As a child, I was painfully shy. No one who meets me now or has known me as an adult believes this statement. I was the tallest girl from kindergarten through graduation. Add glasses in the third grade for my near-sighted eyes, I was gangly – ridiculously long skinny legs, klutzy, insecure, not wanting to draw attention to myself.
Once an adult I challenged myself, pushing out of my comfort zones. I made career choices and changes which kept me from complacency and forced me to develop new skills and knowledge. I got comfortable with public speaking and presenting to large groups of people. I could walk into a room of strangers and not feel that paralyzing gut-clench. I still had to work on self-esteem and that universal desire to have everyone like me. But the desire to be fearless grew stronger.
Once I turned 50, I found my fearless, extroverted self after accepting two profound truths.
#1: Shocker – other people don’t spend their precious time thinking about everything you say or do. They have their own lives.
#2: Age is irrelevant. Regardless of my actual age, I feel like a goofball a great deal of the time, hurtling myself into situations with abandon and don’t care if anyone approves. I’m not afraid of making a fool of myself.
For instance, karaoke.
I’ve always harbored a secret wish to be a rock singer and karaoke is a gift to a wannabe chanteuse. But other than endlessly singing on my road trips while Spence drives (to every song ever written, impressive, right?) my fear of what others would think kept me in my seat for years. Then I turned 50 and went for it. Though he missed my first time singing “Mercy” by Duffy, serenading Spence to Lady Gaga’s “You and I” at the bank’s Christmas party may have been more than he’d expected but I found it exhilarating. I also rocked out to Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll”. (I have a few friends who’re still talking about how brilliant I was).
Having been quite the comedienne for years, I tend to be increasingly witty with the addition of alcohol. I love to tell a story and watch my friends erupt in laughter (and I have some pretty good true stories).
Then there’s the dancing. I literally can’t stop myself from dancing full throttle when I hear a favorite song or three….my kitchen frequently converts to a dance party when I entertain.
A few weeks ago I attended a friend’s wedding dancing like a woman possessed the whole night. Several replays of Bruno Mars Uptown Funk, Cupid Shuffle, Love Shack and Boot Scoot Boogie (to name a few) nearly landed me in traction the following week. Knowing the pain of recovery that was to follow wouldn’t have deterred me. When I’m inspired, my heart, body and soul are 21 again and I’m a dancing queen.
Even this blog was a leap of faith for my formerly shy self. I decided to do it because I love writing and felt compelled to add my voice to the blogosphere. I didn’t know how it would be received but I jumped in without fear of criticism. And the reception from those of you who are following me has been gratifying. You inspire me every day and though I may never meet you face to face, I send you a virtual hug and my heartfelt thanks.
Writing 101 – Day Thirteen: Serially Found
On day four, you wrote a post about losing something – I wrote “Losing the Ability to Sleep”.
Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.
Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.
I chose to make this a loosely defined series about my own struggles – with insomnia and shyness.