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On insecurities

August 8, 2012

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, with a headache. Two of my buses did not show up, making me late to work, always an awful way to start the day. It was quite a while before I checked Twitter then Facebook and realized that today is my birthday (thank you, all of you for remembering and wishing and sending me love).  That turned my day around.

This time next year, I will turn 30.  That used to seem like the end of the world. So old. Or at least I thought. I’m actually looking forward to it, though. A few years ago someone told me she liked her 30th birthday the best, because that’s when she felt she really knew herself and felt sure of herself. I think I know exactly what she means.

If you’ve ever met me, or spoken to me, or read anything I’ve written, you’ll know that I deal with a lot of insecurities.  I’ve been trying to talk about all my issues with low self esteem as honestly as I can whenever I can, because I hope that it helps others as well as myself.

I always used to think that one day I would wake up, after years of Working On Myself, and magically have no insecurities. I would magically turn into this confident, perfect, person and everyone would think I was awesome.

Fuck that.

Over the last couple of years, through education, changing my self-destructive habits, and surrounding myself with the right people, I’ve realized that it’s all about embracing your insecurities and not letting them rule your life. It’s all about being honest with yourself, being self-aware, and understanding who you are.

Self-awareness is obscenely underrated.

Besides, I’d never trust anyone who pretended they weren’t insecure. Bravado is pretty transparent, and it’s usually hiding something unpleasant. People might fall for it and become infatuated with you (the aforesaid “everyone will think I’m awesome”) but I doubt it’s possible for them to truly like you or love you or care about you if they don’t know who you really are.

That’s the thing about being a grown up. I now know the difference between infatuation and love. I’ll never be famous or “important” and nobody is ever going to be infatuated with me. But the people who care about me know me for who I am, including my horrible insecurities and all of their consequences, and truly love me anyway.

So I’m old. But I know who I am. And this time next year, I’ll start my day better. I’ll wake up, realize it’s my 30th birthday, and be excited about it.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2012 4:49 pm

    oh god I turn 30 next year too!!!! *cries*
    In all seriousness, being self aware, knowing your own limitations, your flaws, the areas you need to work on is something that most of us don’t take the time to do but which I think is incredibly important. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in day to day life that we overlook what is really affecting us at our core. We can’t change our race, our gender, our sexual orientation etc. but there are other things that we can work on to change our level of happiness and taking the time to really investigate who we are and becoming comfortable with ourselves is deeply challenging, and rewarding. I’m glad you’re someone else on that journey, and that you can share it with us.

  2. amanda permalink
    August 8, 2012 4:53 pm

    I love you darling. I am so glad we are friends, and that you are able to be so open and honest with your friends (and all the random internet peoples). But we love you for YOU, insecurities and all. And we all have our own insecurities. I wish I was able to embrace all of mine, but maybe someday I will be able to be as self-reflective as you. Until then, I will enjoy and cherish your friendship knowing that you care for me also, insecurities and all.

  3. Justin Bourne permalink
    August 8, 2012 4:59 pm

    Great post, and I especially agree with the self-awareness thing. I’m doing the cycle in reverse. I knew who I was at one point – a hockey player – then switched to blogging. It’s been incredibly hard for me trying to deal with that – from the lack of adoration of fans, to the isolation of working from home (which I’ll be writing about as soon as I un-fuck myself, if that’s possible), and just a thousand other things that are so different. So now, I’m trying to get comfortable as *this* Justin Bourne. I’m not there yet, but I’m hoping the move to Toronto and daily human interaction help. I think they will.

    • August 8, 2012 5:55 pm

      lol @ “blogger” and “daily human interaction”

      😦

      • August 8, 2012 11:03 pm

        Now, now, Cam. Some of us do actually talk to real people in person on a daily basis.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      August 9, 2012 9:06 am

      It’s interesting to hear you say that because from the outside it does look like you’ve made the transition sort of seamlessly. “Justin Bourne: writer, editor, curator of sportswriting talent, former pro hockey player.”
      Good luck with the move to Toronto. So many great hockey people there, now you’ll get to be one of them.

  4. August 8, 2012 11:27 pm

    Great post! If anything maybe being a grown up is a lot more exciting than this ‘growing up’ phase 😉 you’ll always have people around you (even those you haven’t met yet) because you are so honest and open about pretty much everything!!! Remember, age is only a number and you can certainly rock any number. Hope your day got better 😀

    • theactivestick permalink*
      August 9, 2012 9:09 am

      It did! Thanks ❤

  5. Joe Connolly permalink
    August 8, 2012 11:32 pm

    That was great/I can relate. (And 30 isn’t old is it?!)

    • theactivestick permalink*
      August 9, 2012 9:06 am

      Not to me. I still feel 22.

  6. August 9, 2012 12:51 am

    Thirty?!? Pfeh. I was thirty back when you guys were still in high schoo…

    Wait….

    There’s no such thing as thirty-hipsterism, is there?

    I think the moment you grow up is the moment you realize you never really do. You just keep on progressing, working on what you can and trying to leave a largely positive impact.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      August 9, 2012 9:08 am

      You are one of my most favourite internet people.

  7. Sarah Legault permalink
    August 9, 2012 9:11 am

    Maaaaaannnnnnn, I loves you so much!! 😉 You are one of the realest people I know…if not the realest. You speak of your insecurities yet you are one of the most confident people I know in some ways….or maybe self-aware would be a better way to put it. You know what you need and live your life accordingly. You’re writing inspires me and I’m so happy to have you in my life!

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