An Ode to Formerly Shy Girls

We’re shy, we promise! Ok, yes, we know you don’t believe us, as we knock back another shot and squeeze into our tightest skirt, but we’re really quite timid. Deep down, under all the karaoke songs.

If you often have to tell your newer friends, “But I’m shy! Well, I used to be shy,” you get it.

In grade school, your best friend was probably a book. Ok, so you had friends—a small, selective core. But you were also fine just chilling with Judy Blume in your room.

You rarely raised your hand in class. If you were called on, you whispered your answer while blushing furiously at your feet. You still have some old Facebook friends who don’t know what your voice sounds like. Teachers talked about how quiet you were, as though your introversion might affect the other children. And high school parties were out of the question.

But now, you frequently find yourself shouting, “Well, I’m really shy,” at a crowded bar, holding hands with a boy you just met, while your friends tear up the dance floor. If only your second grade teacher could see you now.

We might struggling to explain ourselves, but there’s nothing wrong with being a shy-little-girl-turned-loud-and-take-charge-woman.

Yes, we have some weird shy holdovers. For one, we’re amazing at the Irish Exit. We can go from center of the dance floor to home with a mug of tea in the time it takes to organize a group selfie. And sometimes there’s that dizzying moment of, “Oh no, I’m turning shy again.” We’re our bubbly, chatty selves, and then suddenly we’re right back in 8th grade and we clam up. It’s like being a very nonthreatening version of The Hulk.

And parties with kids from your old high school can be awkward. Why is everyone staring in disbelief as you beat them at flip cup? …do they even remember you from high school?

Sometimes you still come off as shy—until you’re in your Friday night regalia, screeching out the lyrics to your summer jam.

But on the whole, you’re pleasantly surprised at the person you’ve become. You never would have guessed you’d bust out your shell in such a fabulous way. Not only do you talk in class now—it’s a struggle to get you to shut up. And you kinda wish you could go back and tell that shy kid she’s not going to be a wallflower forever.

Still, you’re pretty happy with the self-possessed lady you turned into. Now if only people would believe that you used to be painfully shy.