I've struggled with being "the quiet one" my whole life. I was constantly teased in school for not talking. Kids would come up to me and say things like "Are you a mute?" "Are you deaf?" and especially "Why don't you talk?" Most of the time, I wanted to say something back and respond, but nothing came out of my mouth, nothing came into my head/I could never think of anything to say to them, so I kept my eyes down and ignored everyone around me. I only had 2 real friends growing up. The first one was only my friend because she was my twin sister's friend, so we all spent time together anyway. The second was a friend I made on my own and I'm still friends with her today. She's the best friend I've ever had and has been for the last 14 or so years. Now that we're adults with our own lives, she now lives 5 hours from me. My quietness/shyness/social phobia whatever you want to call it got a little better when I got my first job since I was forced to interact with the public. Skipping ahead to present day, I am still working in retail, where its my job to greet people and be friendly and approach strangers. I find this extremely difficult. I can do my job well, except for that part. I made it my goal to get promoted, and when the time came to announce the promotions, I was not one of them, and I think its because of my fear of people. I don't know what to say to them, I always think they are judging me. I just came back from a playgroup, and I started going to it to help both me and my son get used to being around more people. My son is perfectly fine around other people, approaches them and everything, no fear. I myself find it hard to say hi to someone. When he approached other kids or adults, I got nervous because I didn't know what to do: What if he took a toy out of another child's hand? Would I have the courage to step in? I don't want him being held back because of my own problems. At playgroup today, I barely said anything, almost never looked anyone in the eye, never greeted anyone. Not because I didn't want to, but because whenever I thought of doing it, I felt my heart race and my mind go blank, and my eyes go to the floor. I felt thankful that Graydon was there to distract me from the other people, which is awful because that means I'm hiding behind him, and how can I be a good mom if I hide behind my one year old son!? Writing that out just now made me feel like I want to cry. My one year old is better with people than I am. This problem of mine has held me back from what I want to do my whole life. I could have a better job, more friends, more fun, if I was just comfortable around people.
Which brings me to my next point. I've been thinking about this a lot the past few weeks, ever since those promotions were announced. Should I keep trying to be better with people? (which I've been trying my whole life and haven't gotten very far) or should I just accept myself how I am, and not keep stressing about how bad I am with people? I've been pondering these questions the past few weeks, and I would love it if I could just be comfortable with who I am, but that means not growing as a person. I would love to have friends in this town, but the thought of making them is terrifying.