I've always been incredibly shy and awkward, for as long as I've been around. So 23 years, give or take.
It was especially annoying back in my school days. I had a hard time making new friends, and still do. Once my family stopped moving around so much, I finally made real friends. I'm glad to say I'm still friends with a lot of these people that I met back when I was 13-16 years old. But I was still shy.
I had a hard time talking to anyone who wasn't one of my friends. I especially had a terrible time with small talk, which I guess is why I had a hard time talking to non-friends. In school, when they put us in groups to work, I would barely utter a word. I'm sure my classmates though I was crazy, to put it nicely.
Strangely enough, when I moved away for university I managed to talk to some people, but I didn't put the effort in to make actual friendships. My first job (at Wendy's, go me) was the first place where I got comfortable talking to co-workers.
Still, I was mostly as awkward as ever. Relationships never went too far because of it, new friendships never happened much.
I got a job back in summer '08 working at the front desk of a cottage rental spot. I loved the job, and it was where I finally started getting a little more comfortable making small-talk. Just a little. It was only when I got my current front desk job that I really got comfortable with it.
Finally, I find myself being able to chat about the weather and other random things with complete strangers. But this job is kind of great - because some of those people who are still strangers, don't really feel like it anymore.
It's a nice feeling to have someone rushing up the stairs to their room, but notice me working and slow down to say hi to me. It's great to have friendly chats with regulars who always stop by to talk after they have their dinner. It's nice when people come up to me and know me by name without reading my name tag, people who's voices I recognize on the phone before they even introduce themselves. These people - all still basically complete strangers to me - made it that much easier for me to become comfortable with my shyness, and overcome it a bit more. Now I don't think of it as much as being shy. I don't feel shy anymore. Most of the time if I'm not talking it's because I just don't feel like it, not because I'm uncomfortable doing it.
That's one thing I hated so much about myself before but I absolutely love overcoming it.
I wish the new me could go back to high school and college and live it as I am now. But no point in having regrets, right? Besides, I love where I am now so why change a thing?
What's something your love or hate about yourself? I'd love to hear it.