The Shyness Project

Archive for the category “Month 5, 6 Vulnerability, Energy”

Wrapping up the Vulnerability and Energy Goal

I’m going to wrap things up with the vulnerability and energy goal now.  I’ve given the link to this blog to my two closest friends, though I think only one has actually read it so far.  Her reaction was good and she didn’t feel sorry for me, didn’t try to give me advice, and nothing really changed.  My imagination of the worst occurring and any of those things happening didn’t come true, and I don’t think I made a bad choice in telling her.  She thinks this project is “badass” of me in that I took one of my toughest insecurities and just owned it by exploring my feelings and learning from them.  She said that she feels so honored, blessed, and happy to be my friend, and lucky to have me in her life.  I’m very appreciative of all this and think it’s really nice to be completely accepted and loved when you show the real you and can just be yourself with someone.

I’ve noticed several changes in me since I started this project.  Recently it’s really been apparent that I raise my hand a lot more than I used to, I dress up when I want to, I open up more about sensitive subjects, and I’m just less worried about what others think in general and have a better self-image.

This past weekend at a college orientation class, I asked a lot of questions when others were quiet.  I didn’t feel nervous speaking among the group and I asked my questions with ease and confidence.  I didn’t leave anything uncertain in my head and asked about everything that I wasn’t sure about.  I feel like I see myself as a talkative and confident person now, and see myself as feeling shy only in certain situations.

I’m taking a summer class too, statistics, whoo!  I’m trying to get another big subject out of the way to make things easier for me later on.  On the first day of stats class, I talked to the people around me easily.  It was a breeze and I didn’t feel awkward since I expected positive results.  I noticed that the cousin of a friend was in the class right away and even though I don’t know her well at all we both recognized each other and I opened my arms for a hug.  I sat nearby to her and met her friend, who I think said his name was Crystal.  To greet me he stuck out his hand wrist flexed down as if to show off his nails, and I wasn’t sure what to do so I just did it back and we laughed and he said hey girrrl in the a soft sweet voice.  I asked the younger teenage girl next to me if she was added into the class already and about the textbook (easy conversation starter for a class), and she sort of answered me in a really low voice that I couldn’t hear and she went back to whispering with her friend and giggling.  I got the vibe that she thought I was weird for trying to talk to her and didn’t want to talk.  Oh well, I tried.  Then a lady probably in her 30s sat down next to me, and I decided to try talking to her instead and asked her similar questions.  She was friendly and talked back fully to me and I’d say we got along well.  I liked her and she had a good, friendly vibe.

The teacher has been great, he is actually really young and has a thick Chinese accent.  He is delightfully geeky and has a great sense of humor; I could definitely see him as being a cartoon character in “Futurama” or something. He is very good at making everything very clear too and goes over several examples until there is no doubt that you understand what he is trying to teach.  He makes everything funny and memorable whenever he can too.  I heard that he’s even got a Ph. D in statistics, so I’m very glad that I was able to add his class and learn from him!

I’ve been working on some multiple goals at once lately as some things have taken longer than I expected.  I’m trying to get involved in a speaking group called Toastmasters but it’s taking longer than I thought to join and it’s only once a week so I won’t be able to write about it that much for a little while.  I’ve also been doing a ton of exercise and have been trying to eat healthy. (There is hardly any junk food in the house and I haven’t baked cookies in a long time, though I might cave in soon!)  I’ve been driving on my own too to get to my stats class and have been taking walks by myself sometimes when I have the time. I can write about those things in more detail soon, sorry I’ve not been the most active blogger lately. It gets harder to blog when you get really busy in the summer!  Thanks for reading!

Kicking off the Summer with Camping on the Beach

Last Wednesday I went camping at a beach for a few days with three friends. I’m closest with Annie, and have recently gotten closer with Emily and am getting to know Alice better. Originally I didn’t know if I was going to go on this trip or not, as I wasn’t sure who was going and how I would fit in with the group.  Would I be the fifth wheel?  Would I have a good time? Should I go or should I just stay in my comfort zone and turn down the opportunity?

I decided to go. It was a last minute decision made the weekend before and I was nervous but excited to be able to share this experience with them and to be included in the group. They’re all really close friends who have been in the same group since freshman year and beyond, while I’ve only gotten to know Emily this year and Alice not much at all, though I’ve known Annie since freshman year.

And I’m glad I went. I think this trip brought us all a lot closer and we learned that we’re very compatible living together.  If we can spend a few days together without our normal routine of having cozy beds, showers, and general comfort and not get annoyed with each other I’d say that’s a pretty good sign of lasting friendships. None of us got cranky; everyone was happy and the mornings were always pleasant as we exchanged smiles and good mornings. We laughed a lot and showed our silly sides. We opened up about some things.  We had a great experience together.

We roasted s’mores every night and various other foods that we wanted to observe the reaction of.  We took long walks on the beach at night when no one was out and it was completely secluded. During the days we would enjoy the beautiful warm sunny days on the beach and hike around the breath-taking area.

We frequently played a story game that is one of Emily’s favorite games.  The game involved giving a person three words that they have to use to make up a story.  There were stories about cats and castles, a flag man and a boat man, outcasted clams, three blind mice, pirate’s booty, a house of chocolate, a pumpkin man and egrets, and some other funny or happy or sad stories.  To be honest, the game made me a little nervous and uncomfortable at first because I didn’t know if I would be able to come up with anything like my friends were coming up with.  I didn’t know if I could make up a good or funny story on the spot like that.  But I gave it a shot and I surprised myself in that I was able to come up with some good stories.  The stories became the subject of many of our jokes and later on our drawings in the sand, and I was glad we had done that in the end.

One uncomfortable moment for me was when Alice randomly asked if I was ever loud.  I asked her to repeat that because I wasn’t sure if she’d said what I thought she said, but she asked again and I heard right.  She asked if I ever “yell and stuff”.  I didn’t know what to say and I was disappointed that she asked me that, but it wasn’t the first time she had said something like that to me before so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Emily said that she was sure I could if I wanted, and Annie said that’s rude.   One benefit of telling someone your biggest insecurity is that they know when something’s hurt you and that you’re sensitive about it.  (I told Annie about this blog too, and she told me that she’s read every post.)  I appreciated her sticking up for me.  Alice asked me if that was rude and I couldn’t say much without getting emotional so I just sort of tilted my head as if to say “Well yeah…”.  She said I guess you could ask me if I’m ever quiet, and then she and Emily laughed and said only when she’s studying or asleep.  The question affected me more than it should have by now, but I tried to dismiss it and move on.  I learned more about Alice on this trip and we became better friends all in all, and I didn’t want to let a little comment diminish any of that.

On our full day of the trip we headed out for the nearest town that was 2 miles away.  It felt like a much longer walk than 2 miles though and I think it must have been longer.  We had to walk along the side of the highway so it wasn’t the easiest walk since we had to walk in single file sometimes and be careful.  We could have driven but we figured it would be more fun to walk.  One car honked at us, and another car drove past and a guy flirtatiously hollered “What’s up ladies!”, which made Emily and I laugh.  When we got to town, we noticed that it was a really small town, and that everybody knew everybody here.  We were obviously not from around here, but everyone was very friendly to us.  We met two friendly drunk guys in one of the food places who started talking to us after Emily read off her Snapple cap to Alice that said that the tongue was the strongest muscle in the body.  Alice talked to them a lot and faked a British accent for the heck of it, and it was amusing seeing the guys try to do one back.  She seemed very comfortable talking with them and I was impressed.

After we got back to camp, we decided to go walk along the beach.  Alice was tired so she went to sleep in the tent while Annie, Emily, and I headed over to the beach.  We probably walked at least 5 miles earlier so we were all feeling some soreness in our legs and ankles.  This day on the beach though, was probably my favorite part of the trip personally.  It was without a doubt a perfect day, and the scenery was amazing.  It was so warm and the sand was so soft and inviting.

Earlier in the day I had decided that I was really going to try and live in the moment today and just have fun and be silly.  In this moment, I truly felt happy and content with my life.  I was so happy to be with Annie and Emily on this perfect day in this beautiful weather on this gorgeous beach.  I just wanted to hug them tightly and tell them how much I love them and what they mean to me, but instead of being cheesy I decided to jump on them and wrap my arms around them.  They picked up my legs and carried me to the water and we were laughing and it was fun.

We took some funny pictures and did some funny poses.  I wrote “booty” in the sand with my toe because I felt like it and that word came to be known as something that reminds the others of me because I used it for fun a lot.  I saw a seagull all by himself and I randomly told Annie and Emily that he was Spencer the single seagull.  I told them how the other seagulls had outcasted him and how he couldn’t get a date.  When we walked by a group of seagulls and Emily said they were cute, I jokingly  scolded her and told her not to be nice to them.   We were supposed to give them attitude because they had outcasted Spencer!  She laughed and said “you’re a nut Brittany, a loveable nut” which made me laugh.  I’m happy to be called a nut because that means that my silly side showed and I’m glad it showed.  Some people get the impression that I am serious and I am not really serious or proper or anything like that, I’m actually really silly when I’m with the right people.  They said I could be a Seagull Whisperer and interpret for seagulls or something.

On the last night it was unbearably freezing and the wind was out of control.  We shivered and retreated to the car as we contemplated spending the out of nowhere bitterly cold night in the tents.  But we slept in the tents and it wasn’t so bad after a while.  The next morning we woke up and packed everything together.  We made one last visit to the beach where I did a humorous sand drawing for Annie and she did one back, and then Emily and Alice did one and it was a lot of fun.

The car ride back was fun too.  Annie and I danced around in our seats and did some arm aerobic type stuff and some silly moves like flipping the pizza and mowing the lawn.  We danced to a country song by doing a lasso type arm movement, and tapped our knees with our hands and hit each others knees which then turned into a friendly fight and we whapped each other playfully with our palms.  We crashed into each other on sharp turns a couple of times too, and I got trapped by her arms a couple of times, and it was fun and we laughed a lot.  We stopped at Inn N Out, and it was good even though I wasn’t really hungry and couldn’t eat much.  We got home at around 11am or noon I think, and it was a beautiful day.  We all hugged and said our goodbyes, and later on when I saw all the pictures, I couldn’t stop smiling.  They were some of the best pictures we’d had together, and it was an experience that I’ll never forget and will always cherish.  This summer has proved to be a blast so far, and I’m excited for more adventures to come!  I hope all of you are enjoying your summer too!

Graduation Day and Grad Night

Graduation Day was last Saturday and it went well despite the downpour of rain all day. It was the first time it had rained on graduation day in a long time, 100 years maybe? Either that or it had never happened before, I can’t remember. This meant we could only bring 4 people, which upset many people and made me worried as well, but luckily I was able to get some extra tickets from a friend who didn’t need all hers.

I took pictures with friends before the ceremony and it was fun seeing everyone dressed in their blue gowns and caps. The ceremony wasn’t too long and I wasn’t too nervous during it. We listened to a few speeches and listened to some of our classmates perform our senior song, and then we went row by row to get our diplomas (really just empty folders). My heart started beating a little faster as it came closer to my turn to go up to the podium, but when I was actually near the podium, I didn’t feel any nervousness at all strangely. I shook hands with my right and received the folder with my left and smiled for some pictures. I was in the last row so after I and a few others went, the ceremony was over and caps went flying in the air.

At night, I got picked up by my friend Sue who was going to take us to Grad Night. As we walked into the school, I felt like we were in a totally different, happier place. It was like we were in a theme park, not a high school. Luckily the rain had stopped by now so all the outside decorations and activities weren’t ruined. Sue and I played some carnival games first, and then we did this bungee jumping thing where you can do flips on a big trampoline. I didn’t really want to do it honestly and the mere thought of it made me nervous, but Sue really wanted to so I agreed. We waited for a while, and I got more nervous as time wore on. More people came in line with us that we knew and we started talking to them, and it was good to see them but at the same time that meant more people would be watching me when it was my turn. Finally it was Sue’s turn and she jumped up and down a couple of times though she wasn’t able to do any flips. It was my turn then and I managed to do some flips and it was a little scary because I really had to throw my feet over my head and I didn’t always land the best. I felt really dizzy afterward but I was glad that I faced my fear. I thought of the experience as being symbolic for facing more fears to come and doing things that I might otherwise regret not doing when I’m hesitant. I’m trying to live up to my senior quote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do…Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

Later on in the night we found Annie, Ashleia, and Emily, and we stuck together the rest of the night. I raced Ashleia in an inflatable obstacle course twice and it was a lot of fun and we crashed on top of each other at the end and got all tangled up. The second time we started pulling each other down as we were climbing the inflatable rock wall and we laughed a lot. A group of us later raced each other on motorized toilets in a little race course that was set up, and that was fun even though they were kind of hard to control sometimes. I also did this inflatable jousting battle with Sue and I was victorious. We sang karaoke as a group, and I was happy that they all finally agreed to my suggestion of singing “Man I Feel Like a Woman”! We also played a couple of rounds of bingo and most of my friends won boxer shorts that they wore over their jeans.

Near the end we got our fortune told, and the lady was sort of accurate and sort of not. I’m not sure if I believe her or not, she did get some things right but other things were really off. After that it was time for the hypnotist show, which was crazy and had me laughing so much and I couldn’t believe what was happening. The guy would make people fall asleep just by jerking their hand or telling them to look here then there. Some of the things didn’t work, but a majority did and it was really funny to see people you’d never expect acting the way they did. The best part was when he told the guys that they were female lingerie models and had them walk the runway and strut their stuff. A lot of the guys got really into it, even the ones you’d never expect. Other than that he had them react to all sorts of things like different beliefs about who they were or what the temperature was and what not.

Afterward we all hugged and said goodbyes, and some people started crying. It was a really fun way to end high school, and it was a great night. On the car ride home with Sue it finally hit me that I was never coming back to this place and that our class and friends would never be together like this again. Sue couldn’t believe I was crying but the tears were indeed rolling down my face as I thought about it. We’re all going our separate ways; we’re not going to have each other around like this anymore. I’m going to miss people, especially those who I got closer with this year. But at the same time, it’s time for bigger and better things. Like Hook said, the world is now my oyster, and it’s time for a new beginning. I won’t lose the close friendships I’ve made and it’s not the end. High school was a good experience overall, and I hope college will be fun too. I’ve heard that it’s better than high school, so I’m excited. What was it like for you to finish high school and start college if you did? How did things change?

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Last Few Days of High School

High school is over! I can’t believe it. I’m no longer a senior, but a college student.

It went by quickly I suppose, but at the same time it does feel like I spent quite a bit of time at the school. I’m sad for the end, but also ready. I’ve gotten closer to some people this year who I am really going to miss, but I just have to trust that we’ll keep in touch. It’s time for a new school, new people, and a new perspective.

On the day before the last day of school I said goodbye to some of my teachers. Some of them wrote really nice things in my yearbook and I am really going to miss them.

I went to pick up my senior portfolio/scrapbook from my Lit teacher a day early afterschool because I thought he might have graded it already, but it turned out that he hadn’t. He said he was actually planning on reading through all of mine because he really likes my writing, and I was flattered and said oh well I can pick it up tomorrow then if you want. He said that’s alright and that he knew I was busy.

He asked me to hand it to him though and he went through each page and I briefly explained each of the various experiences and people I wrote about. I asked him to sign my yearbook, and he scrawled a really nice message that said he is absolutely positive that I will positively impact the world and that he counts himself super fortunate to have had me as a student. He said he hoped that he didn’t let me down and drew a smiley face. I opened my arms for a hug and he stood up from his chair and we hugged. I told him that he was one of my favorite teachers, and he said that I was one of his favorite students and that he thinks we see a lot of things eye to eye. He asked me about college plans as I was walking out the door and I talked about that a little bit before I had to go. I’m going to miss him; he’s really down to earth and cares about living life to the fullest.

After school I talked to my brother Andrew on the phone for a while and we caught up on a lot of things. We hadn’t talked in a long time. He was flying in to see my graduation so I would see him the next day.

I then went to my SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) club advisor’s house that evening as she wanted to present us with graduation cords for our hard work last year in fundraising for a water chlorinator in Haiti, for the water audits, first aid kit to Mauli, KIVA loans, etc. She told us that she wanted to reward us for all the difference we had made in the lives of so many people world-wide, and that not many young people could say that. At her house the three other girls and I talked about classes, graduation, and SAGE mostly for an hour or so. She presented us with green and gold cords and hugged and kissed us as we left and told us to keep in touch.

The last day of school was sort of boring as we had graduation practice all day, where we learned how to walk and shake hands, which I guess they think we’re not capable of knowing how to do. Afterschool was fun though since I got to hang out with Emily at her house. It was nice and I liked hanging out with her one-on-one because that’s when I seem to get to know people best. We had pizza for lunch and played this Wii sports game that she beat me at. Later on Alice and Krishna came over too and we all went to the park to play this game and take a bunch of funny pictures. We watched some old videos Emily had made with friends and talked about camping plans. It was fun and I’m glad we all got to spend time together because I don’t know Alice or Krishna as well. We all got along well though and I enjoyed hanging out with them. I will write about graduation day and grad night soon, because there is a lot to say about that!

On calling someone shy or quiet

In Lit class my teacher was talking about a group presentation and randomly asked for people to raise their hand if they talk a lot. One guy I talk to J and several others raised their hand.

He then asked others to raise their hand if they’re quiet and don’t talk much.  I kept my hand down, and J said “Raise your hand!” and I was like heck no techno and told him that I had talked the whole time during our group discussion.  I thought, I don’t care what you think, I don’t have to identify myself with that anymore if I don’t want to, even if you think I’m in denial.

It’s a situational thing, and depends where I am and who I am with.  There’s no need to keep making the fundamental attribution error anymore and keep calling me quiet just because you see me as being that way in class.  I just like to actually listen to what the teacher is saying and like to get as much of my work done as possible so I have less to do at home.  And if I don’t have friends in that class and most of the class is grouped up, I’m content to just sit and get my work done rather than chatter.

Being quiet isn’t a bad thing, I know, I am just so tired of hearing that and having people tell me what I am.  Talk to me more if you want, I’ll talk back for sure.  So what if others do think I am quiet and shy?  Well, there’s nothing I can do about that, and they are free to think whatever they want to think.  It hurts and it’s frustrating that others may think of you in a way that you’d rather they didn’t think of you, but it’s ok.  I’m probably overly-sensitive about it, but maybe I am not the only one.

Well, I just googled it, and I am definitely not the only one who feels hurt when people call them shy or quiet.  Go figure.  If you didn’t know that making a remark like that could hurt someone’s feelings, hopefully you’ll now know for the future.  These are all worth taking a peek at.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110304201654AAT8BpF

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110415175644AAsOLyt

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110326232751AAuKArI

http://socialanxietydisorder.about.com/u/ua/copingwithsad/worstthing.htm

You want me to represent you? Well alright…

On Monday there was a review game for a test where the class was divided in half to compete.  Each side had to pick a spokesperson, and surprisingly, my half all picked me!  I guess all that participating earlier in the year had shown them that I would be a good choice. The other team picked Ginger, and we snuck a smile at each other as we prepared to face off nerd-style.

The game went well even though the questions were really from out of nowhere and not like we had studied, but somehow I managed to pick the right answers when I said our decision aloud.  I turned around and faced everyone and asked what they thought, and shared what I thought, and even though sometimes it was all over the place with opinions I somehow managed to say the right one.  I was uncertain about some of the answers and knew if I got it wrong then I’d be the one to blame, but luckily I made good decisions even though a lot of them were best guesses since they were such random history facts.

At snack Annie asked what Sue and I had been up to today and I told her about the game in Government class and how the questions were really hard and nothing like we’d studied.  But then Sue jumped in and exclaimed that because I’m really smart I managed to get them all right though and was our team leader, which made me smile.  I modestly shrugged it off but really I was flattered that she was bragging about me.  I was happy that my half of the class picked me to represent them, and was a willing spokesperson.

And yes, lately I’ve been saying what comes to mind and letting my silly side show more.  I can be funny when I want to be, and it’s becoming more apparent that others think I am funny and witty with some of the things people are writing in my yearbook.  More posts to come soon, sorry it’s been a little while!

Revealing Insecurities

On Saturday, I talked to my friend Brian for the first time in several months.

At first it was light talk.  We talked about the summer and possibly meeting up, but it didn’t sound like it’s going to work out for this summer.  I told him about my previous weekend and how high school was ending and it was a very emotional time. We said some funny things to make each other laugh and got caught up on what had been going on lately.  I almost felt like the conversation was too light to merge into the deep end of conversations though.

After he told me that his parents were moving to Colorado and I asked if he was going to stay in Colorado for a long time, I asked him, sort of daringly and a little randomly, if he had any dreams or goals.  We had some honest conversations about that.

I asked if he had any insecurities, and brought up my biggest insecurity being my shyness and how I have been labeled that way a lot in the past.  I said how I felt like I was always being judged that way and that’s what people thought of me.  I started tearing up and had to blink rapidly so I could collect myself.

He told me that when he was younger, he was very shy and was labeled that way.  He thinks at my age, 18, I’m going through a lot of changes and it’s a difficult time.  He said he’s changed so much over the years now that he’s 26.  He’s so much more outgoing now and a completely different person than he was when he was 18.

He went on to say that he’s never once thought I was shy at all, even when he met me for the first time at my brother Sean’s graduation.

I thanked him and was really feeling emotional now and misty eyed.  My voice changed and was a little more wobbly.  I could still speak thankfully but I had to hold myself together to not start crying.

I gathered myself and told him that’s how I think people see me.  Over the years some fellow students have called me shy, teachers have made comments that make it sound like they think I am shy or quiet, and so forth.  He said they just don’t know you then if they think you’re shy.  I agreed and said I think they may just see me in a few situations and then infer from that that I’m a shy person.  He said shyness isn’t a bad thing, but he doesn’t think I am shy.

He said that I’m just a really good listener and that I really care about what people are saying.  If that’s mistaken for shyness, then that’s their problem.  He said we’re friends and I know you and I never thought you were shy.  He thinks it’s so rare and so good that I listen and care about others as much as I do.

I asked him if he had any insecurities and he told me some of his, which surprised me.  I told him that I never thought that about him either, and that I think he’s very handsome and cute, as well as muscular and tall.  He laughed and sounded flattered and thanked me.

We talked about our other insecurities too.  He was really surprised by one of mine and told me that he always thought I had a beautiful face and that he was surprised that high school guys weren’t swooping all over me.  He told me he always thought I was really pretty, and I thanked him.

He thanked me for sharing all that with him and I told him that I just wanted to have an open and honest conversation with him.  I wanted to try and talk about my shyness and get some feedback from him and see if he had any insecurities he’d want to talk about.  He always looks so confident and self-assured to me.  I told him I’m glad we talked about this because now we could see how silly our insecurities are and that they’re not true.  I said talking like this meant a lot to me, and he said he was really glad we talked about all this and put it out on the table.

I was still emotional from talking about my shyness, and it must have shown in my voice.  He said he had to buy a ticket now for the train and asked if I’d be ok if he did, and that if I wanted to keep talking we could and he would just buy one later. I told him that I was fine and that it was just hard to talk about because it’s not something I talk about usually.  I was just emotional, but was fine.  He asked two or three more times if I’d be ok, and I said yes and told him to buy his ticket already.  I told him to have fun on his city adventure.  So we said goodbye, after yet another two hour phone conversation.

I think this project is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.  I’m learning so much about myself and others, and am learning so much about shyness.  I’m really glad I made this my New Years Resolution and have been faithful to my goals.  I can’t believe I have kept it going for over 5 months.  I’m a person who often starts things and has all sorts of ideas, but then doesn’t finish them.  I think this is different though, and that I actually am going to be able to keep going and achieve all my goals.  It’s a powerful feeling knowing that if you really want something, you can make it happen if you persevere.

Work Out Videos

Earlier in the week I talked to my friend Sue first period about my weekend and some other things that hadn’t gone well and made it humorous.  I made her laugh quite a bit to my delight.  She told me about some of the stuff that had happened to her too and we were all smiles.  I was in a very good mood and was laughing a lot.

As we were walking to fourth period I told her about this one hour cardio video I had done yesterday and how I was amazed by how sore a video could make me, it was like our dance class boot camp again.  I told her about another video I had done the day before that that had you do 12 minutes of hip hop, 12 minutes of country, and 12 minutes of bollywood dancing.

I told her how my mom kept coming in the room Saturday and how I was trying to get her to stop coming in the room and made it funny.  My mom claimed she wasn’t watching me but I still didn’t want her in the room, especially for hip hop when I was lookin’ like a gangsta and sayin’ “What’s up” to the screen when we were supposed to with one of the moves.  We had to act like we had attitude and look all cool, and it was fun for me though I would have been embarrassed if anyone saw me getting into that, haha.  Country was ok, though the footwork was kind of tricky and I had to rewind a couple of times to get it.  Bollywood was a lot of fun, though I had to rewind a lot too to get the arms and feet right.  It reminded me of African dancing where you just get to let loose with your whole body.

Sunday I let my mom stay in the room while I was kicking, punching, and jumping for a different cardio video, which is a little less embarrassing to me.  It would have been better if she wasn’t sitting right there on the computer, but I still did it with gusto.  I felt great even though I was sore, the hour one was probably too intense to jump into so quickly but somehow I kept doing everything the whole time.  I was wearing down at the end though and was getting a little lazier with some of the movements.

I recently started checking out some of these workout videos from the library to try them out and it actually is a very good way to stay in shape and get fit.  Hopefully they will help boost my mood and give me more energy too.  I already walk my neighbor’s dogs about 4 times a week for an hour or hour and a half a day, and that has been pretty good for me in my opinion.  I’ve done one of these videos a day on the weekends, and two times before school this week I got up early to do a video.  It was really hard to get up earlier and not go back to bed; I gave in a few times when I hadn’t gotten any sleep.  But once I get myself up and sit around in the living room for a little bit to wake up, checking email and what not, it’s easier to get ready to work out in the morning before school.  I still prefer doing it on the weekends though when I have more time and can get more sleep.  Have you ever tried any workout videos?  What do you think of them?  I know some can be cheesy, but they actually can be a lot of fun and can be a more convenient way to work out than signing up for a class or something.

Opening up about Myself

Over the weekend I wrote a very open, honest, and confiding email in response to a close friend.  It took a while to write, and I was nervous about sending it and I had to reread it a lot.  I was nervous about what I was saying and how it would be received, and even nervous to check my email for the response. I wrote about how I missed her and wanted to talk to her more but that I don’t talk openly in most groups and that when it comes to honest and personal conversations I’m a one-on-one kind of talker.  She opened up about something and I told her what I admire about her- her confidence, enthusiasm, humor, and how she is so fun and can draw people into her and be so open with so many people.  It turned out to be a really long email even though I could have easily made that email less personal and shorter.  But I wanted to open up to her so she could see more of the real me, not just the surface me.

After a very good response (phew!) I wrote back again, and told her about some other things that she probably didn’t know about that seemed ok on the surface.  I told her about my conversation about how my biggest insecurity is my shyness and how tired I am of being called shy or quiet after having been told that my entire life.  And again, I got a really good response and I was really relieved and happy.  She even told me that she doesn’t think that I’m shy or quiet AT ALL!  I couldn’t believe it!  I think that’s the first time someone’s ever told me that they don’t think I’m shy or quiet, and she’s a very extroverted person too!  I’ve heard so many shy or quiet remarks about me over the years that I thought it was painfully obvious that I’m shy, and that no one could ever not think that about me or I’d ever be able to escape that label.  But hearing that she thought that was an incredible feeling.  I felt like a heavy armored suit had been lifted off me, and I felt a new sense of confidence.  It’s not that being shy or quiet is a bad thing, it’s just when you’ve been told that you’re something all this time it really starts to creep into your identity.  Maybe it isn’t as obvious as I thought, and isn’t as much of my identity as I think it is.  When I saw her in person we were both really happy to see each other and hugged each other tightly.

I never knew opening up could feel so good.  I’m putting myself out there and making myself vulnerable, and it’s actually turned out to be a really good thing and I feel so much closer to her now.  We were hanging out less and less as the year was ending and I was kind of worried we might lose touch.  But now I think being so honest with each other has brought us even closer than before, and I am so happy about that.

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