Monday, February 28, 2011

Being shy? Being me..

When I was younger I went through all sorts of phases; phases where I suffered multiple personalities because I did not know where I belonged. I got confused and therefore behaved differently depending on what company I was with. If I hung around shy people, I would immediately become shy and reserved. It would take a while for me to adjust when I next hung around with a different set of people, e.g loud ones.

I never really knew myself until I started my second year of College; I had been lucky enough to be picked as an exchange student for one year abroad (well, at the time I lived in Norway, so abroad to me was England) and that's when I fully realised that being myself was just so much easier, and a lot less stressful. It was nice being away from everything I knew for a change, and just starting off completely fresh, with a fresh beginning.

It was nice not dodging or running away from people who only wished to talk to me, as I had been so confused during my first year of College that I had started avoiding people I knew and people who wanted to get to know me, to the point where I would literally run the other way if I saw any of them approaching me. I never really knew how to act around them, and I was always such a clumsy person. Either I was a mute or I tried so hard to make conversation that I ended up making a complete "ass" of myself.

During my second year of College, as an exchange student in England, I started gathering my scattered pieces and once I came back after one year abroad people could not believe that I actually spoke; I wasn't a mute, I spoke! For once I was myself around others and not only my closest friends. I never tried running in the opposite direction when people approached me and I didn't pretend I was sleeping on the bus when I saw someone I knew. Things had completely changed for me.

I used to underestimate myself, to avoid talking to certain people because I did not think I was capable or good enough to talk to them, but during my time as an exchange student I did so many things even I myself was surprised about, including making conversation with guys I thought were cute. I had never had the guts to earlier.

I realised that my shyness was not as big as I had thought it was, because had it been so bad I would not have been able to do half of the things I had done. Each day I challenged myself to do exactly what I wanted and feel free to speak to the people I wanted to speak to. I was labelled a talkative person, although I had almost never spoken a word during my first years of College. There was so much I had bottled up that I just wanted to let out.

At times people do struggle with insecurities and shyness, but it's nothing they should beat themselves up about; it's cool to put oneself up to the test in order to understand their full potential; what they are actually capable of. If you never try, you never know.

I admit that I have retreated a little bit, but I don't know if that is because I am getting older, or because of a few things I am going through in life; however, I am fully capable of being myself around people and showing them my true self once I decide to open up.

Don't be afraid. Be yourself