You Can Have Your Knees, And Keep Your Peas, Too

I had the cutest visitor today. At the moment I work at a college education department office, which houses all the Education professors for the school. Today, the youngest professor's wife (the couple can't be more than 25), brought their adopted son into the office for the afternoon. He is the most adorable little boy with so much energy, and such a charmer, too. All the ladies were clamoring for hugs, some even going so far as to bribe- I'm sorry, I mean positively reinforcing him to get a hug from him.
I later learned that the first few times he visited the office that he was painfully shy, to the point of refusing to move off his new Dad's lap. And very quickly I saw the similarities between that adorable, happy little boy and myself. And some not-so-happy differences.
Ever since I can remember, I have had painfully debilitating fear of social situations. One of my earliest memories is of a shopping trip to Wal-Mart, and me crying at the checkout counter because the young woman cashiering asked me why I was dressed so fancily. Flash to elementary school. I missed my bus because I was too afraid to ask where my bus was and where i was supposed to wait for it. Middle school. I was enrolled in the school orchestra program, and the class involved playing tests, where I had to demonstrate my competence at a certain piece of music. I was the only student allowed a test in private, and I cried before even starting the test. I'm pretty sure I failed that. In high school, my anxiety calmed somewhat, and I began to believe that it had regressed. That I had overcome the enormous obstacle.
I then went to college. Without taking into account my anxiety, I chose a college 7 hours away from home. And my anxiety immediately resurfaced. I forgot to factor in the fact that I was essentially uprooting myself, and cutting most of the contact I had with my friends. I had to make new friends. And that is a skill I lack. Progress has been made, but the fact remains that in 3 months since I've started college, I have made exactly 1 1/2 friends. And have realized that I was horribly mismatched with my roommate.

But that little boy who was so happy this afternoon was a bit of hope. If he can overcome shyness so like my own as well as adjusting to a new family and learning a new language as well, maybe I can too.
PaperCraneFolder PaperCraneFolder
18-21, F
Nov 27, 2012