Dangerous Compassions

how I changed my mind about confidence


I thought confidence was pretending.  “Fake it till you make it” is too sad.  I’d rather not fake anything.

My mom was impressed with confident doctors.  When she told me that, I felt like I was going to puke.  She wanted a doctor to come off as knowing stuff.  I would prefer a doctor who was kind, a good listener, and actually knows stuff, and can admit when they don’t.

Always I want to be who I am, and for who I am to be ok.   Really I think I am ok–insightful, funny at times, caring, creative, good at learning.


The idea that everyone needs to be confident felt like a scam, to me.  Reading job descriptions, I noticed everyone was supposed to be friendly and outgoing.  If I was quiet and shy, what kind of job was there for me?

I never felt confident.  My mom would tell me to stand up straight and put my shoulders back.  She would try to push me into being confident.  I wasn’t feeling it.

Then this year I was in T-MAPs and one of the traits we were encouraged to embody was confident.  I hated that one!  I could be curious and other things that start with c.  But confident felt like it was for high powered businessmen–bullshittery I wasn’t interested in whatsoever.


Maybe you see where I’m going with this.  Here is where I learn something.  The other day we went on that walk, and Ming took my picture so I could be seen wearing my new shirt; I wanted to show my friend who gave me the shirt.

Now I look at those pictures, and the one I like best, with my eyes closed, smiling to the sun, I look confident.

Maybe I got confident.  I am no longer terrified.  Before, I was seriously afraid of people.  I was on auto-flinch.  Everyone seemed like they wanted something from me that I didn’t want to give, wanted to hurt me, couldn’t understand me, were mean, selfish, cruel.  Life felt like dodging assholes.

Hmm, that’s a weird visual, Laura-Marie.  I’m seeing disembodied assholes flying through the sky, and I have to duck and shimmy to avoid them hitting me, in some kind of asshole avoiding video game.

level of vulnerable

Anyway, I was so thin-skinned and vulnerable.  I feel still vulnerable, but no longer to my detriment.  Now it’s a better level.  I was not capable of saying “fuck all y’all” at appropriate moments.  Now I learned to say that.

I’m still whacked out on love, and do a lot of caring.  My projects are love-based–works of mercy, radical mental health, mutual aid, feeding people, peace work.  I mean that I feel more functional.

magical parkinglot

thank you

Thank you for sitting through this navel gazing, Reader.  You are so patient with me.  I appreciate you.

This post reminds me of a new Sufjan Stevens song “Ascension” that bothers me; it’s got a ton of words, all self-absorbed, about becoming less self-absorbed.

Hahaha.  How ironic, Sufie.  He’s the Monarch of Irony.  Ahem, you dropped your scepter.


Confidence is like faith–you can’t force yourself to believe something.  Seems to click into place, like two puzzle pieces that fit, or two lego pieces.

I really like the single-celled transparent lego pieces that are supposed to represent lights.  Those excite me.  I also like the hinges.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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