Give the people what they want

Remember when I had a blog? (the second installment)

In the past few weeks, two people asked me (neither were my mom!) when I was going to blog again. So it’s time to give the people what they want (that’s a joke).

It’s a bit of a shame that I haven’t been able to squeeze any writing drops out of my brain to put on here in the last 9 months. For all you know I could have had a baby in this time (I didn’t). So I am trying to keep whatever inspiration left in my body afloat (yeah, that makes sense). Here is something I wrote for a long lost blogging challenge:

Post number one: Your childhood fear

I have a number of strange fears. I will list them now. Mascots, eyelash curlers, people that wink, going through a drive-through, IKEA, the list goes on. And almost all of them have been with me since the days of Barbies and making tiny donuts out of Play-dough.

I’ll talk about something more important now. I’ve written about being an introvert before on this blog (apparently being introverted is trendy these days???), but I’ve come a long way since another one of my childhood fears was talking to… basically anyone but my family and closest friends. And let me tell you, hearing the words, “You’re quiet,” “Why don’t you talk more?,” and my personal favorite, “You need to get mean,” (high school basketball coach) really took a toll on my mindset. These people were telling me the disposition I was born with wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t going to get me anywhere. It was bad.

And to an extent, I needed to learn the confidence to speak up. But I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It just took me some time. So I’d like to thank a guy named Matt, who was my first manager when I started working at Panera when I was 16 (this post just took a weird turn, bear (bare?) with me). I started working with Matt every Saturday and Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m., when we would open the store together. After a few weeks, he took me aside one day and said, “Emily, I know you’re my quiet one, but it’s really not that hard to talk to these people. Greet them when they come through the door, talk to them.”

So I did. I challenged myself to speak to everyone who walked through the door. I didn’t want to be anyone’s “quiet one” ever again. And guess what? It was fun! People are cool! Who knew? This eventually grew to a love of chatting with random strangers, which took me by surprise. I’m still my same introverted self, but I strangely feel like I owe some of my success to Matt and the people of Panera for opening up my mind and changing how I see the world. But maybe that’s what’s supposed to happen at your first job… hmmm.

But I suppose the real lesson is to not let other people’s constant comments define who you are. I almost accepted myself as “the quiet girl,” before I realized that’s not who I am or want to be.

I should probably write about something else besides myself on this blog.