I have often felt frustration with how I use my words. It is every time I wish I have said something to someone who has put me down, dismissed me because I do not register as important to them, and it creates utter frustration with myself. Why can’t I be the person who is okay to speak up, who is certain of themselves enough to believe that they are worth being heard?

Perhaps it is conditioning of being told to be quiet and not to question, of being made to feel annoying or stupid if I ever I did. School can be harsh in lots of ways. Perhaps it was being in a relationship for a long time with someone who continually spoke over me. I felt as if my words were worth nothing at all.

I was always a quiet child. School reports labelled me as ‘shy’ and ‘needing to come out of myself more’. But I think I was genuinely happy, functioning contently in my world of books, art and plastic bricks (still a massive Lego fan now). I didn’t particularly speak up for myself, but there mostly wasn’t a requirement for me to do so.

The strange thing is, friends have often commented on how strong I am, how well I meet the challenges that I am faced with, how it sometimes appears that there is nothing I cannot do. I have had people who I have not seen for some years telling me that I am almost unrecognisable (in a good way!) to the person they once knew. This creates a quandary.

I am clearly very attached to the person that I was and have kept the memory of that emotional place without realising quite how much I have changed. This feels like quite a big thing when I try and define who I am, I am using words that would have described a ‘past’ me and not the ‘present’ version.

Maybe we have to grow into the person who we actually are without carrying all this unnecessary weight. We all have our histories which have shaped up and brought us to the present moment. However some of the insecurities we have dropped along the way, even if we have not realised it. It would be truly wonderful to provide all long-term friends with a tick sheet once a year to somewhat more objectively chart our growth. But this isn’t necessary. It’s being realistic with our definitions. If I consider myself to be someone who is insecure in their words, then I need to be able to find recent examples within my life. If all the memories that are stirred are from years ago, then it is likely time to let that definition go.

Map Point. Am I the person I think I am?

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