I didn't used to be shy. Way back in the day. I used to just put myself out there to make friends without hesitation. And then we moved. I rallied, made great friendships, and knew I wasn't shy. And then we moved again. Suddenly, it wasn't so easy to make friends. Suddenly, I wasn't as confident that making friends - and ties to this new town - were the best idea. I was afraid to put myself on the line; I was afraid of the possibility that people might not like me or want to be my friend. So I hid inside myself, and was suddenly shy.
But shy isn't the right word. I know in my heart that I'm not really a shy person. In my heart, I am loud and confident and ready to include everyone! in everything! I want to have lots of friends. To have my social calendar full. To be that perfect sort of busy. The sort where I always have playdates on the horizon. I want to be a friend to others.
When Laura started day care, I made some huge strides towards becoming un-shy. I left notes in the cubbies of a few moms. "Let's have a playdate! Here's my email!" To my surprise, I wasn't rejected, laughed at or ignored. Indeed, these other moms were just as interested in being my friend, as I was in being theirs.
Lately, Laura has been talking about her friend at school. She says he's her best friend. I have met this friend's mom once, in the grocery store. I knew her first name, and that she's not a "mutual friend" with anyone I know from day care on FB. So my potential-friend stalking abilities were limited. I kept meaning to leave a note in the friend's cubby, but also kept forgetting. And who ever has a pen in her purse when she needs one, anyway?
Thursday was Back to School night. The other mom was there. I took a breath, un-shyed myself, and walked over. We exchanged phone numbers, and are planning a playdate. It wasn't hard at all. At the same Back to School night, there was a new mom in Laura's class - a mom I hadn't seen before. I introduced myself, and made a concerted effort to remember her name.
On Saturday, Nate and Laura were off camping in the wilderness of a Delaware State Park. Gavin and I were home, with nothing planned. I had an invitation to a party... where I would know only the host. I decided to go! Then I decided to stay home. Then I decided I wanted pumpkin beer. Then I decided it was ridiculous to drink pumpkin beer at home, alone. So off we went. And you know what? We had fun.
The more I put myself out there to meet other people, the more fun I have. I like this knew un-shy me. I love the confidence that I feel rise up in my heart as I introduce myself and get involved. Un-shy is a much better way to be.