So, earlier today, I did one of those things that we all do from time to time – I went to Starbucks to grab a coffee (mine’s a skinny vanilla latte, if you’re buying ;)). And as I stood in the queue, a strange sensation waved over me…I started to get worried, and flushed, and stressed.
It was a mini-flashback of sorts.
You see, for much of the first twenty-odd years of my life, I was pretty darn shy. I’d gotten over my doormatitis (I learned the distinction between helpful/giving/kind and muggins!). I’d stopped actively hating / disliking myself (the starting to realise that I was OK, really, came later). I’d miss parties because I didn’t want to arrive alone. I’d never dream of waiting alone in a pub for friends. I’d get flustered if I had to ask directions, or ask a shop assistant for help, or even just order a coffee in Starbucks…
When I was 22 and I left uni, I started to build my self-confidence up…sometimes in small increments (smiling and looking people in the eye when we were introduced, learning how to take a compliment (believe me, one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned!))….sometimes with giant leaps (my big trip to Canada – especially when I got a little lost and had to sort it!, choosing to move 500 miles away to do a job that inspired me, that first Join Meet last December – I was so nervous!). And do you know what? It’s worked!
I’ve had so many chats with people over the last few weeks (the joy of summer break!), and so many of them have cited confidence or bravery as something they see in me or admire in me. So, it seems, I’ve got there. That makes the shy chubby silly girl who was scared to go to the bar or the coffee shop smile 🙂
There are still times and places where I still get shy and worry. Today was a flashback, and there’s certain situations that never fail to make me very shy and unsure of myself. But it’s getting better, baby. And I think having been a shy type helps me understand other shy folks a little better too. Yay empathy!