There was a time I was shy and it was in my childhood years. The feelings within me were too much for me to bear alone, but alone I did bear them as everyone else did. I was only five or six years old. It’s truly strange that they were so severe that I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up, but every morning I would wake up. I wanted to die but I didn’t know how to do that. If I could just disappear, I would have been happy. I never could do that either. So, onward I grew into an adult, but there were a few personal recognitions along the way along with badly needed validation from peers.
Therefore, I grew up despite my inadequacies. Along the way, there were far too many bumps, I thought. When I grew up and looked back at my childhood there were some good times, and there were a few times that I did shine in my own right. Remembering an assignment that we had to do on the spur of the moment, the teacher asked us all how we would act if we found a mouse in our slipper when we got out of bed. The teacher called on each of us in no particular order; but I never understood why she usually called on me last and this time was no different. Each student did nothing but yawned, stretched, put their slippers on ran and screamed. I am so glad that I was last because I thought the way they were all doing the same thing was pretty boring.
When finally, my turn came around I yawned too, but I also wiped the sleep from my eyes, stretched, and yawned again. I then picked up one slipper put it on and put my foot back on the floor. I then slipped my other foot into the other slipper, made a puzzled face, wiggled my foot, and then I picked up my slipper, looked in it, shook it; and as the mouse fell out and scampered away, I drew in a deep noisy breath, made my eyes widen, put a terrified look on my face and then disgustedly I threw the slipper on the floor. The entire class was laughing and so was the teacher. It made me smile.
My teacher applauded me and said that is what would happen in a real situation. She asked what I did differently than everyone else did. So she called on some to answer the questions, and then she added that you had to look in the slipper to see what it was first before you would react. She praised me in front of the class. I did shine inside and out the rest of the day. Who would’ve thought that school could be fun? I found that I loved improvising.
This class was on writing and public speaking and I loved it. Another time comedy was on the agenda. We were all to write a story about a funny way something was invented. I told my dad I was stuck and didn’t know what to write about. My dad said he had an idea. I could write on how the twist was invented. I asked what he meant he said maybe an ice cube had somehow fallen inside a fat lady’s dress. I thought about that and since it was freezing cold while it was melting, she would first turn one way and then other just trying to get the ice cube out of her dress without reaching down inside her dress to get it. Then it finally fell out but not before everyone was laughing and the kids started doing this new dance, they called it the twist and from then on, the twist has been a big fat hit.
It was then that I became aware I could do something pretty well. I could write, and I found that every time I wrote something and one of my peers read it, I found validation in their expressions after reading it. I loved writing. I found that I could make people feel something in appreciation whether it was funny, sad, or just a feel-good story. I found that people could identify with the things I wrote about. It didn't matter if it was written for them or someone else. My writing was not meaningless. Each story meant something to the reader because they could identity with the feelings or a similar situation, they may have found themselves in at one time. No, each person has a talent of some sort, and their talent is not wasted on someone who admires their work. Whether someone hated it or loved it, I find validation in their comments they leave on my posts. It made them feel something and that is validation. My work is not trash to anyone for whom the article was not written. I write about feelings, human nature, and life in general.
Somehow, as time went on, I grew from a shy child that could hardly speak above a whisper, to a woman who could voice her own feelings though writing. In time I found that others appreciated what I have experienced in life and felt through those experiences and I saw that they could identify with the same things we are all exposed to in life. Yes, many have come from dysfunctional families, and then there are others that came from what is considered normal too. I never did know that and through my writing I found that to be true. It was time, circumstances, effort, and validation from others that brought me out of my shell and blossom into a writer that is capable, as are many others, to express their thoughts in writing that are able to strike a nerve whether good or bad.