For a large majority of my life I’ve had a lot of problems regarding self-expression. In particular, communicating verbally was the worst for me. As a child I always had a lot of trouble putting my thoughts into words and I would always speak waayyy too fast. Seriously, anything that popped into my head I would just blurt out, from one topic to the next. To top it off, I also had a speech impediment. I just couldn’t pronounce certain words for the longest time. For example,
Me trying to ask my dad for something would be like,
Me: I wanna play dames! Can we go rent a dame?
Me: A dame! I wanna play dames!
Dad: *most confused face ever* ???
Me: Don’t you know what a dame is!?
Dad: Ooohhhh, a game. *Tells everyone in the room and everyone starts laughing hysterically*
Me: *mad and embarrassed* 😡
Haha, they teased me about this for the longest time too and I’m pretty sure my Dad mentioned this a few weeks ago as well. It wasn’t just one incident though, similar situations continued to happen where people were unable to understand what I was trying to say. This was just really disheartening as a child. It honestly just made me really sad when people weren’t able to understand me and I would have to explain things over and over again. I was also quite the sensitive child and a perfectionist too. I mean, I didn’t even know what a perfectionist was back then, but now that I am much older I understand that it has always been a part of my character.
I think most people would be able to get over this type of thing pretty quickly but I really let it get to me. Eventually, I just decided that I was better off not talking as much and keeping my words as short as possible. So when people would ask me questions about something I would only respond with a few words. My favorite response was “I dunno.” or, I would just *shrug* and smile 🙂
I found that things were much easier this way because I didn’t need to feel embarrassed or disheartened anymore. Big mistake. Although I didn’t feel those things as much anymore, I also started getting too comfortable with not speaking. Before I knew it I had retreated into a shell, a comfort zone from hell! Seriously. This went on until well….like now. I’m still in that comfort zone from hell.
It only got worse and worse over time. I ended up convincing myself that I sucked at communicating verbally so I shouldn’t even try. And because of the fact that I always kept my words so short, I never really learned how to communicate properly. This continued from elementary school, to middle school, to high school, and even to college. As I got older, I also started to care more and more of what people thought of me, making it even harder to break out of my shell.
Basically, I had completely forgotten what it was like before I went into my comfort zone. I used to talk so much and speak so fast because I really enjoyed communicating with people. I actually love self-expression more than anything in the world, It just took me until now to finally realize it. Not only that, I realized that I’m actually quite the eloquent speaker, I just never took the time to learn how to speak properly.
It’s really funny actually…the thing I was most afraid of my entire life was actually the thing I enjoy the most. I enjoy speaking! I enjoy writing! Dancing, singing, I’m in love with self-expression! Deep down inside I always knew it but I convinced myself that it wasn’t worth it because my shell was just too comfortable.
Now every single day I am working on breaking out of my shell and expressing myself. I’m not sure how long it going to take, but I hope that someday I am able completely destroy my comfort zone and express myself to everyone like I used to when I was really young. I’m not sure if you can imagine…retreating into my shell for so many years and then finally making an effort to break free, it’s pretty tough, but I am determined to do this. This is my current number one goal in my life…to break free from the comfort zone from hell, into a expressive carefree veil from heaven!