Sunday, April 11, 2010

Building Sand Castles

When I was a little girl, I was extremely shy. My mother likes to constantly remind me of how she would have to take my hand and walk me over to groups of other little girls playing (whether we were on the beach, playground, you name it) and ask if they would mind if I joined them. I remember vividly one day on the beach when I was probably about 7 or 8 years old, standing in front of a group of little girls, with my head down, looking at my feet, waiting to hear their answer to my mother's request. I was really hoping they would say I could play with them because they were building an incredible sand castle. I had been watching from our beach towels with envy and had tried to psyche myself up to ask them myself but I just couldn't do it.

Of course, they said yes, as sweet little 7 year old girls always did, and I joined them in their sand castle building adventure. (It had a moat and the walls were as tall as I was, people!) Sometimes I can't believe how painfully shy I was; but to a certain extent, I still am. I always feel a little awkward when I'm thrown into a new group of people. When I have a security blanket of a boyfriend or best friend, I find myself getting comfortable in that relationship and not branching out as much as I should. If not, I just hang back and wait until time passes and I feel comfortable. Usually, I end up cracking a joke and then people all of a sudden look at me and say, "Whoa, you're funny. I always thought you were so quiet!" Don't ask me why it feels like a completely different thing to get up and perform or do stand up, but it somehow compartmentalizes to a different part of my brain where the shy gene does not have any power.

Since I came to Singapore, I had definitely kept a distance from meeting a lot of people by staying in the safety zone of my relationship. Moving here was so scary and different that it was easier to just sit on the beach towel and watch while everyone else built sand castles.

When my boyfriend, who was my closest friend, wasn't there to hide away with me anymore, I must admit my first instinct was, "RUN!" Then, after about a week, I didn't want to run away, but I DID feel like now everyone had their little clicks and it would be harder to work my way in and become friends.

This past Friday, Chelsey, Tori, Crista and I took the short little boat ride to Puala Ubin, a beautiful little island in Singapore, to mountain bike through the trails. It was such a fun little half-day adventure, and I felt really lucky to have gotten to a place where I have these kinds of friends. We spent the morning and early afternoon just biking, having girl talk and laughing.

And that's just a small example of the interesting and multi-faceted people I have gotten to know here. The amount of people I've communicated with in the past month in contrast to the first nearly 5 months of living here is incomparable. It's really shown me that even though it's a good thing to find someone I feel the security to hermit away with, sometimes I have to push through the shyness to connect with the other incredible people around me.

But I can't say I don't miss my mom holding my hand every once in a while.


  1. Umm.. Awesome. Love this. And love you!

  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you. You basically just described me in that blog too. Let's make the rest of this year one to remember!... Cassidy :)

  3. Sounds like you are taking every opportunity to grow! Yahoo for you! No more hiding in large wicker baskets?

  4. When I was a little girl we always said yes to the shy girls who approached us. Children are easy.

    I think living in a foreign country is probably hard if you're too introverted. The absolute best part of the experience is all the people you meet and places you go. You can't do that if you lock yourself away.