Wednesday, July 15, 2009


When I was a child I was painfully shy. I did not make friends easily and hated to be in group of people. My shyness was so bad in high school that I managed to "get" laryngitis before every oral presentation that I was supposed to do. By university it had progressed to small panic attacks that would keep me from being able to attend a class.

And then *POOF* I changed. I started a job as a customer service rep on the phones and was soon promoted to a supervisor position. I interviewed people, I gave motivational talks to my team and I even stood in front of training classes teaching them product knowledge and selling techniques. I become adept at making small talk and engaging strangers in chit-chat. All skills that I have maintained.

I have no idea what prompted the change. There are still times when the anxiety comes back. I CANNOT be late for anything, because the idea of walking into a room LATE is just too much for me too handle. It drives Hilary crazy, but after almost 16 years together she just sighs and lets me go as early as I want. Unless she is coming too. Then she does what she can to keep me calm and have me leave at a more acceptable time. I have even had to change dentist's because I missed an appointment and couldn't go back and face them.

The first time I go somewhere new is a time of great stress. Tomorrow I have to pick Liam up from summer camp and then take him to soccer. Since Hilary does summer camp drop off and pick up, I have not been to this location before. She patiently sat and explained the route I had to take, what side of the street the building was on, where the door was located etc.. And she did this with the minimum of eye rolling and sarcasm. She even got the map out for me to see since I am a very visual person. The timetable is bothering me a bit: Finish work at 4:30, camp ends at 5:00 and soccer starts at 6:00. Since we don't have a car I will also have to add in taking the bus. A bus route I have never taken! So to help ensure the minimum amount of panic I am coming into work 30 minutes early so that I can leave at 4:00.

A year ago I blogged about my soccer anxiety . I was going to coach Liam's soccer team one night while the regular coach was on vacation. I was nervous, but excited. In the end, I let another parent take over and didn't stand up for myself. I was disappointed in myself that night. It's way too easy to fall back into being shy and meek and letting people walk all over you.

In just one year I have changed again! I don't know if it is really me that has changed, or if it's the dynamics of the people and the situation that is different this year. On Saturday I am coaching Liam and 2 friends in a 3 on 3 soccer tournament. I'm feeling confident and pumped! The other boys go to school with Liam so I know them and their parents. I think that is going to be the difference for me. I've been to this field before, I know the kids and parents, it's a small group. I'm ready.

It IS going to be a great day!!
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