We’re creeping closer to the end of my dental assisting course. I only have three classes left and then I can supposedly get a job doing this. But last week I made a mistake.
After I assisted on a procedure I took the instruments back to the lab to sterilize them. I couldn’t remember how to take apart the syringe. I knew I should have asked for help. But instead I started fiddling around with it and ended up stabbing myself in the thumb with a used needle.
I immediately panicked and started crying. The dentists comforted me and told me it has happened to them. It happens to everyone. But it was too late. I was already beating myself up as well as worrying about what diseases I could contract.
This past Saturday the teacher pulled me aside in class and asked how I was doing.
“I’m okay,” I said. “I’m sorry I got so freaked out.”
“Molly,” she said, “You’re good at this. But your one flaw is your lack of confidence.”
And there it was. One sentence summing up my life.
I am not confident in myself.
I started thinking back to my high school days. I remember feeling so light. I asked out boys without hesitation. I won music competitions in a room filled with people. I excelled in forensics doing dramatic interpretations. I have many medals that now sit in boxes at my parents house. Medals that prove I was confident at one time.
In college my confidence began to disappear. And after college, when I began adulthood in the real world, there was really nothing left.
I’m not sure why or how this happened. But it did.
I just don’t know how to get it back. Maybe my high school confidence was naive confidence. I had nothing to lose. My whole life ahead of me. Now I feel like it’s already too late. Every mistake I’ve ever made has culminated into one huge disappointment. I’m disappointed in myself.
I’ve thought about it a lot since my teacher told me my one flaw. I know she is absolutely right.
Where has my confidence gone? And how do I get it back so I can succeed in this one life that I’ve been given? How do I get it back so that my boys know what it is to believe in themselves?
I have to find it again.