrace the situations that make me uncomfortable and unsure rather than holding back. Needless to say, my friendship with Charlie took some time to develop, but now I am happy to call him my best friend and boyfriend. Every now and then we are lucky enough to cross paths with someone who inspires us. Someone who can help us become a better version of ourselves. And through knowing them, slowly but surely we progress, and life becomes richer. That is how you are reading this now. My attempt at contributing something meaningful to this series is to also pursue a love of writing. Even though in submitting my thoughts, I am opening myself up to the possibility of rejection, the gesture is worth everything I may gain by embracing the uncomfortableness. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.