“Shy girl, it’s written on your face, a mermaid out of water feeling out of place ~ Shy girl.”
I was always incredibly shy. I know people in my current life may not think so, but it’s true. A wallflower, a social hermit, a scaredy cat. In school, I couldn’t even raise my hand in class without going red-faced and sweaty when everyone turned to look at me for the answer. At university, the thought of doing my presentation examination left me an anxious, tearful mess – scared of the situation and therefore scared of failing if I couldn’t do it.
I was too shy for my own good. I thought that anything I had to say was not worthy of being listened to, that my views would be laughed at or mocked. I struggled with anything that would put me in the public eye and I was much happier to just fade into the background in the hope I wouldn’t get noticed. I hated this about myself. I hated that in any kind of situation like this, I would get red, shaky, tearful, my mouth would get so dry that I would get tongue tied and could barely speak and my heart would start pounding so loudly it would be all that I could hear. I was crippled by my anxiety and I hated it.
For many years, I have been trying to gain some self-confidence, some belief in my own self worth. I was always ambitious and since a young age, have set myself life goals, many of which I believed but hoped wouldn’t be just pipe dreams. I knew that to achieve some of these goals, I would have to find a way to come out of my shell and climb over the obstacles that stood in my way.
When I met my husband, many things in my life changed. We began our friendship by writing long messages as we got to know each other. I was safe behind a computer screen – I could write and write and was never fearful of writing my true feelings – I could be myself. Writing always has been the easiest and most natural way for me to express myself and make sense of things. Everything felt right straight away between us – cemented by the fact that after our long messages, we met up and I could actually talk to him without getting flustered – I knew then that it was right! It was him who began to show me how to gain some self-confidence. He set me tasks, little things like walking into a room with my head up, making eye contact with people, talking to strangers – I know this sounds silly but when he suggested them and my stomach churned at the thought of them, I realised my confidence issues were worse than I thought.
I have just finished my second egg donation cycle. I wrote extensively about the entire process. I write about matters of the heart – subjects that I am passionate about and make others think. I am incredibly passionate about raising awareness of infertility and egg donation. I hoped that through documenting my journey, people would gain a little insight into how infertility can feel and how receiving donated eggs may just be the solution that many couples so desperately need.
Writing raw emotion can sometimes be the best form of writing for it captures something that may never be felt again. I made a promise to myself that I would blog about every aspect of the journey – the highs, the lows, the anxieties, the hormones, the mood swings, the physical effects…all of it… I wanted to give a completely genuine view, for it is not an easy process to go through but certainly the most rewarding experience I have ever had. The more I write, the more I help and motivate others and the more I motivate myself!
I was thrilled with the response that my blog got and the wonderful feedback I received but what has topped it off is that since finishing my second cycle, I have been invited by the clinic to be a motivational public speaker to talk about infertility and egg donation! WOW! How amazing and very complimentary. According to her, I have inspired lots of people to donate eggs and understand infertility through writing my articles and blogs. I should now go on and speak out in person.
Did I run away and hide like I would have done in the past? No, absolutely not… and this shows me just how far I have progressed. Of course I am going to be nervous standing up in front of people, but who wouldn’t be? The thought still fills me with fear but I am determined to succeed. My passion and empathy on the subject is driving me to overcome my fear. Never before has anything affected me so deeply that it has inspired me to want to conquer my shyness and anxiety. What an amazing opportunity, one that I would be silly to turn down without a better reason than fear! This is my chance to shine, to prove to myself and everyone who has supported me through the transition years, that I can do it… and I will.
Now, I know and believe that when I talk I am worthy of being listened to. I write and speak from some incredible experiences. I can help, I can teach and I have been told that I inspire and motivate those around me – how inspiring is that for the little, shy girl that once was?!