Finding My Self Confidence

Today, we have our very FIRST guest blogger,Teri, from The Last Dish. She and Stacy are good photographer friends! Stacy contacted her to write a post for us and I have to say that I am BEYOND impressed with Teri’s talent, in both photography and writing! We have had the chance to chat recently and I believe she does not realize how great of a talent she does have! Everyone, please give Teri a warm welcome! To find this recipe and other great recipes, head over to her blog and see what your heart is hungry for:  www.thelastdish.com

I was 11 years old. It was summer, I have no idea which month. I was surrounded by

friends at a church ice cream social and we were eating more than our share. My

mother had submitted her famous banana ice cream, and I’ll admit, I ate more of

that kind than any other. Banana has always been my favorite and I wasn’t afraid to

say so. Apparently, other people weren’t afraid to say so either. She brought home

the first prize ribbon.

At 11 years old, I was completely at home in my body and in my personality. I knew

who I was, where I was going, and what I was capable of…and I worked it! Heavens

above, did I ever work it. I was anything but shy. I would sing in front of perfect

strangers. I loved being on stage dancing. I made a list at that age of the “20 Reasons

My Future Husband Would Be The Luckiest Guy To Marry Me”. No joke. Granted, I

could be loud and obnoxious about my talents sometimes. I definitely could have

used a little more tact. But, I didn’t lack confidence. I was full of it to overflowing.

Then something happened. I entered middle and high school and I began to question

myself. I remember singing in choir in a brand new school and hearing a girl behind

me say “Off pitch much?”. To this day, I still don’t know if she really was talking

about me or not…but I have sung more cautiously ever since. At a church dance, one

of my friends joked that I “danced like a spaz” and suddenly, I couldn’t dance freely

anymore. It paralyzed me. Every time I got up to dance, I would critique myself and

ask, “Am I dancing like a spaz right now?” Probably the hardest blow of all was

hearing a friend in a hallway tell someone else that I was “far too confident” and it

“made them feel inferior”. Really? I didn’t want my friends to be uncomfortable

around me. And so I started playing smaller than I was…you know…to help them feel

somehow bigger.

Worrying so much about what everyone thought of me led to a quiet death of many

of my talents and my self-confidence. Before long, I found myself in the downward

spiral of depression. The depression chased away the people that surrounded me.

By trying to “tone down” my confidence to make everyone more comfortable around

me to hopefully gain more friends, I lost myself. When I no longer felt comfortable in

my skin, I began a cycle of negative thoughts and self-talk that made me unpleasant

to be around. And in the end, my existing friends began to pull away.

No matter how hard I tried to fit in. No matter how much I tried to jam my

personality and my body into the mold presented in pop culture, it just wouldn’t fit

right. Before long, I began to feel that something must be wrong with me.

I was right. Something WAS wrong with me.

I had forgotten who I was. I had forgotten that I came to earth with a special

personality and a special mission. A mission that no one else could accomplish. My

gifts, my talents, my quirks…even my weaknesses…they were all needed to help

others, lift others, and bring a ray of sunshine to this earth. When I tried to be

someone else…or even just a different version of me…my light dimmed.

As I have embraced my crazy, fun-loving, fast-paced, creative, loud, sometimes

thoughtless and scatter-brained self I have come to see the truth. Being who I am,

the very best version of who I really am, gives others license to do the same. As I

spread my wings to see how high I can soar, I inspire others to take flight too. And

those flaws? Well, they keep me approachable. No one likes a perfect friend.

I am no longer that innocent 11 year old brimming with confidence, sitting with a

gaggle of friends eating ice cream with delight.

No, I am now a 35-year-old woman who finds joy in my perfectly average body, full

of stretch marks and cellulite that bear witness that I am a mother. I have confidence

that I am capable of accomplishing whatever I choose to work hard at. I have a deep

understanding of my talents as well as my weaknesses. I have confidence that the

right friends will choose to see the good in me and will be patient with my flaws. I

have a husband that tells me almost daily that he is “The Luckiest Guy” because he

married me. And I finally know that I am loveable, exactly the way I am.

I used to think that to be “perfect” meant to be just like everyone else. Now I

understand that humanity is a recipe…full of different ingredients that together

make something more than the sum of its parts. I may not be the sexiest

ingredient…nor the most organized, but I am needed and valued and the recipe

wouldn’t be the same without me. I am “perfect” for the life I have been given. And

there is joy in knowing that.

Today as I sat on the porch with my kiddos watching them eat my updated version

of my Mom’s banana ice cream, I realized this is what I want most for them. I want

them to know who they really are, what they are capable of, and that they are

loveable and important…just the way they are.

banana ice cream 1 (1)                                      Banana IceCreamIMG_3518                                                                              Banana IceCreamIMG_3545 (2)                                                                         Banana IceCreamIMG_3575                                                                            Banana IceCreamIMG_3635                                                                                                  Banana IceCreamIMG_3678

BANANA ICE-CREAM

Rating: 9
Serves: 8-12
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 “freckled” bananas (You want completely ripe bananas which are yellow with little black “freckles”. The bananas in the pictures are underripe for this recipe…but are prettier for pictures.)
INSTRUCTIONS:
In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream and milk over medium heat until hot and steaming, but not boiling. (Do not let it boil! I’m serious.)
Place egg yolks in a heat-resistant bowl. (I prefer metal, glass or ceramic so your eggs and cream don’t pick up any funky tastes from a plastic bowl). Temper the eggs by adding 1 ladle of hot milk to the bowl while stirring constantly. Add 1 more ladle of milk and continue to stir. Then add the milk/egg mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan. Continue to stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens. (Never let it come to a boil or the eggs will curdle). The mixture is ready when it thickly coats the back of a metal spoon (about 6-8 minutes). Remove from heat and pour mixture into a heat-proof bowl.
Add sugar, salt and vanilla to the milk mixture and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Chill the custard in the refrigerator until cold.
Mash bananas and fold into the custard.
Place the custard into the canister of your ice-cream maker and follow the directions for your machine.
You can either eat the ice-cream soft-serve straight from the ice-cream maker or scoop into a metal or glass loaf pan. Place plastic wrap over the ice-cream mixture and press down gently over the ice-cream to close off all air exposure to the mixture. Place pan in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight. Scoop and serve.
Store any leftovers in the freezer in a sealed freezer-safe container.
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One thought on “Finding My Self Confidence

  1. Oh Teri our younger selves could be twin sisters with the way we both lost confidence and struggled to be ourselves in a world telling us to be someone else. Unfortunately for me I still to this day have terrible negative self talk only to myself. Cause it’s kinda funny for anyone else I’m positive, supportive, and inspiring as much as I can be but when it comes to Me all I hear is the voices of the people who raised me saying I’d never amount to anything and that I look like a freak. Sad I know but true at 41 years of age I still can’t let that go but when it comes to my kids they WILL NEVER EVER HEAR THAT OR ANYTHING LIKE IT FROM ME. Anyway Love love LOVED your blog post and I can’t wait for you to do it again. Hugs and kisses Stacy

    Liked by 1 person

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