I had thought that at age 22 I knew pretty much everything about myself. I mean, I've spent 22 years with myself, I should know me pretty darn well, right? (I'm sure all the older people are laughing at my naivety right now, lol) I discovered recently that there are things I didn't know about and it makes me wonder what else there is about me that I have yet to learn.
One of the big things I discovered I had this past week is pretty strong social anxiety. I always knew I had it a tiny bit, but I didn't realize how serious it was. How exactly did I not realize this until I was 22? Well, in all other social situations that I put myself in before, I always made sure to have what I like to call a "safety person." If I didn't have a safety person, I avoided the social situation entirely. These people are the few select people in my life that I am comfortable around such as my family, my boyfriend, and one or two friends of mine. These people are also usually very social and can carry themselves around people really well. I didn't notice it but I always just attach myself to these people and feed off of them in social situations. I can do just fine having a conversation with people if my "safety" person is there. I am also okay doing it alone if it's something like a task such as promoting for work, etc that I know I need to do. If it's a planned conversation it's okay, but if it's something on a whim I don't seem to do too well unless the other person is very social and can hold the conversation pretty much by themselves while I smile and nod. If both me and the other person are not very social, the end result is to panic.
I find this interesting because I actually enjoy doing a lot of things by myself. I am very introverted and love to go to malls alone shopping, driving alone, and actually look forward to grocery shopping when I am going by myself. I have no problem smiling and asking a few questions, but I think it's because I know that nobody there is expecting me to sit and have a full conversation with them and attention isn't focused on me directly for long periods of time.
My sister and I recently met these two great ladies in Vegas and Mia suggested going out for drinks and dinner. She ended up going alone because I wanted to veg out in the hotel room and catch up on school work, but I couldn't help but think that there was no way in hell if I were in her situation that I could go alone and be comfortable going out with two random people without being incredibly anxious and nervous the entire time. Which is entirely silly because these two ladies were great.
The other thing I learned about myself is that I can express myself through writing so much better than I can verbally. Maybe this is why I enjoy blogs and have always kept a journal. I know some of the information I have posted today and may post in the future seems way too personal to be posting on an online blog, but it actually makes me feel better to get it out. Maybe it's because I don't socially discuss my feelings with people and am more comfortable with writing, but I know I've done this since I was little. I can remember a time when I was really sick as a kid and to describe my feelings, I wrote a letter to my mom because I couldn't explain it, Lol.
I've been pretty sheltered all my life, and I have a feeling now that as I grow up and venture out into the world that I am going to discover much more about myself than I ever knew. Before I could always avoid situations that made me uncomfortable, now I know I need to take baby steps towards working out these problems and overall becoming a stronger person. I can't stay a little kid forever, despite the fact that I really want to be.