I've been thinking about this a lot lately. How much people change, things that never change, things that you don't want to change - but (and I know this is a little self-centered) mostly I have found myself contemplating how much I have changed.
I'm noticing it a lot more this summer. It's like I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin. Most people probably won't agree with me here, but I think I have changed a lot - and I don't know what the change is exactly or how it happened for sure.
I've always struggled with my confidence level; that's no secret. I grow a little each year, but I don't think it is ever something that will completely go away. And I have gotten so used to it that I've just accepted it as part of who I am. Not to imply that I am giving up my battle, but more like I am learning to not put so much pressure on myself. It got to the point that I was ashamed of this aspect of myself and I hated myself for it - which only hindered my confidence level, which I hated myself even more for. Somewhere along the way I just decided to take the pressure off trying to change so much. Just being and learning to be okay with my faults has helped a lot I guess.
When I went to Colorado, I took a giant leap backwards. I was afraid to come out of my room - I was so uncomfortable with everyone and everything, which made everyone and everything uncomfortable with me. It was a vicious cycle. It was my own doing, I know, but at the time, I felt that was that and there was nothing else I could do. Going home was a blessing, but I wish I would have been able to get past myself when I was there.
Then I come here. And, as always, I am excited, but nervous too. But something happened this year. For some reason, I just found myself fitting into everything with so much more ease than usual. I was like coming home from Colorado. It was familiar and comforting and loving. Even when I started working with my cast (which usually terrifies me), I was so much more calm for me. And believe it or not, I found myself carving a niche for myself with them. (Maybe carving is the wrong word - I didn't have to work too hard at it, so I don't know if I made the niche myself, or they just had one for me.)
I'm going out more and socializing with everyone. It's not as easy as it is for most people, but I don't feel like the odd-girl out all the time. Some of this is me, but I know that most of this is because of the people here. Everyone is so affectionate and caring with each other. There is no fake. I have a hard time believing compliments and kind words from people, I always have - but here, when someone says "its good to see you" I know they mean it. The best way I can think of describing the feeling is that you get hugged all the time, but here, they embrace you - and I am flourishing in this affectionate atmosphere.
Yes, I still apologize more than I should (but I still maintain that I apologize sincerely! I hate empty "I'm sorrys"), and I still have a lot of trouble with snappy comebacks, and I still have incredibly awkward moments, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much. I've always been incredibly positive, except when it comes to myself and my work; and while that is still true, I also have begun to see some positive in myself and my work.
So much so that I have actually been able to look in the mirror and think to myself: I look pretty good actually. (that remark was incredibly self-centered and superficial, but it's also a big step for me) The other day someone complimented me. And I actually just smiled and said "thank you" For those of you who know me, yeah, that was a big step.
I've still got a long way to go - as everyone will tell you - but I've also changed a bit too. For the better, I hope.
I still can't tell Zach to "Deal" and I haven't used the power phrase (to be honest, I don't even remember it) But I can live with that for now. Besides - I've come this far, and we're only starting on the 2nd show - who knows where the summer will go?