Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

God hath given you one face...

...and you make yourselves another. --Shakespeare

Warning: this post is not an update and it doesn't have any cute kids in it, so for anyone who reads my blog (all three of you =) feel free to skip this one and tune in next week. This one is more for me. 

Having been forced to be somewhat of a recluse--with the baby and moving to a new place where we don't know anyone--has been an interesting experience for me. I'm pretty sure in the last three-or-so months I have thought, "Huh! I didn't know I did that," about 4,000 times. Lots and lots of realizations on my part. 

Preface: When I was a little girl I was painfully shy--hide behind the couch when people knocked on the door kind of shy. A neighbor heard me speak once and she about died of shock because she genuinely thought I couldn't. I would talk non-stop to my family, but in public... not a peep. When we moved to Utah, it got slightly better, but only to the point where I could speak to someone who directly spoke to me. I managed to make some friends, but only a very few I considered close. 

As a result, I had a moment in school where I found myself looking around the group of girls I was hanging around with and realizing I had nothing in common with most of them, nor did I particularly enjoy the things we did together. I decided then and there that I was no longer shy. It took a while to work my way into it, but I started initiating conversations in class, meeting new people, even seeking people out. I went through a tomboy phase, an intellectual phase, a life of the party phase, an apathetic phase... none of them lasted very long (nor, I might add, were they very successful) and finally I settled somewhere in between. 

I started to see myself as an outgoing person, even though I had to force myself into any outgoing tendencies I had created. It became such a habit that I didn't even notice.

Until recently. For the last couple of years, I've been dealing with some anxiety issues (somewhat related to my stress-a-holic tendencies), many of them socially related and not paper bag breathing worthy (usually). As a result I have been dissecting how I went from the person I was to where I am now. Then it hit me: I am shy now because I always have been. And though every other person who knows me may have seen that, I had trained myself to think differently. I tried my best to ignore so many of my tendencies that made life more difficult, but that doesn't mean they weren't there. I am still the painfully shy person that I always have been. I don't run and hide behind the couch anymore when people knock on my door, but that doesn't mean I don't want to. 

I started to think, 'Ugh! Yet another thing to add to the goals list,' but in the end I realized that yes, being shy is problematic in so many ways and I will always have to fight it to some extent because not being able to call and order pizza or be in a room with more than five people at a time is ridiculous. However, there is also absolutely nothing wrong with being shy. It doesn't mean I'm holding myself back or that I love others any less. I am still a friendly and loving person. I still enjoy people. It just means it takes me a bit longer to be comfortable in certain situations and with certain people, and attempting to pretend or force the comfort on myself only serves to make me feel more uncomfortable and take even more time to become legitimately comfortable. 

So in the grand tradition of all silly Haley problems, I helped create this one myself; and it may be a little backwards, but I am shedding my outgoing shell (which more than likely only I thought existed in the first place) and embracing my own shy little self. Welcome back shy Haley, I've strangely missed you.  


LJ said...

I love you, for realsies, exactly who you are. Also, your shy self gave me the guts to give up on my dreams of converting all of BYU to the Love LJ With Your Whole Soul camp and just having one or two dear friends. One of whom is you.

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