Saturday, April 4, 2009

An open letter to Confidence

Dear Confidence,

You’re an odd one, Confidence. It’s true. We have an odd relationship, but I’ll dissect that one in a minute here. First, let’s talk about your relationship with others, shall we? defines “confidence” (that’s you) as multiple things, since you can have multiple meanings. Let’s focus on this definition:
"Belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance"
That starts to paint an interesting picture, doesn’t it? “Belief in oneself… Belief in one’s powers.”

A quick Google search (seriously quick: 0.15 seconds!) revealed links to the definition of confidence (which we know), videos on increasing confidence, websites devoted to building confidence, and a film called Confidence.

A search on Twitter (via TweetDeck on Friday night…) found people tweeting about confidence in sports teams, their government, film directors, but mostly about having confidence in their selves. Quotes from religion, Marie Curie and even Dane Cook (!) were tweeted and re-tweeted. People sure are talking about you, Confidence.

I've seen you do amazing things. In my acting classes (a place where Confidence can hang out way too much or not come enough), you've come shining from students who I never thought had it in them. It's amazing to see. You do wonderful things for people. You give 5 year-olds pride, 20 year-olds hope and 40 year-olds a chance at a dream. It's really awesome.

I've seen you fall short for people, too, though. Never quite coming to save a little kid who's being overtaken by shyness, not being there for my older students who just need you to lift them a little higher. But I always wondered if people just weren't ready or willing to hang out with you... I couldn't imagine you'd purposely let anyone down.

I think I was wrong. You let me down.

Why are you so damn fickle? I thought we had a solid relationship? I’ve been confident for as long as I can remember (thanks, Mom and Dad). I mean, not about EVERYTHING. My looks and boys- the confidence isn’t so strong there. But about the things that mattered to me- my work, my talent- I was confident. Our relationship, Confidence, seemed solid and steady.

It just took one little thing two weeks ago to make our relationship seem far less steady… For the first time that I can remember, Someone from a part of the world that I’m not so confident about filtered in and shook up everything else. It was stupid, really. A slight, off-hand and mean comment that I was never intended to hear (or read…). It wasn’t even about my talent (or in this case- my lack of), really. It was about something else that this Someone doesn’t have the capacity to deal with in proper, healthy ways. I know this. But, still. The statement was made. It was put out there for other people to hear (and by hear I mean read) and absorb and maybe think is true, too.

It’s been two weeks and this stupid, not even true comment still makes me so upset. It makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me doubt who I am down to my very core. And for what?

Damn you, Confidence. Where were you when I actually needed you? A truly confident person would have seen that, laughed and said- “jackass.” And never thought of it again. The person that I thought I was would have done that. But instead, I’ve let this feeling sit in my stomach for these last two weeks and I’ve let myself believe it. It has infected every aspect of my world.

It has reminded me of all things this very same Someone said right to my face trying to ruin my relationship with you, Confidence. I replay them in my head getting angry and sad and believing them. Because Someone wanted me to. Confidence, you're supposed to be here to keep this from happening... or at least to lessen the effect of it when it does. Where are you?

I need you back, ok? I felt you a bit today… I was reminded how damn good I am at my job and felt exhilarated. I’m going to go teach tomorrow with you by my side, Confidence. We’ll stand up there all day and teach because we are NOT crappy in any way shape or form. But that’s not enough. I need a full, committed relationship from you, Confidence. We’ve been together awhile and should have a solid, strong lifelong relationship and you are not leaving me. Never again will I let ANYONE make me feel that way. Instead, Confidence, you’re coming with me into all aspects of my world. I repeat- I am NOT crappy. Period. End of story.

Love, Megan

P.S. The picture at the top? I got it from here (thanks to a Google Image search on confidence- .08 seconds!) BUT, I actually have that picture framed and sitting in my living room. My Dad gave it to me. There's a caption at the top of the picture that reads: "What matters most is how you see yourself."


  1. I've always admired your confidence. It's true. FYI, you're pretty awesome.

  2. Aww...Megan, my wonderful, BEAUTIFUL friend. Don't let the bastards grind you down. I know how awesome you are even if you forget for a split second. It's happens. I got your back. You are...unbreakable. *biggest hug ever* Love you.

  3. The girls are right you are awesome as a daughter and a person. Keep fighting the good fight and remember that Confidence is always your friend whethere you think it's there or not!

  4. You are exactly right - Confidence is not always with us. Isn't that what makes us human? I think it is Ok to not always have the highest of confidence because it is also what makes us a little more compassionate, a little more thoughtful and a little more selfless. And that's what you are all about.

  5. Did Will Wheaton hurt you? I'll kill 'im.




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