I’ve always been a shy one. I don’t know when it all started, I can’t really pinpoint the moment in time. I don’t think think I was a very shy kid before I started going to school, but after that I can definitely say that I was a shy one. I guess I was so preoccupied with what people thought of me, with keeping up with the image they had of me, that eventually I ended up being the very good kid, the very serious kid, the very responsible and very mature girl. And the shy kid. The introvert who always kept to herself and handled things great without a lot of fuss. If I didn’t make any sudden movements, if I always said the right things, then I wouldn’t draw any negative attention on myself and I would continue being the good girl.

At one point, I realized that being the one who always reacted instead of acting was not a great approach, because deep down I also wanted to be noticed and be the centre of attention from time to time. So I decided to fight my shyness and start being more direct, to start making the first move if that was needed. But I still have my moments, when I revert back to my old self. And those are the moments when I really don’t like myself, because that old me was insecure and easy to deceive and to hurt. Lucky for me, those moments are becoming rarer and rarer.

Some things I’ve learnt over the years, while trying to get over my shyness and my constant worrying of what people thought of me:

1. There are things that I want to say, but I know I’ll never have the guts to say.

2. There are things that I don’t want to say, but will say anyway.

3. There are things that I say on an impulse, and deeply regret afterwards.

4. There are things that I say after overanalyzing them, and still regret them afterwards.

5. There are things that I should have said, but never did.

6. There are things that I’ve said too early.

7. There are things that I’ve said too late.

8. There are things that I have said and will say that are just right and at just the right moment.

Words are uncertain. Or, better yet, people’s interpretations of words are uncertain. So why worry so much. Even if in my mind those words have been analyzed over and over again and when I speak them out they sound just perfect, the person I’m saying them to might still misunderstand me or misinterpret what I say. It’s just another risk I have to take day by day.

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