This is a meme that Claire has been doing, not sure if she invented it, and the meme is this: you have five minutes to write about one word and what it conjures up for you/inspires for you.
Since I saw this fantastic...hmm...lol lemur? on Lone Grey Squirrel's blog, and the topic of shyness came up today, I pick the word...
I have a quote from a song by The Smiths on my desk:
Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
That you'd like to.
Only people who know me very well know that I am shy and believe that I am an introvert. This might seem incongruent with my blunt and honest personality, but the fact of the matter is that I am more stubborn than shy, I guess. Meaning I will stand up for an ideal or a person (or my own way, bad me) despite shyness.
I have what I realized recently is called social anxiety. It was so bad in college that if, say, I walked into a deli and forgot a straw for my soda, I'd be too embarrassed to go back in. I'd walk on the other side of the street if I saw someone I knew, because I was worried that I wouldn't know what to say.
Flash forward a few years: become a reporter, and you get over your shyness quickly. One of my editors, who was as boisterous and loud as the day is long, told me he was shy, too. Most reporters, he said, are formerly shy people. I wonder why that is.
It's amazing to me, because the shyness is selective. I can run an event with 2,500 people and not blink. I have even had the Secret Service show up one of my events, when then-Senator Obama's campaign was in town, and tell me I couldn't have the event. HA! We planned for a year and we had the bloody event. That didn't freak me out, either.
But put me in a room full of people I don't know at some occasion where I have no specified role, and I panic. Or more likely, slip out when no one is looking.
I keep the quote from the song by The Smiths up to remind me that I've made progress and to also remind me to push myself out of my comfort zone.