I have always been shy and introverted: uncomfortable in or dreading most social situations, wishing to just be left to my own devices. This is not ubiquitously the case, thankfully, for instance around good friends and family, where I am able to open up and relax. But it is a huge issue I have been trying to address my whole life.
More and more I have been realizing there is something deeper going on than simple shyness. Something more sinister and difficult to approach; hence the years of limited success. Something connected to my intense anxiety and ability to “overthink”…
But before I attempt to delve into diagnosing or naming such an issue, I want to first share a success story that shows I have managed to already make some progress despite the hand I’ve been dealt.
I left the house. Now, I didn’t want to, and had almost talked myself out of leaving the couch… But I made myself. I put on clothes and socks and shoes, opened the door and left.
I decided to just walk. Maybe to WinCo and get some chicken for dinner – that’d be nice. And I’ve been meaning to go to the bike shop to check out their inventory and ask about their specials…
But I’m feeling very anxious and anti-social, so I decide to just walk on by it, telling myself I’ll come back some other time (as I so often say and never do).
However, as I’m about to just keep walking, I see two people walk in ahead of me. An older couple, who don’t strike me as the biking kind, probably looking around for something for their children.
I figure they will keep the owner busy, allowing me to be subtle, to just look around, without a need to be social. So I go on in and have a look around.
However, the couple leaves almost immediately, muttering about high prices under their breath… I feel bad for the owner, who is just trying to make a living; plus the prices aren’t actually too bad… So I rally up the courage and actually talk to the man.
We end up talking for a good twenty or thirty minutes about an assortment of different things. The weather (a classic), what kind of bike(s) I own, how I used to ride so often yet now do so so sparingly, him telling a similar story from his youth when he was right of of college, bike trails in the area, etc.
Soon I’m asking the questions I’ve been meaning to ask without even thinking. “How much would it be for a full overhaul?” “How much for just a new rear rim?” “Would it be possible to run the winter tires I have on that one?”
Before I know it I have more answers
than I thought I had questions. I’m shaking the man’s (who I know know as Rick) hand and head for the door with a friendly farewell. Once outside I feel amazing, completely rejuvenated and quite possibly the person who I’ve been wondering for so long if I was even capable being.