Sunday, June 12, 2011


It's something I've been in short supply of, but after this weekend, I found I can stand on my own two feet.

I don't know when it was I lost my self confidence, I know it wasn't around much when I met "He Who Shall Not Be Named" because I feel if I hadn't been full of some self loathing, I never would have been attracted to that person. Any bit of it was certainly destroyed while we were together.

I used to not be able to take any criticism, and when you put yourself out there for people to see and comment on, having a thin skin is akin to going into an ant hill covered in honey. I grew to ignore the mean comments anonymous people would say about me on the Internet and overtime came to laugh at them. A few years back, it could even be said I was too proud, and thought too highly of myself. Maybe it was mostly a mask, maybe because of it being so fragile, I ended up where I was - feeling worthless, taking the blame of everything laid upon me, allowing one person to determine my worth (and what he would say to and about me, it obviously wasn't worth a hey-penny).

For nearly the past two years I had been attending trade shows with this person as my partner. Not just my boyfriend, but someone who I would share the spotlight with, and would help me get to where I needed to be and present my topics and put forth the best foot. I also wanted to give him a chance to shine and show off. Plus, for me, it was always an excuse for a romantic get-a-way, to take us out of our day-to-day and maybe show that when the stress of real life was gone, we could just be happy with each other. It never worked, the shows seemed to bring out the worse in both of us.

I still remember the first time we went to a show as a couple, this was a big deal for me because I was a guest at a well known, well attended, conference. We get to the hotel with less than two hours until my first panel, and he tosses some clothes on the bed, tells me to iron them, and informs me he's going to wander around. I was in tears. It also should have been a big warning sign of things to come. I was so stressed out at this point, and just so hurt that this person I was so excited to be with at this show just up and left me. And when he found out how sad I was, I was told to "shut up and get over it." I don't know how many times I had heard that phrase from him in the course of our relationship. I apparently never learned to shut up and get over things though, since he would yell it at me so often.

But things like this wore me down, and I was scared coming out here this weekend. Not just because I was in charge of a large event, but my "real work" entrusted me with a big responsibility too.

This was the first show I did without his support, be it good or bad (because it wasn't always "shut up and get over it, that was usually just in response to me feeling overwhelmed, which was usually caused because my support structure wasn't sound to begin with...). Regardless, this weekend was on me. And you know what? I owned it.

Not for nothing I brought a great group of girls to help me this weekend, and they showed me how important having the right support system is when you handle big events, or even small appearances.

So today, I feel a little bit better about myself. I was who I was before I dated this person, and he cannot take that away from me.I was the one who shined. I was the star. One day I'll find someone to share my spotlight, all my love and adventures. And they will appreciate it and be worthy of it. But today, I stand on my own, and I can smile.

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