You Don’t Need To Be Insecure
Being insecure means walking into a bar or a nightclub and feeling like the whole room is staring and laughing, making fun of you just because you came inside. You’re the only one people are laughing at. Being insecure means lacking confidence in your abilities and talents so that you feel vulnerable and anxious about everything: about your writing, which you don’t think is as good as everybody else’s, about how attractive you are, because it seems like nobody you like wants to date you, about your weight, because all you see on TV are skinny bitches and weight-loss programs.
Being insecure means that, no matter how much success you obtain, you’re feeling anxious that at any moment you will be revealed to be a talentless fraud: that the literary agent from William Morris who now represents you will drop you once they finally realize you are actually a terrible writer; that the person who just gave you the job of your dreams at Vogue will think that you suck as a fashion editor, like why would you put those earrings with those bangles you idiot; that the people in your graduate program will wonder how you managed to slip through the cracks.
Being insecure means getting jealous when your boyfriend leaves you at home so he can go bro out with his bros. Why doesn’t he want to share every single breath with you and only you? It means getting jealous when somebody does something better than you did; when they easily land a record deal even though you’ve been working at it for years; when they’re the ones who all the guys want to talk to when you’re out.
People who are confident tell their less-confident, insecure friends to just get over it. Of course, that’s not exactly how they phrase it, because they know that with your level insecurity and everything, you could go ballistic on them at any moment and they don’t really want to get hit with any projectiles. It’s easy to tell somebody not to be insecure by saying something warm and fuzzy, like “Oh, you’re the most beautiful person in the room” or “Oh, you’re more amazing than anybody else.”
But guess what? None of that is true. There is always going to be somebody better looking, smarter, wealthier, more talented, more ripped, skinnier, taller, or faster than you are. But so what if people are better at things than you? It’s okay to suck at stuff. I promise they have their problems, too, like maybe they look fabulous drinking their coconut water and carrying that Givenchy bag, but they are always broke and don’t any money to eat dinner tonight. Hey, at least you’ve got food!
The best thing you can do to overcome insecurity, and what you should be doing all along, is to realize that you’re better off than you think. Every day is to chance to make yourself the best person you can be for you. Don’t worry about everybody else. Don’t compete with people. Compete with you.
You don’t need to feel insecure if you can learn to believe in yourself, but figuring out how to do that is so hard. Maybe you were told you were never good enough as a child and that shit stuck with you, or maybe your parents liked your sister more than they liked you, or what if you got made fun of all the time so now you assume people are always laughing at you. Just let all that ratchet mess go.
When you’re feeling insecure, hold your head up, peer through that cloud of shame and say to yourself, I deserve this.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.