When I was younger, I was very shy. Painstakingly so in fact. In certain situations and around certain people, especially the dominant, more confident personalities…I would not utter a word, much less smile. I found it easier to just shut my mouth and keep my lips zipped.
I outgrew that at some point (not too sure when, how or why) and am so grateful that I did. I wouldn’t say that I am an extrovert now but, I would say that I am more comfortable to open my mouth and actually say what I think. I still shy away from the spotlight, every chance I get. Though I’ve learnt long ago, that stepping out of my comfort zone from time to time…has its advantages.
A few days ago, a fellow colleague of mine said something that made me laugh and I thought to myself…”oh if only you knew“. We were standing at a briefing session and I noticed he looked a bit “deflated“. Giving him a questioning look, he just shook his head and quietly came to stand next to me whispering “let me stand in the presence of someone who is always positive“. I giggled and smirked, thinking to myself “Really…Me?“. At the time I didn’t ask him what that was all about but I got a chance to do so a few days later. According to him, I am a “Positive person and talking to me, in turn, makes him feel positive“. At the end of the conversation, I managed to make him smile…laugh even and he seemed happier walking away. I reckon sometimes that’s all any of us ever needs, even if it is just for a little while. Now that I think about it, it leads me to the topic of this post. I haven’t been all that positive lately, in fact, I think I’ve been quite the opposite. The reason for my negativity is quite simply based on my last post Hydrocephalus…but I’ll keep smiling. I am, however, dealing with it and some days are better than others. I learnt a long time ago to mask my feelings and put up a facade that would surely win me an Oscar. My whole life has been about hiding what is actually lingering beneath the surface. Don’t misunderstand though, I am not a fake. What you see with me is what you get. I’m a VERY black and white person and struggle to see the grey most times. I have, however, learnt to do this in certain situations (but still struggle with it at times). On the subject of masking. I don’t know about you but I feel exhausted at the end of the week by the different “hats” I wear depending on the person I’m interacting with. I have my husband and kids, who are there at the beginning, evening and end of my day (each with a different need). At work, I have different people who I talk to…not only about work. Some talk about their personal lives, their accomplishments, their sadness, their happiness or something they just feel like sharing with someone and I just happen to be there at the right time. No matter what it is, I am the same, yet slightly different with each person…this is purely because each individual has a different personality. Truth be told, it can be mentally and spiritually draining…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I guess it really doesn’t matter how people see me. I have adopted one mission in life and that is if I can effect happiness in another person’s life and bring about a positive change, then that is what I’m going to set out to do. No matter who crosses my path in one given day, week, month or year…that is what I’ll do. But just so it’s clear, I too am human. I have many weak moments. I need a hug from time to time and just for someone to say, “Don’t worry…I’ll handle this for you” (and actually mean it). I’m not always strong and confident. I don’t always feel up to smiling and being happy. I can become very moody and am probably a terrible person to be around at times too. I make mistakes and I stumble in all aspects of life. I’m not looking to be perfect however, I do strive to do the right thing and most importantly, I try to learn from my shortcomings. What you see on the outside of any person, is what they choose for you to see. It’s a matter of perception. Bottom line: