So who is that lad in the picture? Well, that’s me, Kyle Mitchell. I am a 23 year old father of two girls. I am also getting married to the love of my life next month. I know what you are thinking. “This guy is barely in his twenties, has two kids, and is getting married. Did he skip ahead ten years?” The answer is yes. I pretty much did and that is what this blog site is about. This is the story of the life of a father, a future husband, and a human being.
Being 23 and given so much responsibility at a young age is no easy task. I am not the only one by any means with this duty but not everyone has the ability to do it either. I have always been a mature person for my age ever since I was little. For example, I remember thinking in high school that it would be cool to be married and have kids. Who thinks like that it high school? With all that being said, I never thought I would be where I am at right now in my life. I never had enough confidence in myself to believe I would. Let me tell you about the beginning where my life really started to change.
I was a freshman in high school attending Christian Academy of Indiana when my parents told me that they couldn’t afford to send me there anymore. I had been going there since I was in Kindergarten. Needless to say, this was a shock, but for some reason I was a little excited. I think I just thought it would be cool to tell my friends that I was going to go to a public school. It was like I completely forgot about my shyness and anxiety I had about being around strangers. Oh but I remembered them quickly that first day of the new school year.
I stood at the bus stop feeling sick with nerves. That feeling was multiplied when I got off the bus and stepped inside Floyd Central High School. My previous high school had less than 50 people in my class and my new class had over 400! Gulp. I knew no one, I did not know where my classes were, and I was there 40 minutes before first period even began. I went and hid in the bathroom. That became my morning routine for months.
As time went by I made a handful of friends and I mean like two or three. The questions I started asking myself were, “how do you make friends?, how do you be sociable?, and why do I feel this way and everyone else seems normal?” I tried to answer these questions by talking with my parents, going to the internet and doing research (I didn’t like the solutions I found there), and straight ignoring the problem. None of these things helped. I ended up going to a therapist. I’ll never forget, after talking to her for an hour, she offered me anxiety or depression medication (I don’t recall which one). I thank God everyday that I did not take her up on that offer or I believe I would be in the same situation today. I never really solved my problem through high school. I got a smidgen better but no real results. I did not start to make any drastic changes until freshman year of college.
Have you ever heard of “Ted Talks”? It wasn’t until my freshman year at Indiana University Southeast that I had heard of it. I was binge watching Netflix when I came across it and watched a lady named Amy Cuddy speak from Ted Talks (I put the video below). The message she gave that I applied to my college career was “fake it ’til you make” which later turns to “fake ’til you become it.” What a simple message. It was time to change.
I was done with this anxious and nervous feeling all the time. Immediately after watching that video I made a goal for myself to raise my hand to answer a question or participate in class at least one time every class. For those who have had or have problems like I did, this is an extremely scary thing. Something I don’t think I have ever done in my life. I would sit in class with my heart beating out of my chest and my foot tapping like a mad man. Oh but what a sigh of relief after I did speak. Now I could sit back and be quiet. I will be honest with you. I failed sometimes. I let my nerves get to me occasionally and I would sit quiet the whole class. I would feel horrible after doing that but I knew I was trying. I did this all throughout college. Yes I got better but not where I wanted to be. I still hadn’t had that moment, “Wow, I am actually doing this naturally.” This moment didn’t come for years but it did finally come.
I started a new job a few weeks ago. Everyone, of course, is strangers to me. It’s funny because that moment I was talking about actually happened a few days ago. We were playing a corn hole tournament for our monthly company competition. I had to explain the rules to everyone and pretty much run the show. I brought my shower speaker and started to play songs like “Eye of the Tiger”, “Final Countdown”, and plenty of songs by Katy Perry. I was dancing, having a good time, and making people laugh. I was just being my natural self until I realized that that was my natural self. I was around complete strangers and I felt no fear or anxiety. I was being myself and I loved it. I had faked it for so long that I became it. I thought about all the struggles, the heart ache, and the loneliness I had experienced over the past years and I broke down and cried in my car. They were tears of joy. That moment I realized that all the hard work was over and I will never walk into a room of strangers and feel fear. That will never happen again.
I hope my story helps someone. I want to inspire you to not quit because it is hard. Do not settle for being uncomfortable. When it gets hard, you push back harder. You can overcome! I never thought I would but I did. I thank God for helping me. I did it!