Growing up, I was the introverted bookworm commonly referred to as the teacher’s pet. I recall the time I ceased being popular, and stopped caring about being popular – when I stood up for a young girl in my fourth grade class, incurring the wrath of the girls in our class.
I found solace from the mean girls in class by throwing myself into reading. Reading gave me an escape from life, and allowed me to travel space and time, taking me away from the other kids in my class that made me dread approaching school in the mornings.
Now that I am an adult, I find the scars of my child and young adulthood still remain. As I begin another new chapter, I recognize my social apprehension still lingers, and if I allow it, can render me crippled.
A couple years ago, I wrote about our week of lasts. This past week, I have been focusing on our week of firsts. As I have thought about our specific first activities at this new installation, I have felt the all too familiar feelings and fears resurge: will those that I meet like me, or at the very least be kind to me?!
I recognize I could allow my inner voice to win – the voice that says I won’t be good enough, and I won’t be accepted for the woman I am today. Or, I can silence that inner critic, and forge ahead, allowing myself to meet new people, and believe the best in those I meet.
It’s a conscious choice and decision to make at each and every new duty location. Today, this location, I choose to hope for the best, and commit to allowing others into my life, because I want to continue to believe there are kindred spirits in the world, and that I can learn something from every new place in which I find myself.
I commit to modeling believing in the best of others, to my children.
And, I will continue to be hopeful for the best in our new home.