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Formerly Shy Child Now Speaking Up

When I was a very young child, one of my favorite stories was about Katy, the shy kangaroo, who just wanted to spend time with her mom every day.  I think it was a favorite because I could relate. I have memories of the neighborhood kids asking me what my name was, and calling me, "Twisty."  No matter how many times I repeated myself, they laughed, and still got it wrong. My mom always got my name right, and she didn't laugh at me.

Though I don't think I was permanently scarred from that experience, and I can make the kr sound now, I still don't like being laughed at.  I'd like to believe that my ideas have value, even when my delivery is not perfect.  

I don't think I am alone.  

Of course, there are so many ideas in this world.  Some I agree with; others I don't.  One thing I really disagree with, though, is name-calling and personal attacks.  It is possible to disagree on issues without hatred, but not everyone has developed the skill of talking about an issue without attacking a person.  Discussing an issue calmly can lead to better understanding and discovery of shared ideas (even if contrary views are still held), but resorting to childlike taunts weakens the possibility of working together.  

Over the past couple of months, I have felt a driving force to speak up, to explain myself, to be a voice.  This is a scary proposition. Will I be opening myself up for attack by those who differ in their opinions?  Will my words adequately express my feelings?  Will readers who have never met me in person understand that believing exactly like me is really not a requirement for friendship?  Will they also understand why, despite my hesitation, I feel compelled to say something?

The specific current topics which have driven my resolve to speak up are those of marriage, family, and gender. Periodically, I'm going to address aspects of those topics.  Before I write those posts, though, I wanted to write this one.  I suspect that my opinions are not universally supported by all readers.  Please know that if you hold a view different than mine, I will not call you names, and I will not laugh at you. 

In return, please don't call me "Twisty."  

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Thanks for open dialogue, and friendship despite differences. 

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  1. Kristi. It is such a great and un-universally acknowledged truth that people can disagree and atill be friends. I look forward to learning more about you.

  2. Those months of ruminating paid off. This is a great introductory post.

    1. Thanks, Christine. I almost sent it to you before I hit publish, just to get your opinion. (I had John review it for me instead.) :-) Now to dive into the issues.

  3. Looking forward to your future blogs and even when I don't agree or think differently about the chosen topic, I still consider you a friend, eventhough we never met in person. I know we share a simular sence of values and standards and that includes respecting eachothers opinions and beliefs. If this would be the norm everywhere, the world would be a much better place.

    1. Oh, I absolutely consider you a friend, too! Maybe someday we'll even have a chance to meet in person. :-)

  4. As I read your post this morning, so many memories came to mind. Yes, you were shy, but you were and are a great observer and listener, but more than that we knew there were so many thoughts stirring in your head as you watched and listened. All of these experiences turned you into the compassionate person you are who has a desire to make a difference in this world we live in. I'm so proud of you!

    1. No wonder I liked hanging out with you! Thanks for the support, Mom. :-)

  5. I've always been shy; what others don't realize is that the shy person is LISTENING. I have always learned a lot by just being somewhere, blending in.

    Several years ago at preschool, my class was waiting in line in the hallway to go to music. The class before us was running overtime, so I told my kids to sit down to wait. One little girl called me over and earnestly said, "Miss Dyanne, I'm twissed!" I kept saying "twissed" in my head until I figured out that she was saying "squished". The kids on either side of her were squishing her! (She did, however, qualify for speech therapy when she went to kindergarten.)

    1. I spent some time in speech therapy, too, though I didn't understand why I was there. I knew the answers to all the questions they asked me! :-)

  6. Kristi, glad to read this an i am looking forward to your other posts. You know, I am shy on the inside, even though I fake it pretty good on the outside.

    1. I think lots of shy people learn to adapt that way.

    2. Yup, we sure do! Another painfully shy one here. Most people don't believe me when I tell them that, especially since I was a teacher for fifteen years. But they have no idea of the anxiety that runs through me when facing a new class each year, etc. Here's to the shy ones..the listeners. ;)

  7. This alone is such a good post. People have to be more willing to listen to other people's opinions without getting defensive and without feeling they have to change your mind! Listen and we might learn things. We may not always agree but I wouldn't want to be surrounded by people who only thought the way that I do! Can't wait to hear what you have to share.

    1. I agree that lots of communication problems could be avoided if more people would just be willing to listen.

  8. I'm so looking forward to what you have to share here. I have also been thinking about things along these lines and have thus far been just too darn chicken to put anything out there. My Husband says "stop it - say what you have to say" and of course he's right. But still.


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