It took me a long to realize why I find myself to be so awkward but I eventually boiled it down to one word: Fear. I experience fear all the time. As much as I love to jump into things, I fear of making the wrong choices because once I do I’ll feel obligated to run with it. As a semi-perfectionist, I fear that I will fail as a leader and put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best. I fear that my honesty will unintentionally hurt others and my truth will be misunderstood as hateful criticism. I fear opening up and having my concerns and beliefs take for petty complaints (yes, I have actually experienced these). I’ve been told my problems would be solved if I care less but I’m not entirely sure how to do that without not caring at all.
I get what they mean. When one cares too much, cares turns into concern which breeds anxiety around whatever it is an individual cares about. That anxiety is the root of the fear I experience. In constant conflict with who I am naturally, as a person, a woman, and an individual born atop the zodiac calendar, there is a constant struggle in deciphering when it’s okay to exert energy and when it’s time to fall back. Unfortunately, as a fire sign already prone to extremes, my exertion is sometimes taken as overly aggressive and my withdrawal is often mistook for being uppity – a rock and hard place.
Honestly, I’ve gotten a bit used to it in my casual social circumstances but it is particularly frustrating in professional settings in which it’s imperative people understand you as you mean them to. As of now, I find it best to be perceived as mostly quiet but a go-getter in my performance. It’s a bit harder to make friends out of co-workers this way but I do okay to get along. I’ve accepted it.
Even more, I’ve accepted that I will always be at risk of being misunderstood. I’m complicated and I do not expect less complex people to relate to me. I never expect to be popular. I don’t even expect to be well-liked. I just make certain to show the respect I want from others because the truth is I don’t always understand other people either. Coming to this realization about myself, I also see that everyone must feel this way at one point or another – even the less awkward, well-liked, popular people.
I figure the more comfortable I am with me, the more likely I will attract others like me. In time, I hope to build a tribe of other complex-minded, mistaken individuals who are hoping to find spaces in which they are allowed to be vulnerable. If you are out there, just know you are not alone.