Monday, October 31, 2011

Growing Up

In one of last week's blog entries I mentioned that I was very shy when I was younger. I was very introverted and introspective. There were many things that I would've love to have done that might've alleviated some of the shyness (ballet, Girl Scouts, baton lessons), but my parents couldn't afford any of those things. Instead, books are where I had my adventures. I remember reading a biography about Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. If I couldn't be a Girl Scout, at least I could learn their origins.

Of course I would talk to my friends when we were together, but for the most part I was that skinny little girl with the big eyes who never said much. If we ever had to do class projects I always volunteered to take notes or write up the report. This was how I acted in school, but around my immediate family I was a motormouth. If I knew you well, I'd talk to you without hesitation.

I think my shyness was brought on by being in such a different environment than my family's home. I also think my lack of self-confidence was a big factor. Once in second grade we were playing Twister on a rainy day, and the teacher called out a move that would've been hard for me to achieve. I remember saying to her "I can't do it." Of course she encouraged me and said I could, but I didn't believe that I could. I always wanted to do things right, so I figured if I couldn't do it right, I shouldn't try at all. On either my next progress report or my next report card my second grade teacher made a notation that I needed to work on my self-confidence.


  1. I remember your post about school and how there was little prejudice directed at you there. I wonder if your shyness might have had something to do then with an innate sense of being different. We've talked about how similiar the Irish experience is to that of the African American experience before. Both our people are repressed, our cultures are unique and we often have to work harder to achieve the same rewards as our counterparts do. These differences may be intangible, but they are present and exert themselves at odd moments. It bears thinking about.
    I'm glad you have gotten over your shyness enough to Tweet, Blog and go to school. If you hadn't I would never have gotten to know you. And Topaz is beautiful. Such a shiny, sleek coat. Paws up dear xx

  2. You turned out good in spite of it all Michelle. In fact, maybe even a better person for it. Whenever I read about your past, I think of my own. They are so similiar - yet so different because of race. I came from a very poor family - mother divorced when I was 2. That was long before divorce was even thought of or accepted. I was very very shy in school too. You were the skinny kid - I was the fat kid (and still am). Celebrate your past friend, it shaped you into who you are today - a very good, talented person.

  3. TW was very shy—and skinny— too in school. She still is. That's why Twitter is so great.

  4. Hi Michelle,
    Glogirly was SUPER shy. She still is, kinda. She has to work hard to fake it so no one knows she is. I'm so happy that CK told you about us and you're enjoying Searching For A Girl. Chapter 9 just posted. I hope you enjoy it!

    xo Katie