Thoughts & Stories: Confidence

Do you remember the opening scene of Sound of Music? Of course you do.

Maria is twirling on a hill...the epic music queues up...she is free, she is sure...she is everything 9 year old Jenni could dream of being. Let's just say, twirling on a hillside became a professional practice of mine for the duration of elementary school (yes, I was THAT kid on the play ground).

Let me ask you this: Do you ALSO remember the song Maria sings to herself while lugging an awkward suitcase through the city (and an equally awkward hat) on her way to meet the VonTrapp family?

Maria collage
I think the lyrics went a little something like, "I have confidence, in confidence alone 
(Oh help........) ". Today I was having a bit of an "oh help" moment...a far cry from twirling in the Austrian Countryside.

Going back to school at 29 has been interesting. I'm not particularly "old", but for some reason Graphic Design is a young person's world. By young I mean 19-23....these are the wise old owls filling up most of my classes. I consider myself mildly proficient on a MAC... but let me tell you, my  MAC for Graphic Designers class is grueling. If you go for the mouse you get your hands slapped by a Nun. Okay that's not true, but it's all about the shortcut commands in that classroom. And they want you to be FAST.

I spend nearly every class with my hand up. I can feel the eye rolling from 19 year old girls (it's always the girls) searing into the back of my head every Monday afternoon. It's all I can do to not run out of the room in tears sometimes (as a 40 something woman seated next to me did the first week...she never came back).

One time a friend said to me, "You could easily do all sorts of great things, if you could just get your confidence in order." While I didn't take offense to the statement, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Do I have a confidence issue? I mean, it's easy enough to joke around about lacking self esteem over a glass of wine with girlfriends...but when somebody else notices of their own accord? That's a wake up call.

So, despite the scowls and sighs I sometimes hear in the background, I'm learning to hold my hand in the air and wave it until the teacher comes over to show me how to access the server with a shortcut, for the 10th time. Because...."I have confidence, in confidence alone, besides which you can see... I have confidence in me!"

It took me a long time to figure out who I wanted to be in this world. However, who I want to be isn't going to be worth much if I loathe me. See, everything I ever needed to know about life I learned from Sound of Music. Maybe I should start wearing awkward hats to class! I bet my teacher would see my hand right away!