Believe it or not, I'm shy. Horribly so.
Which, once you're an adult, can seem sort of stand-offish.
Now, I know that's hard to believe given how I post here, but one of my goals this year is to overcome my shyness. The main reason--I don't want to feel isolated in my new department as I often did in grad school and sometimes feel now.
And I know that people notice. My advisor recently met one of my new colleagues who had really nice things to say about my campus visit. Advisor quickly shot me an e-mail that said, "I urge you not to be shy about emailing her (and others you liked) in advance of your move!" Before my campus visits she noted how some candidates can talk too much at the dinners or be too quick to take potential colleagues into their confidences. But then she said, "I know I don't have to worry about that with you. You play everything close to your chest."
I think the fact that I'm sort of soft-spoken is obvious because another of my new co-workers sent me the sweetest e-mail a few days ago welcoming me to campus and encouraging me to communicate with people in the department long before I move.
But the thing is, I was reared in a sort of sit-back-and-observe manner. I'm always trying not to intrude and I'm happier in the background. I think much of it has to do with the admittedly problematic messages that were instilled in me as a child--girls should be seen and not heard, it's always better to be a listener, don't trust people easily, etc, etc.
It's not that I'm rude, but I am the sort of person who waits to be approached--you won't really catch me striking up conversations with people I don't know.
I want this time to be different, though. I want to go out, I want to learn to navigate the city, I want to feel free to stop by a colleague's house if invited. I don't want to obsess over "is this intrusive?" all the time.
I'm going to slowly start casting that aside.
The elle of 2008 will be bold and just-shy-of-talkative!!
Okay, maybe not. But I am going to take a few risks, be a little more open.
But that's so scary!!