Today I had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen since high school. And while we'd passed each other in the halls, we hadn't really been friends since elementary school, maybe junior high.
Our mothers went to kindergarten together, up in the Bronx, so I've known her for a very long time.
She was very cool.
It was lovely.
At one point we were talking about shyness and I said that I used to be painfully so. I was so often the person who wanted to disappear into the crowd, to have no one notice me, to melt into a wall. Especially when I was little I dreaded attention, my heart would race when it was my turn to answer a question or have attention focused on me.
I've left most of that by the wayside.
It was one damn slow process.
But now I like talking in front of groups of people. I wear ridiculous things. I love to lead things, to be in charge, to instigate change.
I think the difference is that I believe in myself. I have confidence. A sense of security. Balance. Gratitude. I'm finally accepting who I am and appreciating what it is about me that makes me different, not wishing I was more like someone else.
I am so grateful I am putting myself out into the world in new ways, stretching to try things I haven't tried before, letting myself step outside my comfort zone, even if it's only tiny steps right now.
That's what Sparklefant is. Me expressing in a way I haven't before. In a public, shiny, bright glittery way.