I’ve had a lot of people ask about how to gain confidence to wear hijab, or ask some guy out, or how to be a better person. I’ll let you in on a secret: gaining confidence is hard. But, even if you aren’t confident, what you project is what people pick up on.
Here’s an example: I have little to no hair right now. It’s like a Demi Moore GI Jane or Natalie Portman V for Vendetta thing. Very short, and little white dots are starting to show up on my scalp (no, they aren’t really visible unless you’re looking, but I know they’re there.) It’s hard, yes. I think I look like a freak. I had gorgeous, thick, espresso-coloured hair which was naturally wavy, but not in a bad way. (My Irish genes gave me awesome colouring. Thanks, random Irish relative!) Now that I have little to no hair, it’s hard for me to look people in the eye because my brain is telling me they just think I’m a lesbian.
Ok, lets back the train up. Here is WHY I think that. I was at Safeway on Sunday (after I left work early because I felt like hammered shit), minding my own business in the pasta section, and a little kid pulls on his mum’s shirt sleeve. He asks her, rather loudly, “Why does the lady have no hair?” His mum answers, “It’s her life choice, sweetheart.” CANCER is my LIFE CHOICE?! Are you effing nuts? Did I WANT this? No. It sucks. I throw up everyday, I’m tired all the time, my breathing is hard because I have a fucking tumor against my left lung, and I get hot/cold flashes, night sweats, my skin is breaking out, I’m stressed out because I don’t want people to be worried about me, and all the while, I’m constantly reminded that I have cancer because I have to take at least seven, if not more, pills every morning, on top of the needle tracks from the chemo (which is my fault since I refused the central line due to its hindrance of fencing, cycling, and all things athletic… that I can’t really do anyhow.) Sorry, got a bit upset for a second. Ok, so I ignored the little boy’s comment, passing him off as a curious four-year-old with a loud mouth. (Note: My mum would NEVER have let me get away with that. My ass would be grass.)
I’m perusing the bbq sauce section next, and a little girl (mind, this is two minutes later) looks up at me with her mouth agape, and asks her mum, “Why is the white lady bald?” Seriously? C’mon now, give me an effing break. Her mum had the sense to smack her upside the head and say, “That is RUDE. Never say that again!” Best part: I bent down until I was six inches from the girl’s face and said, “I have cancer – my hair is falling out because of all the chemo.” Her mum nearly died right there. I hope she and her daughter had a long talk about it afterwards.
So, what was my point? Oh yes, gaining confidence. I’m confident that people think I’m a lesbian (remember the “it’s her life choice” comment?), and I don’t really feel pretty right now. I have a very pretty face (my mum reassured me on the phone this afternoon), and being bald is okay as long as I have my bubbly personality. Well, I have to project the idea that I’m a) not feeling like death all the time, and b) that I’m okay with how I look, if not perfectly accepting. As long as I do that, I look like I have confidence.
My advice is this: if you can convince others that you’re confident, it’s only a matter of time until you actually feel confident as well. Some people say this is lying to yourself, but I don’t really think it is. People react to how you present yourself. If you present yourself with an air of confidence, they will in turn actually think you’re confident and treat you as such. And therefore, because they’re treating you like you’re confident, you actually become that way.
Ok, yeah, it’s 5:45 am, and I’ve not slept yet. Sean came over and we watched Colbert Report and South Park, then had a serious conversation about how the cracker becomes Jesus and isn’t just a cracker, my poor taste in men, and how I react to how people react to me having cancer (ie: again with the projection and crap). If I project a strong outlook, and take it in stride (as I have, truthfully, been doing), then people won’t feel so sorry for me, or be worried about me. *sigh* I’d rather they just leave me alone, personally. I can take care of myself! *grumbles*
This is kind of long-winded, isn’t it? I should probably go to sleep before I have to take my pills, since I’m not supposed to sleep after I’ve taken them – something about how they burn holes in my kidneys and bladder, and I’m supposed to pee them out. Not sure, but I know I’m tired. Nite nite then.