There was a time not that long ago that getting dressed up with cocktail dresses and the whole ordeal of getting ready for a fancy dinner, formal affair, or just going with friends for the night almost made me have a panic attack. It was not a pretty scene.
I am not exaggerating about the level of tension it caused me, and it filled me with paralyzing terror. I didn’t know why it made me so uncomfortable until yesterday. I didn’t feel like I deserved the attention, the appreciation, or even a compliment. If I did get any of those, I was awkward. The idea of being worthy of attention without that feeling like it’s narcissistic is something I have been working on this year.
I didn’t put the two and two together until I had to get ready for a formal event the other day. I didn’t really feel any of that crippling anxiety because I have the self-confidence to realize that I can dress like that, and I look like I belong there. More importantly, I FEEL like I belong there. Even a few months ago when I wore a cocktail dress, I felt slightly awkward.
I am still much happier in cargo pants, t-shirts, and sneakers. The fact that I can go to these events and feel accepted, deserving, and free is priceless. It’s also a feeling I never thought I would have. Little by little breaking down these walls I have in order to reach my full potential.