When I first met Michael, I was 17 and he was 18.  People find it hard to believe when I tell them how shy he was back then.  But his shyness was not an indication of a lack of confidence in himself. He always believed he could do big things.
I, on the other hand, never had a problem being around other people or being shy.  But don’t mistake that for confidence.  I enjoyed being around people, going places and socializing, but when it came to having confidence in myself, that’s where I fell short.
So I guess this is one of those places where Michael and I complemented one another.  Together we were better than the sum of our parts.  And in particular Michael always was the one who boosted my confidence in myself.  He always thought I could do more, bigger, better things than I thought I was capable of.
Especially in my appearance.  I, like many women and girls, have a hard time having confidence in my own appearance and body image.  Shopping has never been one of my favorite things to do.  I tend to live a pretty casual lifestyle and I can usually feel comfortable with it.  But it’s hard for me to go out and find a special new dress, get all fixed up and feel like I’m presentable enough.
This was one of the areas that Michael really poured into my life.  He always encouraged me to wear color. (Like many women, my closet tends to be 50 shades of black.)  And when I would come home with a dress for a special occasion, especially if it were colorful, he would always make such a point of telling me how much he liked it.  And when the occasion came and I would show up in our living room ready to go, he would make a point of telling my how beautiful I looked.  On the way to the event he would look over from the driver’s seat and smile his wonderful smile.  And he would reach out his right hand to me in the passenger seat and hold my hand.  I think he always knew that I needed the extra encouragement and security of having him by my side.
So these days, when a special occasion comes around, I find myself really at a loss.  Though others may say how nice I look, there’s nothing like having the man you love say it.  And I must admit that I’ve often found myself midway to where I’m going with the distinct urge to turn around and run back home.  I hear that voice in my head saying, “This is a mistake! Go back home!”  I walk around on the edge of breaking down and sometimes have a hard time talking for the huge lump in my throat.  It takes more courage than I have to keep going and often I just want to quit.
I’m thankful for those close to me who encourage me and include me and cheer me on.  I hate to admit that while I’ve tried to raise two daughters to be independent and self-confident, their mother’s confidence has been tied to their father all these years.  It always feels like I’m the only one in the world with these feelings of inadequacy.  But I also know that I’m generally just an average person, so I’m sure there are others out there that have these feelings too.
As I read back over what I’ve written, there are two things I would tell anyone who reads this post.  First, this is not an attempt to solicit compliments.  It’s just where I am as I move through this process of learning all the times and places that Michael’s presence is especially missed.  Second, as Valentine’s Day has just passed, I would say to husbands and wives, to be sure to appreciate one another every day.  Encourage and invest in one another like only a spouse can, for your words and actions have a value greater than anyone else’s.
Thanks for following along.

2 thoughts on “Confidence”

  1. You have shared so many of my own thoughts. It seems strange that someone else feels like I do. I hate to say that I enjoy the company. I hear Leo telling me so many of the things Michael told you. Maybe we should go shopping together for some brighter clothes :) Love you :)

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