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  • Writer's picturelennoxmorganoffici

Let's Talk About It - Confidence

The level of confidence that I have here in the UK is wildly different than the confidence I had in the States. It honestly feels like I’m a completely different person. Let’s talk about it. 

If you don't know me personally, then let me tell you a few things. My mother had 4 kids in 5 years and raised is by herself (shoutout to you mum!). I am the third of four kids. When I was a freshman I. In high school, I had a sister as a sophomore in the same high school and a sister who was a high school senior. Wow! I know. I get it. 

There are many great benefits to having sisters who are close in age. I mean, now my sisters are my best friends. But when I was growing up, I failed to see the good things. I only saw the bad things. I almost always had hand-me-down clothes. I was always compared to my sister's talents and brilliance. Every single teacher I had growing up, had my sisters and held me up to their extremely high excellence. My sisters are brilliant, beautiful, and extremely talented.

But for me, I felt this insane pressure to be as good as they were at everything. They were at the top of their class, in the gifted classes, and got awards for everything they competed in. Everyone loved them. I wanted to be like them. I tried my best, but it was obvious that I couldn’t do what they did. I always lived in their shadows, for basically everything. 

 Because I lived in their shadows, I accepted the fate that I wasn’t going to be like them. I had interests and goals that were vastly different than theirs. I accepted the fact that I probably wasn’t good enough to achieve those because of the shadow I lived in. I think I started making sure that I didn’t fail to meet the expectations that they set by giving very little effort or opinions on anything. I wanted to be amenable to making everyone happy and making everything easy. 

I know and understand that my sisters probably didn’t know this was happening, but I think I just started adopting a flexible attitude toward everything to ensure that everyone else gets to do what they want to do. In high school, I didn’t have an opinion on anything, which I didn’t think was weird until I got to college. In high school, I would always be asked about my stance on politics what I wanted for dinner, or what I wanted to do in my life. I felt like I always gave a simple answer to make sure not to rock the boat or to ensure that everyone felt valued and included. 

In college, I realized that other people didn’t operate that way. I was away from home and I wasn’t in the shadows anymore. I could go out on my own and no one would say “Oh you’re their younger sister?” Or “Oh are you related to him?” (Talking about my younger brother which was another gut punch we don’t have to get into). I started forming some opinions of my own but I made sure that it wasn’t anything too extravagant or controversial. My main goal was to make everyone happy. 

I didn’t have confidence in college or high school. After I graduated with my undergrad, I was figuring out what I wanted to do and what I liked and it was hard being out in the real world not having any expectations of me or me. I struggled a lot with finding my identity and building that confidence. It took me a very long time to figure out what I wanted to do and figure out who I was. I had to learn the confidence I needed to grow into the person that I needed and wanted to be. 

When I moved to Colorado, no one knew me. I had the opportunity to reinvent myself. Go by a nickname. Pretend I was from somewhere outside of my hometown, like a smaller town or something. I could’ve lied about who I was and created a fake identity in hopes of growing so that no one knew who I was or where I came from. I had the power and the imaginary make-believe land that would be a brilliant aspect of redefining my life.  But I didn’t. I was honest about who I am. The last 2 years in Colorado were amazing growth for me. It challenged me and forced me to grow into someone that I had to be. I was out of the shadows of my sisters. 

I made new friends, some of which were toxic, some who were not. I began to focus on things that I only thought were imaginary. I always wanted to write for a living and I started to explore that more. I had a new definition of working hard and balancing home and work. I had a new mentor who challenged me to expand my horizons more and more as well. I was finally defining myself outside of my family, outside the expectations that were laid out for me for years and years. 

But something always felt like it was missing. I couldn't put my finger on it. There was always this hole that I couldn't figure out what to do with or how to fill it. No matter how I grew and changed, no matter what I did or didn't do, no matter how many people I met or lives I changed, it was still there. It wasn't until I started exploring living outside of the United States did that hole got a little smaller. I knew that moving outside of the United States was an important aspect of my growth, of my career, and of who I was as a person. So I dived nose first into learning about how to move, what I needed, how to get a visa, how to get it approved, how much money and finances would go into this, etc. 

I've been in England for 3 months (at the point of writing this) and I have more confidence than ever. I am confident in my skills and learning abilities to work write and be a student. I have confidence in my clothing and body that I never really had before. I have confidence in the people that I have met and learned from. I have confidence in the safety of the city, walking around late at night or alone. I have confidence in the place that I have chosen to live, the building, though old and filled with gross boy roommates, is sturdy and the workers are fine. 

I am so content with where I am in life, which hasn't happened for a long time. There was always something in me that wasn't confident in one thing or the other. There was always something to worry about. But right now, there is nothing. I feel so wildly supportive while away and alone in this city. It's an odd feeling for sure, and many odd culture shocks develop while here, but currently, at this moment, I feel like all the stars are aligned to help support me through all of this. 


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