I was painfully shy for a lot of my life, which is confusing I suppose because I've run for public office and interviewed celebrities and generally done a lot of crazy things that have attracted attention. And, like, some people know me who I've never met?
I wouldn't classify myself as shy any more, though. I don't know when the shift happened. Actually, no, I do.
It happened at 26 when I became a mom, because it gave me this extra boost of confidence I didn't have before. Suddenly I had this connection to all of these other people, and this reason to start conversations with strangers. You have a baby! I have a baby! Let's talk about babies and maybe be friends? K cool.
I've been very social in recent years because making new friends and maintaining friendships is SO IMPORTANT, especially when you work at home and basically are a total hermit much of the time. I did a complete 360 on the friend-making attempts, basically, and I loved it. I can talk to parents easily, anywhere, and sometimes it turns into friendships. Hooray for small talk about kids.
But professionally? Professionally I was still pretty shy. I didn't go to networking events or connect with people in my field, for the most part.
I decided to start taking more chances, though, and the past few months had been full of a lot of "firsts."
I went to BlogJam 2015, met a bunch of awesome local bloggers, and heard totally inspiring presentations from successful bloggers I admire. It's given me the Blog Conference Bug and now I want to hit 'em all up.
I did two presentations on the Herald Homes stage at the Fall Ideal Home Show, where I talked to the crowd about why I love to DIY, shared some tips, and did live demos of two different projects. I was SO nervous, but I had such a good time meeting readers and talking about something I LOVE to do.
Also: they advertised MEETING ME ON STAGE on the front section of the paper. Like, I can't even. Is this real?
Met so many awesome readers, shared my #DIY wisdom, and completed two projects live on stage at the Fall Ideal Home Show in #Halifax today! So honoured to be presenting after my amazing friend @lindseybunin, and getting to hang out with her in between presentations! Thanks to everyone who came out to say hi! #DIYlife
I designed and led a 2.5 hour professional development seminar on creative communication and ASL for a group of preschool teachers -- ME teaching TEACHERS, which felt just ... insane. It went really well, though!
(I didn't think it would be professional to ask them to take my picture "teaching," so you'll have to settle for some screenshots of my slides.)
Last but certainly not least, I spoke at Truro Junior High on Monday morning to ALL of the Grade 6 students!
I was nervous that I wouldn't be interesting enough for them, because I know what my attention span was like when I was 11 or 12. But they were such a sweet, well-behaved group and asked the best questions.
My presentation was on how I became a journalist, interviewing techniques (they're going to be conducting interviews as part of an upcoming project), writing skills, and creating something from nothing (based on one of our favourite books).
So I brought some examples of projects I've made for my DIY column, and made a PowerPoint presentation with, like, all of the GIFs. All of them. Like this one, which I didn't realize says "butthole" until it was too late, and ... sorry?
The moral of this post? So what if you're shy, or used to be shy, or are sometimes shy?! Take a chance, do something outside of your comfort zone, and I promise you won't regret it.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY THIS: Special shoutout to the sweetest Grade 6 student who came up to me after the presentation and said she wanted to be, and I quote, "just like" me when she grew up. Yes, my heart grew three sizes that day.