Last year—not long after I started this blog—I visited the Apple store and wrote about that experience here in a post called "The Apple store and the art of self-loathing." In that post, I explained that every single time I go to the Apple store, I get intimidated by how hip everyone seems (even the store is a bright beacon of coolness!) and, as a result, find myself returning to my old self—the self who always feels unattractive and fat, the self who thinks I'm a monster.
Well, something happened this week. Something good and something bad.
I'll start with the bad.
My computer died. I don't mean it crashed. I mean it completely and totally gave up the ghost. So I had to have my entire hard drive replaced.
This meant I had to go back to the Apple store. And this is where the good news comes in. When I realized I had to go to the Apple store, I also realized that—sometime over the past year—the Apple store lost the ability to intimidate me. I no longer worried that I would be the un-cool, fat girl standing in front of the hip boys at the genius bar with my legs crossed like a nervous Nellie. In fact, I thought the opposite would happen: I'd be confident and comfortable with my self, and—better yet—they would like me because of it.
Just feeling this way would have been enough to make me happy, but as it turns out, it wasn't just a feeling I had. It was reality. Because when I was hanging out at the genius bar last Saturday, one of the Apple store employees actually gave me a compliment. In a very appreciative voice, he said, "you're so practical," and I knew he meant, compared to our other customers.
This may seem like no big deal to you, but since this was a place that used to make my anxiety level soar, it was a big freaking deal to me.
And the best part is that I know—I just know—that the only reason I received that compliment is because I believed in myself.
As it turns out, confidence is contagious.