People who know me as an adult don’t really believe me when I tell them that I was extremely shy when I was a child, a teenager and a young adult.
In fact, I don’t think I lost any of my shyness until I became a mother. A mother has to step out for her children.
Until then I was the kind of girl who was sick to her stomach and as red as a tomato when she had to walk past a pack of students in the schoolyard, a crowd of commuters in the metro, a group of travelers at the airport or in a hotel lobby. And speaking in public…
Even with people I knew well I was quiet and sometimes silent.
Shy people often pass for being stuck-up because they observe more than they act. In fact even when I was very shy I liked to be with people, as long as I wasn’t the center of attention. I believe this is why I favored reading and writing to speaking and interacting with others.
Moving to a foreign country where I had to learn another language was a difficult thing for me. Although I was curious about my new place and its inhabitants I was also embarrassed to be in the spotlight each time I opened my mouth.
I knew that speaking was the only way to learn how to speak English, but the constant visibility was often overwhelming. Still is.
Starting a public blog was a big step for me. The shy person inside me kept talking.
“What will you share and what won’t you share?”
“What about your occasional grammatical mistakes that shout “broken English?”
“What if it happens in French?”
So in the end, I didn’t click on the “Leave a Reply” option. It was one thing to blog about writing, reading and living in two languages, and an entire different thing to read what others had to say about it.
But the strangest thing happened.
I was reading other bloggers’ words and I realized that all of them had to overcome an obstacle, often more challenging than mine. I liked what they wrote and I wanted to talk with them, so I started to leave occasional comments on their posts.
In addition my novel Trapped in Paris was receiving more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I enjoyed reading what others had to say about it.
Virtual conversations are the conversations of the 21st century.
And I could only face the fact that conversations flow from both ways.
As I was considering the possibility of change, 2014 arrived. And zillions of resolutions flooded the blogosphere.
I was in awe and a little overwhelmed when I read about the challenges that some bloggers were willing to tackle and the goals they wanted to reach.
And reassured to read that for others, like Winifred, small things matter when we consider changes.
So last night I took a small leap of confidence and opened my blog to comments.
Claire left the first one. Her comment felt special since she is a blogger I follow with great pleasure.
In addition, thanks to her comment, I learned that Epiphany Day is a holiday in Sweden while it isn’t in France.
So from now on, if you feel like it, you are welcome to leave me a comment.
In English, in French and anything in between, I will read you.
What is Your small change for 2014?