I’m a worrier. I’ve always been a worrier. My head is constantly whirling with thoughts and concerns – what I need to do, what I haven’t done yet, what I’ve done wrong. Sometimes it renders me incapable of being myself in a social group. I get nervous, anxious, like the spotlight is on me. And then I blush. No no, not a cute little blush which gently sprinkles my face with a rosy hue – it’s a full amber alert which heats up my entire body and dampens my face which of course people comment on which in turn makes me flush an even deeper colour. Call it social anxiety, call it shyness, call it me just being stupid, but I can’t stop myself from turning into an anxious, mute, red-faced goon when I’m faced with new people. It’s probably me being an over-thinker – I think too much about what other people are thinking – what response will I get if I say this? Will they think I’m weird? Funny? It’s exhausting. I’ve never really been the type to care too deeply about what other people think of me – I have my friends, I have my family and that’s all I’m really concerned about. It’s just the whole meeting new people that I have this internal struggle with. I admit myself, I’m probably not the most interesting of person when you first meet me – I turn into an awkward and fumbly mess of a human being which makes people think that I’m boring and got nothing interesting to say.
Thing is, I don’t remember feeling this feeling as great as I do now. I was shy I guess in school, I was slightly awkward and not someone who was full of confidence but I don’t recall having a constant overload of thoughts whirling around my head. I guess I first noticed it fully when I went to university. The whole being in a big group thing terrified me. I was surrounded by people who shone confidence, who were funny and quick witted and able to join new social groups quickly. And I found that difficult to do – I found it difficult to integrate myself that quickly into something new and it slowed me down. I’m much better at finding my feet first, meeting a few new people, forming attachments, rather than hurtling myself full speed into huge groups of people.
Being in Australia is amazing. And in some ways it has improved my confidence but it hasn’t really improved on my social awkwardness. But I am out here for another 8 months and I am working on it – I’m trying to do new things, and I’m trying not to let my head control my social interaction.
However, it’s getting to that point where I should start thinking about applying for jobs for when I get home. It’s not going well. I read job descriptions of the particular industries I want to go into and I tell myself that there’s no point in applying for that – I won’t get anywhere, I’m not confident enough, haven’t got that charisma, that charm.
Overthinking is never good and anxiety is awful. Your brain works a mile a minute forcing you to believe that you’re not good enough, that people don’t really like you, you’re going nowhere. I don’t want to be this person anymore. I want to be that person that has confidence shining from their pores, who can walk into social situations and be charming and full of fun and laughter. I feel like I’m throwing myself a little pity party at the moment. I guess everyone overthinks. And not everyone is as confident as they perhaps portray. I just need to get a hold of myself – there’s a world out there which I am going to be part of someday. I will be that person. It might take some time, but I am working on it. Or if all fails, I’ll just live out my days in the Australian outback. At least then you won’t be able to see my blush through all the sunburn….