One of the changes I’ve noticed in myself over the past year is a sudden inability to look people in the eye.
I still do it, a little bit. But I am absolutely certain that I never used to have such a large degree of trepidation when I was talking to people. Even people I know, friends, family. I can’t look at them for more than a second before before I’m having to look away.
I think a large part of it is down to my collapsing self-confidence over the last year. Confidence that has been knocked again and again because of my continual feelings of inadequacy. That I’m not achieving the life I thought I would. That I was promised going to university and getting a good degree would set me down the path of a really good life.
Unfortunately, none of that has happened. It’s been, as I have chroniced tirelessly since June last year, a complete failure. I had such high hopes, and high expectations on my shoulders, and none of it has come to pass.
That must have taken its toll on me. I can’t even look people like my mum and dad in the eye for very long any more. They can be trying to talk seriously to me, but I can’t bear to look for long. I feel like I don’t want to acknowledge their presence. If they look me in the eyes for too long, I fear they’ll see right through me and notice that I’m, these days, incredibly close to tears at the plight of this ridiculous situation I’m in.
It might improve, but I’ve been saying that all year. My business has struggled badly since I moved away, which has been a major disappointment. I really thought that working with my housemate would make all the difference, but it hasn’t. It has gone nowhere. All his ideas and promises have come to nothing. I’ve had two customers here in nearly a month. That’s not going to sustain £700/month living costs.
So what am I supposed to do? As I’ve scrawled a million times before, I really want to run a business. I don’t want to work for other people. But maybe I have to.
But to work for others, and to get through interviews, I’d need to dredge up some confidence from somewhere.
And when you’re at rock bottom after 18 months of near inactivity, that’s pretty damn hard. If you can’t bear to look people in the eye, they’re not going to trust you. That’s difficult for me right now.
I’m going to give it till Christmas. Then I’ll decide what to do.