Who’s that girl?

I’ve never really stood out in the crowd.

In middle school I was the hyper kid who didn’t know how to act normal when I was with large groups of people. When that didn’t work out for me, I became the shy girl in high school who didn’t talk unless spoken to. And then when I made some good friends during the last two years of high school, I became a little hyper again. It’s a vicious cycle, trying to find your voice and then feeling like you have lost your voice after you no longer have the people you are comfortable interacting with around you anymore. Meeting new people has always been difficult for me, and change is even more terrifying. It takes me a while to feel comfortable being myself around others. I don’t think I am an exceptionally weird person, but I am a bit quirky. All I want is to be friends with people, which means I want people to accept me. Now that I am a “grown” woman, I have decided that it is about time that I get over my silly social fears.

I have to accept that I will not make a strong connection with every person I meet due to differences in personality, timing and other factors. I have to trust that others will respect me for who I truly am. And most importantly, I have to be more confident in myself.

So, in addition to finding my purpose in this world, I am also making it my mission to be more comfortable with who I am. This means I need to make more of an effort to put myself out there and to be more assertive. Some people have no problem doing these things, but making an attempt at being an extrovert and assertive individual makes me want to crawl into a hole.

Earlier this summer, I decided that starting this blog would help me break out of my shell at a slow and comfortable pace. Sure I don’t get much traffic on my blog on most days, but it’s a start. I also decided to put myself out there by submitting some of my writing to various websites. At the end of June, I submitted my personal essay on why I left my job to HelloGiggles. I found the website a few months ago while googling images of Zooey Deschanel’s bangs. I love her bangs and her quirky personality. I started reading HelloGiggles (which is founded by Zooey and two of her friends) because I appreciated that the founders and editors feature contributions from their readers on a daily basis in addition to posts written by regular contributors. I figured that I didn’t have anything to lose by putting myself out there a little and submitting some of my own writing.

Well, I am glad I submitted something! Earlier this week, HelloGiggles featured my post about why I left my job. I was so excited to find out about this. It was the perfect way to start a new week after spending the weekend with a sick kid. However, a few hours after feeling like I could do anything after having my writing featured on a site that has over 225,000 followers on Facebook, I suddenly found myself clinging to my pillow while in the fetal position praying that I wouldn’t die.

My son puked all over himself (and me) while we were at the outlet mall on Saturday looking for new shoes for him. On Monday afternoon I caught whatever 24-hour bug my son had and felt like I was in labor all over again. It was awful. Luckily, it was also the only day of this entire summer when both of my children took three-hour naps at the same time. God was looking out for me because I could barely walk! All I could do was clutch my pillow and iPhone and refresh my blog stats to see how many people were checking out my little blog after coming across my post on HelloGiggles. Despite being in excruciating pain, it was really a magical day.

What’s the moral of this story?

Be confident in who you are and don’t be afraid to speak up and reach out to others. You never know who is willing to listen. I never expected HelloGiggles to feature my post. And I never expected to hear from so many people who have been through or are going through similar experiences. There are so many other people out there searching for the same thing that I am searching for, and going through the same pain, confusion and adventure that I am going through. And there are a lot of people who have quit their jobs for good reasons.

I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. We all have a voice as long as we choose to use it. We all have the chance to stand out in the crowd, even if it is for one day when your writing is shared with people across the world who would have never known that you exist.

Thanks to all of you who actually read my post on HelloGiggles and liked it, shared it, tweeted it, or commented on it. This gives me more courage to keep writing and to continue to spread my wings. Of course, someone did point out that I had two super obvious and annoying typos in my little essay. I read the damn thing dozens of times and still missed those typos and feel like an idiot now for missing the mistakes. Grrr…

I want to give a big thank you to HelloGiggles for featuring my writing and my blog. I took a picture of my featured post because this may be the only time in my life when something I wrote was deemed worthy enough to share with others.

HGphoto

I don’t know if Zooey ever read this post, but the fact that it was featured on a website she founded makes me super giddy.

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12 thoughts on “Who’s that girl?

  1. I found your blog from the HelloGiggles post! I immediately identified with it (sans the two kids) and continue to identify with every other post I read (um, hello, “28 is the new 22” is my new mantra)! The hyper/shy/hyper cycle perfectly captures my middle school to high school experience as well–although while I would crumble at the thought of approaching someone for a conversation, I was perfectly comfortable bearing my emotions on stage, so no one would ever believe that I was shy without costumes and lights.

    Anyway…at 28 myself, I’ve recently come to a similar conclusion: I need to go confidently into the world, and open myself up to new possibilities, even if it scares me. People who are more naturally gregarious probably don’t make friends with every single person they approach, right? But they keep at it, or focus on the positives–like what they can learn from the experience, rather than their fears and insecurities.

    We never know until we try, whether for something social or career-oriented, and that first step is, by far, the hardest one to take. So go you!! You’re incredibly brave for not only making that move, but also sharing it online. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I think you might have inspired me to finally start my own blog, which I’ve been talking myself out of doing for years!

    And congrats on the HelloGiggles post!! 🙂

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment. I am so glad to meet others like you who have had similar experiences. I hope you are enjoying your new confidence in yourself! Please share your blog here if/when you do decide to start one!

  2. Durn! I missed your typos and usually I am right on that sort of thing! I reckon I missed them because I enjoyed your writing so much! Enjoyed this one too! Lookin’ forward to your next one! Thanks! Go for it!

  3. Aimee,

    I found your blog through Hello Giggles also. I definitely agree that 28 is the new 22. I’ve always had the determination to be successful. Before my 28th birthday, I decided to switch careers. I had the same feeling about not wanting to be viewed as a failure by others. I quickly obtained a new degree and started looking for a new job. I couldn’t stand the idea of not having a job, so I ended up picking on that I had a weird gut feeling about. I just turned 29 last month and I am having regrets about choosing this job so quickly. I am glad you were able to recognize this and not agree to a job you didn’t feel was the right fit.

    It seems we have very similar personalities. I have the same hyper/shyness dynamic, and find it difficult making new friends because of my quirkiness as well. During my career transition, I also starting looking at how I could improve in different areas of my life. I would suggest that you read Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” and “Happier at Home.” I also read the book “MWF seeking BFF” based on Gretchen Rubin’s reviews. It really made me realize that finding friends in your late twenties is something that you need to work on. Now with this new job, I’ve been trying to keep improving in all areas of my life again, but its tough. I like how you are already trying to figure out how to keep that up.

    On a side note, I am obsessed with Pretty Little Liars! This blog has hilarious recaps of all of the episodes: http://foreveryoungadult.com/tag/pretty-little-liars Also, I am fan of Gossip Girl and Zooey Deschanel, too!!

    I’m not one to normally post on blogs. I guess, it comes from my introversion, but I decided that if I intend to make changes in my life that I would give this a shot. Thanks for giving me the courage.

    Sara

    • I am glad you took the time to comment!

      I always enjoy hearing from others who are going through similar experiences. You are right, it is tough trying to make these types of improvements in our lives, but all we can do is take it one day at a time and be proud of ourselves for our efforts. I wish you the best in your adventures. Stop by again and let me know how things are going!

      And thanks for the reading recommendations. “The Happiness Project” has been on my list of books to read. Ill have to check it out “MWF seeking BFF,” sounds interesting. And I definitely look forward to checking out the PLL recaps! Thanks for stopping by!

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