I am really a different person when you get past my often quiet and guarded exterior. My personality is like a castle- there is a proverbial mote around it. I could hole up and live in here forever, or at least until all the seasons of Friday Night Lights were over or Prince Philip showed up. Whichever came first.
I worked at a camp for a summer in college, and one of the good friends I made there was a bubbly girl from Auburn. The orientation for new staffers lasted about 10 days, and two weeks into our two months there, probably while making tie-dyed shirts for 7-year-olds who would later forget them completely, she turned to me one day and said who would've known you were so funny?! She was right- my sense of humor does not come out until the coast is clear.
That's not the first time someone has said something like that to me- and I actually take it as a compliment. I like that I know when I am at ease around someone by how naturally my joking tendency comes to the surface.
A perpetual joke with my friend MG is that we had a history class together our freshman year, would always save seats for each other and exchange brief pleasantries, but never actually interacted beyond that. For an entire semester. We were both so shy and not until later on in college did we actually discover how easily we get along with each other, and now we will be living under the same roof within a matter of weeks.
A coworker even said the other day that they were happy that I finally came out of my shell. I started my job over nine months ago and this is just now acknowledged. Closed-off, much?
I think a hang-up for me is that if I don't know a person and cannot gauge their sense of humor, I'm not going to dive in head first and risk a concussion in the shallow end of my first impression; know what I mean?
I also do not compete for attention. There is nothing appealing or particularly validating about it for me. I like that people have to dig a little if they want to get to know me. I have always subscribed to the notion that the less you say, the more people pay attention when you actually speak. You are filtering instead of blurting, and while the world needs all types of people, I am thankful for those who take that extra moment of consideration.
I am glad that there are people who have found it worth their while to get to know me, because I don't always make it easy. My shell and I, we are quite a pair.
"I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know..."
-Hoobastank, "The Reason"