At age six I was not the least bit afraid. There are numerous home videos of me dancing and singing for my family always in some new costume. Twirling around the room, my audience applauded me with little smiles and soft laughs. I was a “ham” according to my mother. Pictures fill the photo album of me posing in dresses and a wide-gap tooth smile.
At age eight that all seemed to change. For whatever reason, the insecurities kicked in. They washed over me and drowned out that happy-go-lucky six-year-old. There was no more dancing or twirling around the living room. My costumes were cast to the side, only to be used sparingly with close friends. My desire to be the center of attention dissipated and was replaced with an anxious little girl who hid in the corner. I’d shutter at the thought of standing out, happy to be living in the shadows.
In the matter of two years, my anxiety had taken over. It had made me two separate people unrecognizable to each other. And worst of all, I still do not know why. What happened to ignite this drastic change? I guess I’ll never know.