By Chhum Chanrachana
While I am writing to express who I am, I start asking myself who am I exactly. I have never known that it would be this difficult to describe myself in one piece of writing. I just cannot decide which side of me that I want people to see.
For me, doing a self-introduction in class is the most uncomfortable experience, I would say. I hate being the center of attention and having all eyes on me. I would always try to keep my introduction as short as possible.
There was even a specific pattern I followed in every subject at university. I skipped a lot of facts that people really needed to know about me. I thought it was easier to just tell people the basic rather than personal facts, so they would not be interested to ask more.
However, the more I repeat the same introduction in any situation, the more boring it becomes. I sometimes feel like I am not being myself at all. In the worst case, I feel like I’m faking it. So in this article, I want to change that.
What I rarely let other people know is how insecure I am. I am a socially anxious introvert, or a shy girl (as other people would describe me). I agree with people easily; I always become awkward around strangers; I’m not confident enough to voice my opinion around many people ; I feel more secure staying at home; and it goes on and on.
There are different kinds of introverts. Some are the quiet but confident type, while some are always awkward and worried about almost everything. I am the latter type. I might appear calm from the outside but inside there is a dancing party in my stomach. There are a lot of things I want to say, but I only say around 20% of them.
And the weird part? Both of my majors — international relations and communication —require me to be the opposite. Some people just don’t understand why I choose the two subjects that I really suck at.
My freshman year at the communication school was tough because I couldn’t interview people properly. There were times when my sources asked me back or tried to comfort me by saying that everything was going to be alright.
There were a few times that I sat in the class and asked myself, ‘why I’m here?’ But, I still couldn’t find any reasons to quit either. To be honest, at first I hoped to improve my communication skills only, but later did I know I liked doing the work.
I started to go out more by joining debates and public speaking competitions.
This made me realize that just because you are not good at something you really like, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. Talent is important, but passion and courage are more important.
It doesn’t mean that I am no longer an introvert. I am. But the difference is that now I do what I like.
The reason why I decided to write about my insecurity is that I think it is a better way for people to know more about me. I want them to accept who I really am. I don’t want people to just know the outside version of me, but the inside as well.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t do things that extroverts normally do. There is no such rule to force you to stay where you are, or to be afraid of what and how other people look at you. I would say everyone should be more confident with what they were born with, but to explore their potential too. When life gives you lemons, give them back and eat the cake.
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.