If I had Wonder Woman’s ability to read minds, my life would have been much easier.
Growing up I was always the quiet one in my family. In sixth grade my science teacher forgot I was in his class because I never said a word. Unlike Wonder Woman, my hands would shake, and I would stutter if I had to speak in front of class. It was one of my biggest fears. My mom would have to drag me to school events because I hated being around people because everyone was too social for my me. I would tell my dad that I wanted to be a nurse and help people, and maybe go even further in my medical career. He would give me a high five but would tell me that “you need to learn to talk to people and socialize before you become a nurse Sheenah, you will talk to a new person everyday.” That sounded so easy so I brushed it off.
But then high school came and before I knew it I was fourteen years old and applying to work at Chick-fil-a, my very first job. I was incredibly nervous and I told my mom before my first interview that I thought I was going to pass out and die. I was that scared. My mom laughed at me the whole ride home.
The interview went well and I got the job, but that wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was talking to strangers every day. Being the introverted person that I am, I tried to put off working my first shift for so long, but eventually I put on the uncomfortable red uniform, took my spot behind the counter and received a five minute rundown of the register from my manager. The leader that I was training with walked away and I looked like a deer in front of headlights.
Then the strangers came. My very first guest was crazy rude, but I feel as if she was a warm up to the real deal. Being thrown in really forced me to learn on my own and accept the fact that I have to get over my fear of
Second semester of my sophomore year was rolling around and and I had a free class period I needed to fill up. I looked at the the sheet that we get before every semester and triple checked it because I had no idea what I was going to fill up my last optional elective with. I decided to pick journalism/newspaper and try something new, knowing that my counselor would for sure overrule over that decision (I was wrong).
I had a odd feeling walking into that class and not knowing anybody. I instantly hated myself for signing up for it and almost went to my counselor to see if I could take another elective, or even get ahead start with another core class. But I stayed, and tried not to cause any trouble. I just kept quiet and sat in the corner for most of the class. My very first assignments was writing short briefs on all the winter sports. This included trying to put my scrambled thoughts into words and try my luck talking to strangers, this time at school.
I decided I was not going to do it, but my head editor (whose name I still don’t remember to this day because I was so antisocial!) was just not cool with that. He told me how I was going to have to interview someone or be interviewed someday and either way it was going to be scary. He literally told me I had to get over my fear and just jump in without thinking about. I was so nervous during my first interview that I thought the interviewee was making fun of me the whole time.
I stuttered, my stomach did about eight backflips, and I even asked the same question three times. I’m pretty sure she thought I was gonna pass out or something.
I realized that getting over my social anxiety was easy but I just didn’t want to try to expand my circle. I didn’t want to choose the easy way because it would burst my bubble and I was too comfortable at where I was. I learned that jumping in and taking risks lets you discover who you are and there are more opportunities waiting if you jump in.