Okay ladies, let’s get up (roll out of bed, come on, you can do it), stand tall, walk over to the closet, fling open the door. Fish through the pile of shoes cluttered about. Find the matching set. Hold them high over your head and yell (yes I know people are sleeping and your morning voice isn’t tuned up yet so whisper if you want) I’m a female warrior and these are my weapons of choice.
Dramatic huh? Too dramatic for the middle of the week? Drama is a fact of life just as the sounds of the morning that we don’t hear any longer – immunity is a beautiful thing. Can you ignore drama? Can you look the other way or are you distracted by the goings on that you think have something to do with your unconventional nature? Standing in pumps flipping through the racks of blouses and dresses you search for your size. Voices waft in your direction and you are distracted from your mission. “Are they chuckling and giggling about me?” Do you feel discomfort begin to insinuate itself?
Is your natural inclination to turn on the perspiration machine? Does self-consciousness sidle up and nudge you with a gentle hip check? How long before the walls feel like they are closing in and you want to scamper out to the car – the safe haven, protected harbor and secluded place?
As time goes on we all learn to look beyond our fears. Stand tall. Fears are only as important as we allow them to be. Give them life and feed them – rest assured your unwelcome companion will follow you around like a vagrant expecting a handout.
When we refuse to feed trepidation it shrinks, withers and disappears. Life in the feminine world, among da English (spoken in the Amish intonations of Eli Trapp from Witness) could and should be pleasurable. You have as much right to be there as does anyone else. Coexistence is one of our words of acceptance we should add to the vocabulary. If people are closed-minded and need to be insulated, let them find a good building contractor.
I’m not saying comfort in public comes the first time you step outside the protection of your nest. I am saying time builds confidence. Unless you practice going out, you’ll never feel totally comfortable in your skin. Remember this isn’t the first time you’ve experienced discomfort in public (no, I’m not alluding to the gastrointestinal variety). The first time you ventured onto the dance floor, the first time you stepped onto the ball field, the first time you found the nerve to ask someone for a date. Those are all watershed events. Your life is replete with them. They are there in your memory for a reason. They should bolster you, enhance your resolve and strengthen your will to advance.
Go ahead pump up your confidence. Do something today you didn’t think you had the courage to do. Feel free to share your accomplishment with us. We are all ears (well there are many other body parts as well).
Nikki DiCaro is a freelance writer, advocate, speaker and trainer on unconditional equality, diversity and inclusion. Her organization, DiCaro Consulting LLC, works with individuals and organizations to support diversity and inclusion. You can find her at her website, on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.