day eight: for when your face burns red


The feeling stayed with me long after it happened. It was exactly like Maya Angelou said.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Hardly anything had happened, but still, I felt stupid and embarrassed. I'd been cleaning the wall at Starbucks, washing away -- what felt like a years worth -- of sticky syrup and milk stains, and I lost my footing on the step stool I stood on. I grabbed ahold of where the giant jugs of iced tea sat, and in seemingly slow motion, took the three jugs of tea down with me.

Tea seemed to go... well, everywhere. I stood there sopping wet. The floor was covered. So were the counters. And all of the drink ingredients. Customers stared at me.

Cricket cricket.

Sometimes I'm okay when catastrophic events happen. Like for example when someone faints, I generally can get them a cup of juice or a cold cloth or fan their face with air. Or if a woman was pregnant and beside me and suddenly happened to go into labour, I hope I'd be able to call her family. Or at least dial 911.

But when three giant jugs of tea crashed, I just stood there.

(Suddenly everyone is thankful I didn't try and become a nurse.)

My boss came out from the back room and, let me say kindly, made a bigfathugegiantmassive deal about the whole shebang.

My cheeks burned bright and hard, and it's in moments like those that make me want to disappear like quicksand right there in the floor. Or clock out early and then mail my notice and never walk through the doors again.

Dramatic? Okay fine. But I hate embarrassment. I hate feeling stupid.

I failed my drivers test twice. I don't want to tell you that. I'm ashamed. I'm scared you're judging me.

The truth is, I want to impress you.

I prefer to hand you a long list of things I'm really proud of. I'd give you my high school English mark before I'd ever show you Math or Science. My Instagram is full of things I'm happy to photograph and then share -- art work I've worked hard on, mostly. If you asked me what I'm up to in life right now, I'd tell you all about Choose Brave, and (in)courage, Hashtag Hope, and my writing. I'd be more hesitant to share about Starbucks, or my currently-in-progress certificate.

I don't want to share my shame and embarrassments, no matter how measly they may seem to you. I want to be carefully crafted, humble yet thought of as great. And I think if I can craft myself just so carefully, I may possibly be enough. Enough for me, yes.

But more than that, enough for you.

 Does feeling embarrassed influence whether or not you think you're enough?


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This is day eight. You can find the rest of this series right here.

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