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Out of place

I was listening to a song from the 90’s the other day – ‘Everybody is free to wear sunscreen’ – and I noticed the line, “Enjoy your body, use it every way you can; don’t be afraid of it or what other people think: it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” So true, and yet so hard.

The other day I was out driving with my friend and she said to me, “Oh you always look so well put together” – to which I nearly choked in disbelief. But after further thought on the subject I realized that actually I do put a lot of effort into how I appear and fit in. We are supposed to stand up and stand out, but how do we do that without also possibly looking the fool?

I would be terribly embarrassed to show up somewhere over-dressed, under-dressed or looking sloppy. It’s a real fear of mine that someone would refer to me as the ‘unkempt girl’ or worse think to themselves, “What does she think she is doing?”

Following the same line of thought I would so hate to be out of place in other scenarios than just my manner of dress. I would hate to be the girl that couldn’t keep up with the conversation, or be the only one in a group that didn’t have a funny story to tell, and so on. I often don’t comment in group chats for fear that I’m not as funny as the rest of them…or worse they don’t even want to hear from me and that I’m only in the group out of politeness.

Equally so, it’s hard for me to make mistakes while riding. Even though I know fundamentally that everyone makes mistakes big and small, it’s like there is a magnifying glass on me in my mind. If I miss to a jump or forget an inside turn, it’s like I can hear the people in the crowd saying, “I knew she wasn’t able to do this.” I hate to stick out for any reason; I hate to be overly noticed.

I got thinking that maybe sometimes the thing you see as strength in someone else is actually derived from insecurity. We all have strengths and weaknesses and we are all painfully aware of our own…but maybe if we took the time to compliment each other more we could all feel a little less exposed?

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