The Shyness Project

Berkeley and Friends

This morning I went to Berkeley with a few friends.  One of the friends who I don’t know too well, Amy, drove us.  She’s also very quiet like me and we’re a lot alike in many ways.  I ended up talking to her quite a bit in the car and it wasn’t hard at all even though we’re both usually quiet.  I always thought she was more shy than me, but it turns out that it just appeared that way because I don’t know her that well and she  probably wasn’t as comfortable the other times I’ve been around her than when she’s with Maria or in a very small group.  After we had been talking for a bit in the car, we picked up our friend Maria, who I know pretty well but have sort of lost contact with.  When she entered the car she started talking a mile a minute, and I couldn’t help but smile.  Maria’s definitely an extrovert and always has a lot to say, which is helpful when she’s around quieter people like us.   And Pearl came, who is sometimes quiet and sometimes more loud, so it was a pretty good group actually.

We went to a Nano High science lecture that was very interesting.  It was on the topic of Neanderthals.  The speaker, Rachel, talked about how we are not descendants from Neanderthals, but instead cousins.  She showed us some pictures of four of the fossils they found on a recent dig in Spain also, which sounded pretty cool.  During her presentation she also explained the differences and similarities between humans and neanderthals, and showed some of the tools they used and how their bones differ.

After that we went looking for a food place nearby.  We were trying to find some place called Barneys but we couldn’t find it so we settled on a different place.  We got along well and had some good conversations over lunch.

On the way back we stopped at a pier and took some pictures, and checked out this adventure playground for kids that looked neat.  Everything was probably constructed by the local community and there were boats and nets and all sorts of cool wooden structures for kids to play on. We took some pictures with some of the stuff because it was fun. 🙂

Then we were back on our way home. Pearl and Maria were singing to the radio in the back, while I just talked to Amy in the front.  I always feel a little uncomfortable when people start singing in the car, because usually they want me to join in too and when I don’t they call me a party pooper or something.  I don’t like singing out loud much, unless I really love the song and am in a really happy mood.  I’d rather just sing my heart out when I’m by myself at home.  I’m glad that Amy wasn’t singing either so I didn’t feel like I had to start singing along to some song I’ve barely even heard of.  Maria and Pearl didn’t try to guilt us into singing with them either, which I appreciated.

When we parted we hugged and said we should hang out again soon.  I’m really glad I decided to go with them, even if it was sort of a last minute decision made last night.  I’ve really drifted away from Maria without meaning to, and I think it’s important to reconnect with friends.  And Amy seems like a really cool person and I’d like to get to know her better and become better friends.  It’s always fun hanging out with Pearl too, she’s always been there for me.  I’m happy that I decided to hang out with them today, and makes me even more sure that I want February’s goal to be to reconnect with friends and improve my relationships.  I’m starting to see more things as “opportunities” now, and have been saying yes to a lot more things than I might normally have without that mindset.

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6 thoughts on “Berkeley and Friends

  1. You are quite inspiring to me.
    I am not a shy person, but I am an introvert. I find being with people too much to be exhausting and have become a bit of a recluse over the years because of it.
    As a result, I am realizing that I am missing a lot of those opportunities that you write about.
    I too set a goal this year to be more social. So far, I’ve been only semi-successful, but I have forced myself out on at least one occasion where I would normally have retired to my knitting or the internet. A similar situation just before Christmas landed me a new career so I fully understand now why I need to keep doing this.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Jenny, thanks so much for your comment! I went from feeling really tired and a little cranky even to feeling really happy after reading your post. It truly made my day! 🙂

      Being with people too much can be exhausting for me too, and there are days where I’d rather be at home reading than out with friends. I almost didn’t even go to Berkeley with my friends because I felt like I might just want to sleep in Saturday morning and just study psychology and read. But I’m glad I agreed to go even though I felt uncertain about it.

      I think it’s great that you too are setting a goal for yourself to be more social, I think the biggest thing is just committing yourself to that goal and going out and least giving an attempt. Like in the beginning of my project, I had planned to talk to a stranger the first day, but then my shyness got the best of me and I didn’t. But I at least put myself in that situation and tried, and then tried again. Soon enough I talked to my first stranger. It’s not really about the results, but about the tenacity to keep trying and putting yourself out there. Congrats on the new career! And good luck with your goal! (And on a side note I really love the pictures on your blog, I’ll be reading some of your posts soon!)

  2. Thank you brittany for reading my blog. i read your posts and i love it. and now im waiting for the new post . brilliant ! 🙂

  3. Berekely, hmm? Hobnobbing with the intelectual elite, are we? Seriously, great post!

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