I came to the conclusion, after a long period of deliberation, that if I’m being honest then I’ve been lying the whole damn time. See, I’ve always been the girl that’s been called loud, intimidating, boisterous, to name a few. While I couldn’t deny most of the adjectives so frequently associated with my name, there isn’t one that confused and infuriated me quite as efficiently as that of “confident”.
I thought, “Me? Confident? As though the scrutiny of people didn’t scare me half way to death. As if the mere possibility of rejection wasn’t enough to send me into solitude, questioning the validity of my existence.”
I didn’t mind that people had this idea of me. What I minded was that this idea seemed somewhat warped. They made it seem as though I strolled onto stages, articulation and diction flowing from my lips with the ease of that coming from a politician who had long since been accustomed to bullshitting with flare. I always wanted them to know that even though the words coming from my mouth would always be the greatest reflection of my truth, I too was bullshitting with flare.
I’ve always been a performer and this has translated to almost every area of my life. I’m not saying that I’m dishonest but there are many parts of my existence that are an altered truth, for fear of being misunderstood, for fear of being rejected. From a young age, I became fluent in the art of putting up facades, as many people do. My facade looked like confidence; it looked like self assurance; it looked like security when I had never known a person more insecure, more riddled with self doubt; in constant need of affirmation and validation.
So the phrase, “Pally, you’re so confident” annoyed the hell out of me because I wanted people to know how emotionally spent I was after each day from all that “confidence” always accompanied by fear and uncertainty. I was always desperately looking for a way to not be so damn timid and annoyingly insecure on the inside. I wanted to look in the mirror and tell my reflection, “You’re the shit because I said so” and have that be enough, have that be the only voice I had to believe.
The perception that people have of me; of this strong, uninhibited, gail force of a black womxn; that is who I wake up in the morning and aspire to be. I’m not there yet but eventually I will be because it’s so much more impossible to keep walking round like a damn apology.
Featured image by Skillema.ir