Hey dear readers!
It’s only been a few days and I’ve already noticed that something is different this year. Sure, I have a new apartment, there’s a huge new building on campus, and I have new roommates, but those are only slight changes. I have changed as a person and camp is to blame.
Ever since coming back from camp I have been more confident when it comes to talking to people that I don’t know. Now, I’ve never been very introverted, so this might not seem like a big accomplishment. But over the years I’ve realized a few things about myself. 1. I hate large groups of people. 2. Small talk is not my forte. 3. I will do anything in my power not to call a stranger (aka people who work at stores/restaurants).
I’ve always told myself that I don’t care what others think about me. And I thought that was true. However, I discovered that I don’t actually believe that until after I’ve gotten to know someone. My poor friends hear more about Doctor Who, Teddy Roosevelt, and breadsticks than they’ve ever wanted. However, I usually save that stuff until I know that I am secure in their friendship.
It’s taken a while, but I now know that my biggest fear is rejection. I want so badly to jump into conversations or introduce myself to someone, but what if they don’t react? What if I’m left standing there, ignored and forgotten? This fear holds me back.
During staff training for Camp T, we had a “women’s journey” in which we talked about courage. We had these incredible women as role models to teach us about different forms of bravery. At the end of the journey we had dinner together, and it was straight up magical. It looked as if Pinterest came to life and decorated a grouping of picnic tables. On each table there were quotes about bravery. We each chose one to write down to keep as a reminder of the day. I found one that became my motto for the summer.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
In order to be brave, we need to show up, be present, and be ourselves. We need to allow others to see us as we are, no matter what rejection might come. If you put yourself out there and someone belittles you for it, that person is not worth your time anyway.
I was so afraid that I wouldn’t make friends while at camp. I was petrified by the prospect of nights off because I was worried that no one would want to hang out with me. However, I kept in mind that the first step is showing up. So, I did, and it was awesome.
Now, I’m still not over my fear of rejection, but I feel more comfortable around new people. It’s something I’m going to keep working on. Luckily, there are two easy steps to being brave: showing up and letting yourself be seen.
The quote of the day comes from a wonderful movie, We Bought a Zoo.
“Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise something good will come of it.”
Love your neighbor as yourself and don’t forget to have a great day!