Shyness is nice...



There has been a lot happening in the last few weeks.  We found out that redundancies we thought we were safe from at work are actually going to affect us.  Everyone was thrown into panic for a few days until little bits of information are starting to get to us.  It still doesn't help and we will have months of not knowing.  So I've decided to chill.  Life has thrown everything at me over the last five years so I've learnt to not panic until there is actually something to panic about.  Who knew there would be a silver lining to all that hardship!

It's likely that it will be 'spill and fill' (making everyone apply for their jobs) and so I've been assessing myself.  I've come to the conclusion that I'm actually employable.  I've worked really hard and there are many things I love about what I do.  Maybe this shows, as I've been getting pep talks from a number of people at work.  But we all know that nothing is guaranteed and about 10% of people will be leaving.  I just have to have faith for a few more months.

To weirdly coincide with this, I applied to be part of a mentoring scheme.  I'm a mentee.  Next week I'll meet my mentor.  It feels like some weird professional speed dating program.  But if I'm honest, now is probably a good time to go meet other librarians at different Universities.  I was chatting to a colleague (another mentee) and she mentioned how she wasn't great at networking.  I laughed thinking how wrong this seemed to me.  I think she's amazing!  But maybe that's it.  Maybe I've found myself in a profession that suits me perfectly.  I think there are many of us who are high functioning introverts.  We can give tours, present classes, give conference papers and reach out through social networks.  But at our core are we all bricking it?

My idea of myself is the shy kid I was growing up.  However, work has forced me to confront the things that scare me shitless.  Perhaps we are all ducks - coasting calmly across the water while underneath paddling hard to make it look effortless.  Shy isn't bad, and I've learnt to take deep breathes and push myself forward into the terrifying stuff.  And I've survived.  When looking at the traits of introverts, I see we listen as much as talk.  That's not a bad thing to aspire to.  Sometimes I need a bit more time to think and ruminate on a problem.  But maybe that stops me making rash decisions.

A friend online put this quote up regarding her daughter.  "She believed she could so she did".  She was worried that her daughter was holding herself back and missing out.  I wish I had have seen this when I was young.  I was so scared of humiliating myself so there are things I've never tried.  The sting of failure or rejection stopped me from putting myself out there.  Judgement was too terrifying to contemplate.

But getting older I've learnt a new quote.  'What other people think of me is none of my business'.  It's a good one and I'm really lucky to have a fan club president in the form of my husband, and some incredibly supportive and wonderful friends.  They have all helped push me forward, and told me I can do anything.  Although the shy kid is just below the surface, I sit comfortably with her.  She holds my hand as I face challenges.  We take a breath together and step forward...because we believe that we can.



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