The majority of my Willowjak posts up until this point have been about how I am shy. Generally, they are really positive; I acknowledge some of the tough stuff but mostly focus on my new found acceptance for my quiet personality. Mostly, I am also this way in my real life, I am a naturally positive person. So those posts are the truth but I’ll tell you another level of my truth today. I would be doing a disservice if all I wrote about was the easy and positive truths in my life when this is not always my reality.
I am shy and I’m also a very positive and very happy person. At work I act like a child to get the residents to smile and laugh. I’m rolling around on the floor and putting kitchen bowls on my head if it means the person I’m supporting is happy. With my friends, I am always very laid-back, funny and silly. I’m always, always looking for the positive and doing my best to support the people around me and make sure they are happy and feel loved.
But I think generally I project this positivity to others and not always for myself.
I am so excited to hype up my friends for job interviews or new opportunities. I treat my friends like there is no better candidate in the world for the job they’re interviewing for. But there are ten million more qualified candidates than myself.
I love to compliment peoples outfits, hair, makeup and treat them like the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. But I don’t treat myself like that.
I would never be offended if they told me they were too busy to spend time with me. But I literally never say no to anything in fear that people will decide that’s the end of our friendship.
Shyness is in my nature and something that I’ll never completely grow out of. But I think there are some shy tendencies and worries that I still have that I’m hoping I won’t carry with me forever.
I might not treat myself like I treat my friends because I don’t like the attention.
Or maybe it’s because I think that my stories aren’t as important.
Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to seem conceded.
Or maybe it’s because I do genuinely care about the lives of people around me.
It could be that I’m horrified of bothering people.
Or it could be all a mix.
Maybe it could depend on the day or the situation. Or the person.
And I really don’t know.
As time has gone on I have gotten progressively better at speaking with people (seeing as I literally never used to). But group settings is still where Shy Liza feels the most uncomfortable – especially groups where I am not close with every individual person. My least favourite thing in the whole world is interjecting a conversation in a group. It’s still nearly impossible for me. Unless there is a longggg silence where I’m sure no one is going to say anything or someone directly asks a question to me.
What if I stumble my words?
Maybe I’m not really supposed to be here?
What if I get nervous and forget?
Maybe I can just wait and figure it out on my own?
What if this is a stupid question?
Perhaps there is something on my face?
What if someone already asked this?
Do you think my voice sounds weird?
What if it’s unimportant?
I’m worried. What if people don’t agree with me?
What if people ask follow up questions I don’t know the answer to?
I’m just a student. Just a part-time staff. I’m just 22. I’ll just stay quiet.
These are all genuine, and ridiculous (I know) questions that I think sometimes. So that’s why I am quiet.
This post was a mess because I really didn’t edit it. I just started typing to see what happened. And here we are. Now you know that I come off as super positive and optimistic but that’s not always how I feel when it comes to myself.
I’ll work on this. Because, man, I think my positive and hopeful energy can make the people around me feel pretty darn special, so I think I’d like to experience that for myself.
Follow along to hear all about the ups and downs in direct support work, young adult life, and allyship – it sure has given me lots to write about! Enjoy some casual, light-hearted tales about all my adventures along the way.