I’ve always been shy. As a child I hid behind my mother’s skirts, turned every shade of red when spoken to (still do sometimes.) I’ve heard the term “painfully shy” – that says it all. It was certainly painful at school with its loud mouthed bullies.
At adolescence I learnt to overcome it, learnt not to care what people thought, defiantly going the opposite direction with my outlandish clothes and escapades. I decided “to hell with trying to be like my peers, I’d let lose my creative side and claim supremacy!” (There was of course a great degree of arrogance in this!)
Abandoning the perceived restrictions of my environment I learnt to aim high, miraculously gaining a fine arts degree in a low class neighborhood where kids seldom attained the modest GCSE level. I discovered strangely that my shyness didn’t extend to public speaking (I could act any role). Even in my private life I learnt to overcome my timidity though as Wolverine said, “it hurts like hell every time!”
Now in my later years when, pride diminished, I look back and ponder, I make a realization. What fueled my vision, my creativity, wasn’t it those very times alone taking in the wonders of creation, seeing things the others missed?
Hanging back from the confident, outgoing crowd I had time to look around, time to ponder, to notice those other paths leading off the highway to exciting unknown destinations. Looking back I am thankful for my “cross”, without it I would have missed so much. As “the crowd” descended to office, shop or factory I found a door to wonders beyond my dreams. The answer was not to become a member of the bustling throng but to appreciate my unique value just as I am. May we all enjoy being just who we are!