Truth be told, I am a twitching, worried ball of insecurities. Oh, I see you shaking your head, and I hear you telling me it can’t be so — you just saw me play the stage so confidently the other evening — but I am here to burst your bubble.
I battle insecurity. I battle it every day, every time I look in the mirror. Those nasty words and slights from childhood? They cut more than you ever could imagine, burned more than you could guess. I am scarred inside, a mess of anxiety and fears and not-good-enough feelings that only dim and never vanish completely. Some days it’s worse than others.
Remember that phrase about “sticks and stones?” They got it wrong — they can and DO hurt, a lot — but they also got some of it right: it only breaks you if you let it. Even though I ended up a mess, an emotional wreck lying there on the floor, I set my jaw and dragged myself back UP. Every time, after every nasty comment. Hurt like that will eat you alive. I grew up in the country, in the rough-and-tumble wild, and I learned fast that life is hardly ever fair. It will kick you down to the ground if given half a chance…
…but you’ll only stay down if you let it.
Really, that’s my secret. We all have a choice in how we react to adversity. I am probably the most insecure person you’ll ever meet, but I’m the one who didn’t let it eat me. Even though I do not live up to everyone’s standards, nor will I ever be able to please everyone, I’m still the only one who can play my songs and have them mean something. And having the power to do that, even with the emotional risk, means more to me than any alternative.