Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This is Why I'm "Shy"

If I were to dig out all my report cards from the 1st grade on, there would be a comment on every single one of them about how I'm shy. Teacher's might have rephrased it as "Jillian needs to speak up more in class" or "Jillian is often quiet in class" but every single comment has always seemed to scream "introvert" to me and the rest of the world. Personality tests, my own self doubt has all made me face the fact that I'm "shy".

But sometimes I think that it couldn't be farther from the truth.

When you get to know me, the real me, I can talk your ear off. And even when I'm not super close to someone, I'm not shy necessarily, I'm just not what you would call "outgoing".

Don't get me wrong: I'd love to be outgoing around everyone I meet, the second I meet them. But for me to even get to the point I'm at now has been a struggle.

(Photos taken by Martissa)

 I don't feel close to a lot of people. I feel distant and unconnected most of the time because I'm not and never am "the life of the party". In the past, it was hard for me to even raise my hand in class. Things have gotten easier but every day I still feel this struggle in finding my voice.

From trying to find the right words to say, to not knowing how to say something: I feel incapable of putting myself out there to people who probably won't listen. Because I remember how it felt to not be auditorily understood as a child. From day one of toddler babble to the progression of a 2nd grade still having some severe speech problems, I was already misunderstood in the simplest way. Aggravatingly, I graduated speech therapy at the end of 2nd grade. And although it was the end of speech therapy forever, my impediment still resonates deeply with me.

Even today I've heard people's comments on how I read aloud in class, or even if I stutter or say the wrong thing when I talk. Of course, not everyone is like this, but occasionally I get word of it. The thing is: I don't need to hear it from them, because I already know it. I'm working on it and embracing it because that's about all I can do.

Just because I'm quiet, or I don't have much to say, doesn't mean I'm not alive. I have a mind and it works as well as anyone's. And I speak it when I know it's important. I don't waste people's time with petty ideas or stories.

When I played the part of Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker", I felt connected to her story. I felt a deep appreciation for her. Because even thought she was blind, deaf, and mute, she made her mark on this world. So even though I feel held back by my voice sometimes, in reality there is nothing that can stop me.

People might tell me "I can't" do something but I'm sure people told Helen that too. She had so many setbacks but she is 100 times more intelligent than I'll ever be.

I'm not sure if I'll ever not be "quiet" at times because that's who I am. I have to know you're listening, because if you're not, I'm not wasting my breath: plain and simple.

But inside me, I am not shy or quiet. I have a mind racing with thoughts, but who's listening? A few people I know... and who I appreciate so much... but who else?

I'm just a book that hasn't been opened by a lot of people. It's easy, all you have to do is invest time into reading it. (Wow, what a shitty analogy).

I keep getting deep and sentimental about life. I was going to apologize for that but hey, this is who I am and I can't/won't change myself.

Thanks for reading.
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    Seriously, this post is awesome! I COMPLETELY relate to you, although our reasons differ. I am a "shy" person as well, and have struggled with it all of my life. Finding my voice hasn't been easy, but I have gotten better.

    Beautifully said Jillian.

    1. Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you can relate Grace! Sometimes I think I'm the only one, you know?

      If you ever want to chat, I'm always here. XOXO

  2. Wow. I relate to this so much, I even had to have speech therapy when I was younger too! I've always been a quiet person but I wouldn't really consider myself "shy", I'll happily talk to new people but I just struggle so much to be myself around them and like you said, find my voice. Once I feel comfortable around people though I can go on for ages! Great post :) Beth xxx

    1. Totally agree with you! That's how I feel: I can talk for ages if I know the person well enough. Thank you for your comment, so glad there are people like you out there that understand! xoxo

  3. I was just starting to write something just like this! (anxiety is such an awful word.) I always got similar comments as you on my report cards (even up through high school), but if you've ever spoken to me I'm so far from shy. This is so well written Jillian! xoxo

  4. I love that cute top! I can totally relate to the shyness thing! Hope you're having a wonderful day! xo Hannah

    p.s. I am holding a giveaway over on my blog for a $50 gift card to my vintage shop, a flower crown, and a handmade necklace if you feel like stopping by :)


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