That First Small Step Is Very Much Necessary In Order To Make That Final Giant Leap In The End
The way I see it, there are two ways of solving a conflict: You can keep doing what you're doing, keep your dignity, but risk losing what you have or what you thought you had. Or you can lay flat, lose your dignity, maintain what respect you have left, and hopefully keep what you got.
I experienced this today. I was confronted with a problem regarding the way I am and behave towards some of the people that are closest to me. I realize now how happy I am that they confronted me, and I wish they had done it sooner so that we could have been past this point by now. But I realize it can't have been easy for them, either. I know they care about me.
I have issues. I have issues with showing people how I feel when telling them is not enough. Especially when it comes to friends. I am like my mother. I think a lot of things, but I don't know how to say them. And I am so afraid of saying the wrong things in the wrong situations that I end up saying nothing at all, and therefore am perceived as careless, indifferent, ignorant. I don't want to keep doing that.
Today, I had a long talk with two of my best friends in the world. It was a painful talk, but a good talk. They forced me to realize some things I
may have shut out without even knowing it. Everything they said was true. Everything they said about how I have been pulling myself away from social activities, how I have been spending so much time keeping in touch with friends elsewhere in the world that I have appeared not to have time for them, how I don't respond as a good friend when they have problems. Maybe I don't know how to be a good friend.
I need help. Guidance. This is my job, I have to work with myself, but I can't do it by myself. I need the people my behavior affects to tell me what I'm doing wrong when I am doing it. I need them to be tough on me. I can't change without being told what I'm doing wrong to begin with.
I also had a talk with my boyfriend this evening. He's a good listener. I felt like I'd been in therapy afterwards. He's the one that told me the first paragraph of this blog entry, by the way, so all credit for that goes to him. We were also talking about weaknesses of mine. With my friends I talked about how taking initiative to do things is not my strongest side. With my boyfriend, it was more on the academic side. After trying to make me realize it's all in my head, it's purely psychological.
We talked about how I look upon myself. How confident I am. And my stage fright. I have been dancing on a regular basis since I was 11 years old, and that has never been a problem at all. I love it on that stage when I dance. I can't see who's watching me. But this is not the kind of stage fright I have. I have a fright of talking in front of people. Not when I'm sitting down in a class room with 30-40 other people around me, that's no problem at all, but standing in front of people and talking to them is a whole other story. When I sit down, I talk to the teacher, and whoever else is listening. Probably not that many. But standing in front of an assembly of people, no matter if they are two or five or thirty, it scares the crap out of me. Something is definitely plugged wrong in my brain.
My boyfriend is an inspirational guy. I told him about how I am afraid to do my oral exam in June because I will have to stand in front of a teacher and an independent examiner and talk about a topic and then answer their questions. I have never given an oral exam before. I was supposed to in 10th grade, but the building next to our school blew up and they were all cancelled. My boyfriend told me that he's also nervous before doing these, but when he walks into the class room, he thinks like this: "This meter in front of me, and these two meters to my sides, they are my space. Today, I am the teacher and these are my students. I am going to teach them about all that I know." I really wish I could think more like this.
He said I'm afraid not to be taken seriously. That that's the reason I freeze and stutter when talking in front of people. It may very well be true. Which brings me back to what I talked about earlier: it's all psychological, it's all in my head. I have to make up my mind that I can do this. I can talk in front of people. I can do well on this project. I can ace this test. I can and I will.
Now, how does this connect with what I began this entry with? Let me tell you: it's all in my head. I have to believe that I am capable of changing. I can be a better friend. I can and I will. I'm not saying it'll be easy. I'm not saying it will be done in a day. But I can do it. I will do it. For the sake of the people around me, the people I love, for the sake of myself so that I can be a better friend to future friends as well as the friends I have.
I believe that whatever future I want, I am the only one that can make it happen. If that is believing, then yes, I believe.
I want to end with one of my favorite quotes, that I believe suits this blog entry perfectly. It's by the character Meredith Grey from the TV show Grey's Anatomy:
A couple of hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that till tomorrow, he said, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity. You think more people would listen to what he had to say. I don't know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I'd have to say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you're wrong? What if you're making a mistake you can't undo? The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can't pretend we hadn't been told. We've all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today's possibility under tomorrow's rug until we can't anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin really meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, most intractable mistake, beats the hell out of never trying.
♥ The Norwegian Teenager