I considered myself shy, extremely shy as I was growing up and also insecure.
I never learned the sidewalk games and spent most of my time reading and taking apart whatever old radios or clocks there were laying around. I was odd (no comments on that!). I held on to the shy label for a long time even if it was cleverly disguised.
In school somehow I ended up friends with most of the girls in class (in my Country, there is one classroom and many teachers. Students do not switch classrooms, teachers do). Being a top of class student, it was to be expected not to be liked by the “bad girls”, but for whatever reason, I was. There was a little bond between us. In retrospect, I was the nerdy kid who listened to them, their stories at home, some of which not pleasant. Sometimes they’d ask me to skip the bus and walk home with them. Most of them were a year older. They’d introduce me to others as their friend and protected me if any foul language was going around -“she is nice” they would say with sincerity. (I got them fooled, you are thinking).
I remained shy. I lacked skills in social gatherings and I felt awkward in them. Meeting new people, knowing what to say after a handshake ran chills through my body.
In the workforce, to my surprise, my desk was a meeting place. People would gather around early in the morning with coffee in their hands, jokes and laughs. Some would stop by during the day. During my lengthy employment with a company, whatever little groups there were, I seemed to be part of all of them. If Underwriting was celebrating a birthday, I was invited even if I was in Claims. I celebrated the birthdays with the 5 girl Birthday group, the “let’s go to somebody’s house” 7 people group and all the little nonsense we found to have fun. Some of the friends I made have remained in my life through the years.I cannot understand it any other way. I cannot understand the concept of spending that many hours year after year and make no friends. I’m glad it has been different for me.
At times when I remember the shy insecure kid, and still see part of those traits in me, I feel I have been blessed and lucky to have made so many friends and to have overcome that fear I used to feel when around people.
I don’t consider myself shy anymore, I no longer disguise my shyness, but I remain somewhat insecure. Well, something from that nerdy kid has to remain with me.