One of the awesome things about going through your old stuff is getting a glimpse of what you used to be like. Things you used to wear, bands you used to like, stuff you used to do. It’s a trip, really. A quasi time-machine. Being the diligent writer that I am, I find a lot of old journals. Most of the time I read back and think to myself, “Why in God’s name did I say that?”. I wrote some really stupid, really embarrassing, and really nonsensical stuff. But it’s not all bad. Sometimes I write things that are really more profound than I intended them to be.
So I found this little gem while I was reminiscing. I wrote this right around the time I was going away to college. As you can see, I thought I was a pretty cool dude, like the world was way too small for me and that there was nothing that was gonna stand in my way of doing anything that I wanted. I don’t really remembering writing this, but for me, it’s a weird piece. If you know me, I never, ever say things like this out loud. I’m not really the outwardly confident type (the kids these days call it having “swag”).
This isn’t all that I wanted to show you. This little bit went on the next page, so I had to take two separate pictures. The second one is conveniently placed below for your viewing pleasure.
Yeah, it’s all confident bordering on arrogant, but there’s something to be said for it.
I’m short. Like 5’5. Definitely under average for a 19-year-old. Being a hobbit has never really bothered me. It’s just something I’m stuck with. Being short is just me. It makes no difference. But sometimes, in comparison with other people, I feel really small. Not small in the physical sense, though. I know, that may seem a bit confusing. I’ll explain what I mean.
I, like boat loads of other people, am not extremely self-confident. I guess my height serves as an appropriate gauge for my self-confidence: under-average. Now, I’m not one of those kids that’s constantly moping, complaining about how no one likes him, wearing the same dirty, black hoodie, and listening to “I Miss You” by blink-182 on repeat. I still lead a normal life, relatively at least. I have plenty of friends, I’m involved in plenty of things, and for the most part, I’m confident enough.
But I’d be lying if I told you that my lack of “swag” hasn’t held me back. Sometimes I don’t talk to people who I should, don’t try things that I should, don’t do things that I should. Sometimes, because I’m not entirely confident in myself, I hold myself back.
It’s stupid, I know. There’s no reason for me to lack confidence. Sometimes I just feel small. I can’t explain it. It just is. It’s life. And I’ll bet that, if you’re like me, you’re saying the exact same thing. Most of the time, we can’t control it. It controls us.
Going back and reading my old journal showed me something, though. It uncovered that I wish I had kept with me for my whole life. It taught me a lesson that I should always remember.
For one brief moment, for one tiny section of time, I felt like I was the king of the world. When I wrote this stuff I had more confidence than I knew what to do with. Seriously, I had no idea what to do with it. It was there, though. At that moment, I could have done anything I wanted. I could have talked to anyone that I wanted to talk to. Nothing was gonna stop me. For a few seconds, I didn’t feel small. I didn’t feel like I was 5’5 and like the whole world was sprouting up around me. For a few seconds, I felt tall.
So now, looking back on these precious few moments, I’m asking myself, “Why can’t I be like that more often? Why can’t I have the guts to act like the person that I wrote about?”. I sat back and thought about for a while. A long, long, while. And then, the answer hit me. It’s ridiculously simple, but it’s true.
Yeah, I’m short and that’s never gonna change. But there’s no reason, not a single, plausible reason that I can’t feel tall all the time. There’s no reason that I can’t be confident in everything that I do. There’s no reason to feel small in a world full of other people who, when it comes down to it, are the same height as me.
Sometimes I’m shy and sometimes I psych myself out about things, to the point where I hold myself back.Because I’m not confident, I don’t do the things that I should. But that’s pretty dumb, don’t you think? There’s nothing in my way. There’s no one in my way, holding me back, telling me that I can’t. Well, I guess there is one person…
Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t limit yourself by saying “I don’t think I can”, or, “I’m not good enough”. None of that’s gonna help you and, truth be told, it’s all bull shit. You’re good enough to do anything that you want to do. And I know that sounds like some corny-ass, self-help book, life coach pep-talk, but it’s true. If you think you can, then you will. If you think you’re good enough, then you are.
So if you feel small, I understand. I’m on the same train. But just remember that you don’t have to feel that way. You don’t have to feel like a pre-schooler looking up at a world full of basketball players. Have a little confidence in yourself. Eat some damn spinach or something and make yourself feel tall. Make the world seem way too small to hold everything that you’re capable of.
Just believe in yourself and everything that you do. And always remember that no matter how small you are, you can always feel tall as hell.