I’ve always been shy. I think you’ll find that most people who enjoy writing are. It’s much easier to bleed your thoughts and feelings out onto a piece of paper than it is to let them tumble from your mouth.
Shyness has cost me friends, made me feel left out and made me invisible.
It’s made me second guess everything I say, hold my tongue when I should have spoken up and made me a follower instead of a leader.
It’s also made me sensitive to other’s feelings, a good listener and creative.
When I was a teenager being shy caused people to label me a prude, a bitch and stuck-up. I was none of those. What I was was a quiet girl afraid of being judged. I was afraid my sarcastic sense of humor would be taken the wrong way. I was afraid that if I tried to talk to someone they’d wonder why I was talking to them at all.
I should have just spoken my mind, because people are going to judge you no matter what you do. Even though I’m aware of this now, I still let my shyness rule.
I thought once my kids started school that I’d start to make friends here, in Texas. I haven’t. Standing in a crowd of other parents waiting for their littles feels the same as standing in a crowd of students waiting for class.
I don’t know how to start a conversation. I fail at small talk. No one approaches me, I feel invisible all over again.
So I start thinking. I start scripting out how I’d like my conversations to go. I start creating stories. I start daydreaming.
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Or I watch. I see how one mom looks more tired than usual. I see her son his cranky. I see the dad get stressed out and yell when his two sons don’t listen. I see the little girl excited to see her grandparents as they pick her up everyday from school. I like to think maybe I see more than most.
Maybe being shy has made other senses more acute.
My shyness doesn’t stop in the real world. It carries over into this virtual life I have. Making me delete comments or emails before they’re sent. Who wants to hear from me?
Outside if my immediate family, when I talk to someone, my mind is going a mile a minute. Analyzing body language, listening for tone and examining facial expressions.
The sad part is, all this worrying about what people would think if I spoke up, has actually made me judge myself. Learning to let go of something that has been a part of you your whole life, even if it’s not the best part of you, is never easy.
I’m trying. I’m learning. It won’t be easy, but one day I will completely break out of my shell.