I’ve never been, shall we say, socially inclined. And it’s been my biggest insecurity for as long as I can remember. Throughout high school I only had one friend. My graduation pictures consisted of dozens of selfies with only me. My senior week, a week-long vacation most people spent with their high school friends, consisted of a three-day getaway to Ocean City with the whole crew: my dad and siblings. It probably served as one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
After graduation, I realized how unhappy this made me. Back then, I didn’t actually like anything about myself. So, I decided that my college years would be different. I would invent a whole new, much better, me.
Upon starting college, I went to great lengths to replace my high school self with someone more outgoing and fun. The first step to a whole new me meant filling out the roommate questionnaire as the new extroverted me would. For instance, one of the questions was “Do your weekends usually consist of a wild party or a cozy night in with a good book?” Of course, the new me partied on the weekends.
So I went to parties where drunken boys couldn’t comprehend the simple phrase “back off.” And I took part in the very thing that sparked my insecurity in the first place: bullying and petty gossip.
But no matter how hard I tried to fit in, I remained that little girl who hated what she saw when she looked in the mirror. I was still awkward. I was still the girl who didn’t enjoy going to parties. And the people I surrounded myself with saw that. And they didn’t like it.
Consequently, my only friends, who just so happened to be my roommates, started bullying me. Every day I felt scared, angry, confused, lonely and just downright unhappy. I tried avoiding them, but how can you avoid the people you live with? I’d leave early in the morning before they woke up and only return at night after I knew they’d fallen asleep. I felt emotionally drained, like I was drowning, and physically exhausted. It got to the point where my family came up to Philadelphia to force the leasing office to assign me a new apartment.
Even though I made it out of that awful situation, I continued to spiral downward. I felt so ashamed that I didn’t stand up to my roommates and that I had to call my mom to bail me out. All of a sudden, everything I tried so hard to suppress about myself all came to the surface. And I had to face the awkwardness, insecurity, cowardice and loneliness all at once. It took months of counseling for me to accept who I was and grow out of the emotional rut.
These draining months helped me realize not only how broken and insecure I was, but how the beautiful women around me found themselves in the same boat. I finally realized my insecurity drove my college experience into the ground. If I felt confident in the beautifully unfinished woman I had been, I wouldn’t have come to college trying to act like someone else. I wouldn’t have allowed my roommates to tear down my self-esteem even further.
For the first time, I truly understood what confidence can do. If every woman was undoubtedly confident in herself, she wouldn’t need to tear down others to make herself feel better and allow anyone to diminish her self-worth. That motivated me to create my blog, My Moxie. I wanted to offer that life changing advice and insight for every woman to become her unapologetic and authentic self.
Don’t get my wrong—I still struggle with my insecurities and social anxiety. But now, I don’t let my shortcomings stop me from building my confidence and living my best life.