Sometimes, while I lay in the dead of night, I wake up and have this undying fear of being forgotten or not being good enough. I usually shut those voices up by telling them that I am awesome, thanks to Barney Stinson, and go back to sleep. Most nights, I can usually shake that feeling and wake up refreshed. Tonight wasn’t like most nights.
I have a terrible memory and often lose things. This past week, I lost my keys. These aren’t just ANY keys, they are my car and work keys. If I lost my work keys, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have a job anymore. I looked everywhere looking for them. I retraced my steps… and realized, I had lost them.
So, this morning, at 2:43 am (I know this precise time because I dared to look at my clock on my out-of-date cellphone) and those voices returned. Those stupid voices that remind me of my actual fear. That fear haunts me. I suddenly became insecure about my job. I became insecure of being a good friend. I became an insecure human.
Insecurity is like a really great parasitic taco. One time, when I was in Mexico, I ate a taco from a taco stand. My friends all warned me NOT to eat the taco, but I wanted to enjoy the authentic Mexican culture… or pretend that I was Zoro (which I know now, he’s from Spain.) But I ate the taco. It seemed good. Little did I know the damage it would do to my insides.
My stomach roared with a not-so-proud lion roar. Suddenly, I felt FIRE and I clinched my fists and my butt cheeks. HOW COULD FOOD SUDDENLY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE EXPLODING?! I was no longer laughing with my friends about how creepy that man’s mustache was or how it smelled like cat pee. No. I was more concerned with the disaster erupting my insides. “AYE DIOS MIO! WHY DOES MY BODY HATE ME SO MUCH!!!”
Whenever something of that caliber happens to me, inside, I internalize the pain and pretend it doesn’t exist. Sometimes, I have great luck with holding it in. That day in Mexico, I had no such luck. I began grunting. I grunting. And grunting. I had enough billowing grunts to spook a horse, and we still had a mile to walk.
We were blocks away from our host home when I felt it. IT was coming… like birthing a fire baby from my rectum. Yep. My butt was going to explode with fiery taco juices. In that moment, I confessed EVERY sin I ever had and prayed harder than I had ever done in my whole life. My friends kept asking me if I was alright. They should have seen the signs: I was sweating in 50 degree weather. My face was hot and red which was a huge contrast to my ever-so pale complexion. My bubbly voice turned into grunts and gasps. My walk had turn into a penguin waddle. Things were not looking up for me.
FInally, we were standing outside our host family’s house. I had held my explosion inside tightly as to not embarrass myself on our journey home. That journey should be documented, I thought. I threw my fists into the air like Rocky Balboa did. However, with ten seconds left on the clock, I shouldn’t have been so cocky. On my way to the bathroom, which was outside the home, I was scared by the dog, who did not bark. No, he ran up to me to sniff my crotch… The dog knew my fear had risen to astronomical levels. Dogs can sense that stuff, right?
Needless to say, I couldn’t hold my butt in ANY longer. There was this awkward noise and I dropped to the floor in fetal position. My stomach felt a million times better, however, what was inside came out and I was in pain. It was like lava had erupted from Mount Vesuvius. I was the last survivor, and I had died. I felt so insecure and stupid. I should have. I pooped my pants in the middle of someone’s house. That feeling of insecurity has never left me, and nether has the memory of the story.
To this day, my friends cannot let me live that story down. It’s been almost 11 years since the pooping of the pants story happened, and yet, I still feel all those same feelings whenever it’s brought up, especially those beginning fiery bowel movements.
I suddenly realize where my insecurity lies. I have always felt like I was gong to do something great in my life. But, being great and doing great are two different things. I’ve always wanted to change the world with my writing, but I never knew how. So, I tell stories and relate to people. (Yes, I believe other people have pooping in the pants stories in our adult life!) But sometimes, I feel like that’s all I am good at that I am just good for a laugh. I’m really only good at being that friend to laugh with (or at.) I feel like I’m just the funny girl and nothing more. I feel insecure in the thing I’m the most great at because, sadly, I feel like I should be master of all.
Well, between last night’s panic attack and this morning, I’ve found my keys. I left them in a friends car. But, I can’t shake that fear of not being good enough this morning. I feel like I am always someone’s backup friend. I feel like the forgotten girl. I feel like, no matter how loud I scream or how far I run, I am not noticed for WHO I am, but only what I look like. I feel like I will always be the funny fat girl who always has good stories. Sure, you can say I am different, but that doesn’t shake what I feel.
These waves of insecurity come and go with my hormones. (I mean, really, God, did ya need to invent them?!) But, what I do have to say is this, we are all insecure and feel alone. But, we all feel this way. We all feel alone and hurt and scared and insecure. One of my favorite pop singers, Brit Nicole, sings in one of her songs, “This ain’t the first time you’ll feel like this. This ain’t the last time you’ll feel like this…” I think those lyrics are so true. This isn’t the first or last time I will feel insecure. This isn’t the first or last time ANYBODY will feel insecure. But, if I can just step outside of myself and say, “Hey, I am pretty awesome! I am worth someone’s while!” Then, that should be enough.
Also, never eat a taco from a hairy mustached Mexican taco stand unless all of your friends are… then, you can all have fiery bowel movements together. Or just don’t eat tacos from a stand. Yeah.