The Shyness Project

Archive for the tag “dreams”

The Theme of 2013: Do More, Think Less

action6Initially, when my friend Barb posted about choosing a word for the year, I disregarded the idea.  I didn’t think a word alone could possibly encompass the habits and skills I wanted to develop this year.  After giving it some more thought, however, and after reading the subsequent post in which she disclosed that she decided on the word “open,” a word of my own struck me.

I vowed this year that my theme would be “Do More, Think Less.”  This came to me late one night a few weeks ago when I found myself in a familiar situation- I was lying in bed, pouring over a stack of notebooks and folders with notes I’d taken from books I’d read and from personal reflections, trying (again), to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.  Quotes from the One Week Job Project were particularly inspiring, as well as quotes from a select number of career-related books.  One quote that I had written down that stood out to me was from Dr. Phil’s book Self Matters, which said, “You need to know your highest and best use in this world, and then pursue it. How tragic would it have been… if Mother Teresa had been an accountant or a waitress?”  Also, from Po Bronson’s book What Should I Do With My Life? there was the riveting quote, “If I were to make an early exit from this world, what will I feel worst about not getting done?”  Reading these made me question what I was doing in business classes, and made me wonder what career  I could possibly have in business that would bring me the kind of fulfillment and accomplishment I had always desired.  I did feel glad, however, that I was studying Sociology, as it is a subject that I am passionate about since it focuses on the betterment of society.  With a little more thought though, I felt reassured that studying both subjects would have its benefits, as there are certainly ways to use business skills to make the world a better place.  Plus, I like the challenge of business courses so far, something I have yet to feel in my Sociology classes.

I could have spent hours more pouring over my notes.  I could have checked out more books.  Yes, these readings and notes were inspiring and helpful, but thinking about what I would want in a future career suddenly just didn’t seem like enough.  I needed more experience.  I didn’t need to think any more if I wanted to work directly with people or not, I had to go out and work with people. I don’t know why this didn’t hit me before, but now that it had, I knew I had to get more hands-on experience.

So I decided to try and find a job.  I applied for a tutoring position for students with intellectual disabilities and/or autism at my community college, and I am waiting to hear back to schedule an interview.  I went with a friend to a volunteer orientation when she mentioned she was going to check out volunteering for a local Wildlife Rescue.

And I felt great.  Finally, I was going to gain more work experience, and perhaps I would finally be closer to coming up with an answer to my long-held question.  It certainly couldn’t hurt.  I have worked as a water efficiency intern in which I worked directly with people (which at times was draining and other times energizing), I have worked at an automobile company as a file clerk completely isolated from people (which I discovered was very lonely), and also as a babysitter, dog walker, and a brief advertising assistant in which I learned how to design a brochure using Photoshop. These have all been great experiences, but I feel like I need a lot more experience with different areas of interest before I can say that I know what I like and dislike in a job setting.

Thus, the word of the year shall be Action.  It’s time for me to Do More and Think Less, and get to work.

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.

Lunch with Maria and the Topic of Dreams

Today I had lunch with a friend, Maria, who I needed to catch up with.  We’ve hung out once at Berkeley this year, but other than that we haven’t spent nearly as much time together as we used to.

So we made plans through Facebook, and we decided to go off campus to Jamba Juice, even though I hardly ever go off campus because I don’t want to risk being late back to school.  But she suggested we have lunch since her weekends are busy, so I said that sounded good and it was set.

Oddly enough, I had a dream this morning that I had forgotten that I was supposed to meet her for lunch.  It was such an interesting and relevant dream to me that I wrote it down as soon as I woke up.

In the dream, it started off that I was looking for my hotel room so that I could take a shower.  Apparently the whole school was staying at this hotel, which was a weird hotel because it was located in some ordinary department store.  I wandered all around the store, opening different doors, but I couldn’t find my room.  I saw some really fancy rooms with huge green lounge chairs and other elegant furniture.  I even walked into a big dark room where there was a taiko drumming performance as well as some fire performance.

While wandering around, I ran into one of my teachers and he walked around with me trying to find my room.  Then my teacher suddenly changed into my tennis coach and instead I was walking around with him.

As we were walking through the store, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to meet Maria for Jamba Juice and I felt really bad.  I didn’t know how I could have forgotten since I’d been thinking about it in the morning.

Then wouldn’t you know it, I ran into Maria at the store and she was with another friend Alyssa.  Maria’s eyes were all watery and she was mad at me for not showing.  I said I was really sorry and I didn’t know how I had forgotten, but that I’d make up for it.  After much apologizing on my part she said it was alright and then me, Maria, and Alyssa walked outside down a path, and my coach just disappeared.

Once outside, we ran into another one of my friends Sue.  It was a beautiful sunny day and there was a huge grass field up ahead.  We all started running as fast as we could on the grass, playfully and happily, and then Sue got tired and stopped so we all stopped and sat on the grass.  We then played some game where we knocked some big inflatable beach ball around, but it didn’t really have a definite shape and was changing form a lot.  It seemed like a really good day though.

Then I woke up at 6:30am.  It’s funny how so much of what was on my mind was in that dream.  Last night in psychology our lecture was on dreams and sleeping after we took our exam.  After I got home I meant to take a shower, but had forgotten, so I felt like I needed to take one.  And yesterday I had talked with my friend Sue and another friend Charmagne that I don’t know as well about going to a festival with a parade. They were saying that there are these taiko drummers in the parade and I was looking at pictures of them.  I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget about my lunch plans made over the weekend with Maria, and I recently reconnected with Alyssa, so that’s where they came in.  It was really interesting to me.  I even felt bad when I woke up this morning, like I had actually forgotten.  But then I remembered that I was meeting her today, so I showered, and then wrote “Jamba Juice” on the back of my hand so I would be sure to remember.  I decided it would be a funny thing to share with Maria.

So we met up at lunch, got in her car, and went to Jamba Juice.  I was going to pay for my own when she caught me and insisted on paying as a treat for my belated birthday.  We each got a smoothie and split a chicken wrap, which was pretty good.  She drove back to school and we ate lunch in her car, since she doesn’t like having to worry about being late either she said.

We talked about spring break plans, my psych exam yesterday, and some other things.  I told her about how my class yesterday was about sleeping and dreaming, and then told her about the dream I’d just had and how it related to everything I was thinking about.

She thought my dream was funny and that it was really cool that I could remember that much.  She told me about some of the dreams she’d had, and I told her some of my other ones I’d had before.  I talked about what we had learned in psychology the previous night too, and we actually ended up talking about dreams most of the lunch period.  It was an interesting conversation; I always like hearing about other people’s dreams.

Then the bell rang signaling the end of lunch, so I hugged her, thanked her for lunch, and headed off to my class.  It was good spending lunch with her today, and I’m really glad that I didn’t actually forget to meet her!  Haha.   🙂

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