My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 11

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 11
427. Were you ever in any school clubs
(speech, drama, etc.)?

Does cheerleading count as a club?  Hmmm.. I’m not really sure.  I guess since I didn’t really do much else in school, I’m going to go ahead and count it as a club so that I don’t feel completely sad writing about this topic.  Don’t get me wrong, cheerleading was great (and completely opposite of what you would assume an introverted and terribly shy person would do). What makes me sad is that I really WANTED to do more things but was just always to afraid to put myself out there.

I remember specifically that I desperately wanted to be in a school play.  I can’t sing or even act for that matter, so I’m not talking about wanting to try out for the lead role or anything.  Just merely being in the play as a background character would have been fine with me.  But as you can probably guess, I was always to shy and scared to tryout.  There was no way I would have ever been able to stand in front of people and speak while they all stared at me.  I would have rather covered myself with honey and lay next to an ant hole before I did something like that.  Putting it into perspective, I also NEVER EVER raised my hand in class, as that would require me to have to say words out load while everyone in the class looked at me.  Oh my.. just typing that gave me chills.

So, as I mentioned, I did however manage to tryout and make the cheerleading squad for my Sophomore and Junior year of high school.  Ask me how I was able to run out into the middle of the gymnasium completely alone and perform a choreographed cheer and I will tell you that I honestly have no idea.  I was apparently able to put my mind into a different dimension to get through.  Not that I wasn’t terrified through the whole process, but for some reason this was important enough to me to fight through the anxiety.  I believe it helped that outside of school, I was involved in all sorts of dance classes and big into gymnastics. That probably gave me the little bit of confidence I needed to at least attempt the tryout.

I had to chuckle when I say the prompt come up with this question.  Especially since it referenced “speech club”.  I think it goes without saying that I was never involved in any type of speech/debate/public speaking type of activity, but when I was working on my general ed courses in college, one of the requirements was speech class.  That was the worst semester of my entire 6 years of college (I went to college in the evening while working my fulltime job, so it did take me 6 years to complete).  Wait a minute, maybe speech wasn’t the absolute worst semester, the semester with the speech class is probably tied with another semester when I had to take statistics.  Both equally as painful, for different reasons.  I took an awful lot of anxiety medication during that semester taking speech.  It is beyond comprehension to me whey anyone would ever be in a speech club by choice!

If only I could go back in time knowing what I know now, my life sure would have been a whole lot different.  I would have raised my hand in class without the fear that I might have the wrong answer.  I would have tried out for that play and been a more outgoing and social person.  I had some great experiences in school and made some friendships that have stood the test of time, but I sure would like to try it all over again with a little less fear and a little more confidence in myself.

achievement confident free freedom
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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 5

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 5
202. When’s the last time you made a new friend?

Making new friends for me has been a challenge since I was little.  I have always been incredibly shy and was never one to just go up to someone and start talking to them.  As I have gotten older, I find that I am not as shy (although still have those shy person tendencies), but the problem now is that I just have zero conversationalist skills.  I completely lack the ability to make small talk, which of course, makes it a challenge to make friends.  Reason being that just like when I was young, even now that I am older, people tend to misinterpret my quietness or my lack of speaking to being snobbish.  Which is as far from the truth as you can get.  In reality, I desperately WANT to talk and be a part of the conversation.  Frankly, I often just do not know what to say.

I have progressed some over the years and can hold my own if it comes to a brief conversation.  I’ve learned the basic questions to ask to engage conversations.  The issue tends to arise after I’ve asked the basic 4-5 questions I know to ask and the conversation then comes to a lull.  Then what?  Well, I tend to do whatever I have to do in order to escape the situation and retreat as quickly as possible.  This is clearly NOT the best means for making new friends.

This being said, this is why I tend to make friends and keep those friends for long periods of time.  My closest friendship was made almost 40 years ago.  We are still close to this day (as a matter of fact, she recently was ordained and married Don and I in 2017).  I also have friendships that I still cherish deeply, but we do not have consistent contact.  We may get together a few times a year, but the best thing is that every time, it’s like no time has passed.  You know those friends?  The ones that you will have for life even though you don’t necessarily see each or even talk that often.  Some of my other closest friendships are family members.  Those that I have known my entire life.  I have several cousins that I would consider some of my very best friends.  I’ve had other close friendships that have sort of faded away after many years of friendship for one reason or another, which does make me sad.

New friendships?  I am going to say the last time I made a “new” friend would have to be about 4 years ago.  This was about the time that Don and I started hanging out with a few of the guys from his work and their wives.  Over the years we have grown closer and I always look forward to when we get together.

backlit dawn foggy friendship
hoto by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

I find that I am just one of those people that does not need a large amount of friends.  I am very happy with my small group of friends and the bonds that we have formed.  I do not feel cheated or feel like I am missing out on anything.  I may not have 1000 followers on Instagram or 500 friends on Facebook, but that’s okay.  I am still perfectly content.