Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Openness, shyness and connection

I sometimes come across a few blog entries from time to time that articulate thoughts I’ve been having from time to time.  Brianne of MsPitt.com just posted a thought about social media isn’t really being used to post thought-provoking, honest and vulnerable things so much as content they’ve found elsewhere.  I’m guilty of this as much as anybody: choosing to post songs and random comedy sketches from Youtube, with the occasional political or gay rights article thrown in.   My status updates tend to be either exactly that (what I’m doing), plugs for my blog, or short random thoughts and observations.  Sometimes I chat with people on the site but I find that as long as I have an outlet to be heard, I just post on my feed and pipe in on other’s posts in lieu of creating a more meaningful connection.

Fact of the matter is, I’m shy.  I’ve never completely mastered the fine art of socialization and am probably one of the most awkward people you would ever meet in real life, at least at first.  After I’m fully used to everyone’s rhythms and personalities, I fare better.   But when I go to bars, my tendency is to just sit at the bar, focus on my drink and tune out the other people.  Sometimes I get my shit together long enough to force myself to interact with people, but there are times where I’m content not to talk to people and try to get my sitting and drinking done unscathed.  I’m aware of what I miss out on when I do this, and maybe that’s the cause of those brief periods of boldness, but for the most part, I have my world and they have their world.  Maranda Elizabeth just posted her own meditation on dealing with shyness and figuring out your attitude about it.  I relate to using alcohol to deal with my shyness, although sometimes I would just realize I wasn’t sober enough to really want to socialize anyway.  I agree that shyness isn’t necessarily something you can truly get rid of.

This ties into some other blogging I’ve read about the subject of introversion vs. shyness by Kylie Springman, and about knowing whether it’s just your introverted nature speaking and whether it’s your shyness.  I find even with work sometimes that drains me to the point where I need to recharge before I can fully appreciate time with other people.  But then, I get into these spurts where I’m fully recharged, but my shyness has kicked in.  For all the people I know and want to connect with, and all the potential people to know, I can’t bring myself to break out of my world and reach into theirs.

Maybe this is why I like blogging so much.  I’m much more confident expressing myself in writing, and I find that I tap into parts of myself that I sometimes don’t get into in regular day-to-day conversation.  It’s not restricted by geography either, something that really helps whenever I’m in a place like Miramichi.  Not that Miramichi doesn’t have its share of people I have common ground with, but I feel like the slightest deviation from the mainstream here is subject to Rachel Lynde-type scrutiny and gossip, so it’s good to have this connection out of a city that can be isolating both physically and emotionally.  I’ve met a lot of people online that have been part of my life for years now, despite never meeting them in person, and I find I feel closer to them than I have felt to a lot of people I’ve met.

Sometimes, I daydream about people, no matter who they were, be they famous or just other people I know, and I would get into those interesting conversations I’ve had on those late nights in Ducky’s in Sackville.  But I realize I just as often stand silent, and I always wonder whether version of myself I will be the next time I go out.  Sometimes, I don’t even know which version I’ll be the next time I open up Facebook or Twitter.

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