Restoring Confidence Through Hugs

Sometimes walking back into your former place of employment is like walking into a hug. A strong, comforting, exasperating, obnoxious hug.

A recent offhand comment, meant as humor I’m sure, by a friend, left me feeling…well I took the comment and carried it down into my hole of insecurities. And just sat there with it. For a while. Turning it over. Staring at it. Feeling all of the feelings. Struggling myself through them. Admonishing myself for my need for external validation.

I’m still not quite convinced I know the things I know I know about myself…(no, I know. It makes sense in my head, though). So I still look for outside validation that the things I know to be true about myself are true to others. The others part still matters to me. A little more than maybe it should?

I’ve been pretty good about keeping that stuff in check recently. Was able to walk myself right through the same situation in a matter of hours only a month ago.

But this time. It hit hard and took on a secure hold.

It didn’t help that I was coming off of an unidentified near-illness. Magnified by miles of anxiety over an exam. A certification exam. The PMP certification exam. For work. That I’d been told for months was “a really hard exam to pass the first time.”

I’ve never failed an exam.


Because I passed. Decidedly passed. Above target on all areas passed. Yesterday morning.

Which at least served to calm my anxiety. And it boosted my confidence. So that I felt a little less like a fraud. And a little more legitimate. You know, since an entire international organization gave me a certificate saying I am.

So, anyway. I took the day off to celebrate. And went to visit mi nieto at my parents house while they babysat.

He’s still convinced that my dad is the most amazing person in the world. Aside from his own mama and dad. And he continues to be dubious of my claims that I actually made his dad. That I should get credit for that.

So I spent hours on the floor in full performance mode. Trying desperately to convince him of how amazing I am.

I don’t think I managed to convince him of much. Except for my desperate need for approval. And external validation.

But before I left. As I was standing at the door saying goodbye to my parents. He reached out his little arms. To me. And asked me to hold him.


Have you ever felt your heart explode and melt all at once?

I will be carrying that feeling around forever.

And then, fresh off of that victory, I headed to the school. Where I used to work. To my people. My mischievous, hilarious, overworked people.

And my Karnes Confections.

That I had to wrestle out of the hands of my former boss. And that I almost had to knock a youth out over. Who was picking up a box in the general vicinity of my fro-sco’s.

Relax. I said almost.

But my gosh I miss these people. I never have to threaten my new co-workers with violence over food. I feel like that probably would get me sent to HR. Which is in California…

I love that my monthly fro-sco fix gives me a reason to go back home. And get my strong, comforting, exasperating, obnoxious hug.

And I love that mi nieto was finally willing to leave his Poppo’s arms for mine.

And I love that I have people who recognize when I’m in my deep dark insecurity hole. Who will reach in and check on me. And remind me of my value.

Because I’m still learning.

These are the things I need.

One response to “Restoring Confidence Through Hugs”

  1. You’re so awesome whether you require proof of that or not. But I know personally that I do love you for who you are! And am happy to validate you annnyyyytime. I’m so glad I still get to see you. You have no idea how much your daily presence is missed.

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