Tag Archives: self-esteem

Looking into the Mirror

Ever had a moment when you write while feeling angry or agitated and you fortunately don’t publish what you wrote that day? It’s been two days since I began writing this blog entry, but I left it alone since I didn’t feel like I was ready to push “publish” yet. For one, I didn’t want to send something out there I might regret. I knew I needed to let it settle and see if I felt the same way later on. I am glad I did. There are some things I wrote that I still feel the same I did when I started writing, but there were other things I had a change of heart about.

I had a rough day one day. It made me wake up and realize a lot of things about me and the world I live in. There were also some hard “tough love” truth that I have learned about myself.

It was a day when I was dealt with a blow of disappointment of having something not happen in the way I had hoped. I ranted to my husband, “Why? Is there something wrong with me?” in an email to vent out my angry and hurt feelings. I won’t go into the details of what happened, but it was enough to make me wonder why it seemed like I couldn’t really connect with people like I hoped to. My husband tells me, “It would be better that we talk about this when I come home.” For once, I didn’t push it. After 15 years of marriage, I knew my husband knew me well enough to  not email me a response to my question. I am glad he did. When he came home, he calmly shared with me some things some people have shared with him in the past.

“Some of your old friends came and told me that they are sometimes afraid to approach you because of how you appear.”

What?! I was pretty stunned to hear/see him say that. (He signs and speaks to me when we talk.)

He explained a little further, “They have told me that you always look like you’re angry or upset about something, so they don’t approach you. It’s something about the look on your face.”

Apparently, I have a natural resting-scowl-face.  There is another phrase for this, but I won’t go that far to call myself that. My mother did mention that I did have a Mary-Queen-of-Scots look when I was little… Guess it’s still true.

I even posted a picture on Instagram to ask my followers what they thought. I just noticed a funny thing – Out of the 12 people who liked the picture, 4 only responded. One responded, “Yeah, I can see what you mean, but since I know you, I don’t notice it.” So, I guess people liked my picture, and there are some honest friends who tell the truth, even when it’s hard.

Could it be that this face of mine is intimidating people away from me? It is possible. I’ve had countless times when people would talk to me and say, “oh, lets get together!”  Either it be a coffee date, going for a hike, or something like that, and it wouldn’t happen. At first, I thought that was not my fault, but after a few days of letting my emotions rest and to think on it, it might be partially true. If I really wanted to meet up for coffee, I have to not be afraid to ask… again. I’m an introvert, and that’s like asking me to walk the tightrope!  The risk is facing rejection, them saying “No”,  and I admit that my skin isn’t as tough as I wish it would be. I have to learn to be okay with it.

My face may not be the only reason that some people feel intimidated by me. My deafness could be challenge a hearing person would feel overwhelmed with.  I have seen some people approach me nervously when they find out that I am Deaf. I explain to them, “I do wear hearing aids and can lipread.” Sometimes I wish I could just say, “I may be Deaf, but I don’t bite!” I am a very patient person, unless I am dealing with a very prejudiced person.

Back to the conversation with my husband – He went on to say, “You can’t help it. That’s who you are.”

True, my scowling face doesn’t define who I am. It’s just another part of me, just like my lazy partially blind eye and the hearing aids in my ears. I am sure there is a way to soften the way I look and present myself myself better. Sometimes I think to myself, “At my age, I would think I would know how by now!” It just proves you never stop learning. The one thing I refuse to do is to lose the real me in the journey of becoming what God wants for me.

It makes me even more thankful for those who look past this Mary,-Queen-of-Scots face of mine, my quirkiness, me being introverted,  and love me nonetheless.

 

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Shy as a Hobbit

After seeing a relative of mine, whom I admire a lot for her spunk, bring up the topic of  shyness in status on Facebook, it got my mind thinking about my own shyness. It’s a peculiar kind of shyness; I have no fear of signing songs on stage, but when it comes to being social I feel like I’m sweating inside. There are only a few group of people, outside my family, who I feel entirely comfortable with. I feel like a Hobbit hiding in her home deep under ground.

I must warn you, I am very much a Tolkien fan, and when say I feel I am a Hobbit, it is because of how the small people find themselves desiring quiet, no disruption of their daily lives, being comfortable in their homes and rarely (if not ever) taking an adventure.  Yet, I know I’m not such of exactly that kind. I must have a bit of Took in me, as I so sorely desire an adventure. Again, if you’ve read the classic, you would understand what I mean.

I know I’d rather be the brave elf or a Rohan warrior… but I’m not quite brave enough to leave my safe place. But I saw my relative take the brave step out of her hiding place and make a friend on her own.That’s quite a huge step outside teh comfort zone for a shy person. I shake at the thought of doing that  myself.  I’d rather hide and be invisible.  I know… It’s not good to do that.

So, this “hobbit” is going to bear her soul and share why she believes she is the way she is…

I am pretty confident that being hard of hearing has a lot to do with my social fears. It takes a lot more out of me to communicate with those who has hearing, and I fear of being misunderstood or taken as less intelligent if the communication gets lost. When I’m among those who are also deaf or hard of hearing, that fear is stripped away as I know they understand me more clearly, and visa versa.

Deafness is easy to hide. I look like a normal person with ears that can’t hear, right?  I wish I could say the same for myself. I lost my sight in my right eye and developed a lazy eye in the process.  I’ve met other people who have the same problem and have realized its not easy to hide. It’s usually the first thing you notice.  I wonder sometimes if I make anyone uncomfortable with my odd gaze. Is it hard to look at me, I often wonder?  Instead of asking people, I hide. I admit, I am afraid of what they might say.

Instead of dealing with my low self-esteem, it’s easier to hide… For a time.

God didn’t make me to be able to survive being alone for a long period of time. I am thankful for my husband who makes me forget all my flaws, though the moment I’m faced with dealing with them, I am reminded. If you know the story of  “The Hobbit”, you would remember Gandalf practically pushed Bilbo out to face his fears and embrace the Tookish-ness of himself. I don’t think there are wizards traveling around looking for someone to go on an adventure with him in this world, so I am going to have to pray and ask God to give me strength to fight these fears. I’m going to have to make Him my Gandalf, the one who pushes me into building myself up again.  I know I can’t do it alone… Believe me, I’ve tried!

It is past midnight and this gal needs to get some rest. I’ll be praying, and I know I’m not alone in this… So I’ll pray for anyone else who fights this as well.