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Monday, January 24, 2011

Rerun: Why I'm So Random

Since I'm in quite a busy time with things going on, I'm posting a host of old posts that posted on my blog ages ago.  Here is today's selection:  This post originally posted on December 28, 2004 back when my readers were mostly people who knew me.  My writing style sucked, so I have edited it a tad for readability for those who don't know me.  Other than that, it's mostly the same.

For those that know me in my day-to-day life, one of the things that really stands out about my personality is that I will randomly blurt out whatever is on my mind for seemingly no reason.  I thought it wasn't as noticeable anymore, but even my co-workers at my current job have commented on it, and I've only been working here since 2008. Why do I do this?  Why am I so random?  Here's my post from 2004 that explains.

Since nothing is really going on, I thought I would entertain everyone with a story. Why do I randomly say things? Why does it seem like I just blurt out things that don't make sense? Here's the story...

The summer before I was to go into high school, I went to my great-aunt's funeral. I spent the night between the wake and the burial at my cousin's house in Virginia. We played with the Ouija board. I asked "Who will I marry? Give me the first 2 initials." Ye Olde Ouija said "D.L." I couldn't think of who DL would be. Finally, I remembered that there had been a DL in my middle school, but he was at least 1 or 2 years ahead of me, probably 2. I only remembered the name, not the person.  Since then, I've decided that my cousin probably pushed the Oujia board.  Isn't that how it works?  Doesn't someone always push it?

The end of the summer came and at high school freshman orientation, out walked this DL, introduced as the Treasurer of the SGA. I was sitting beside my friend Erin and I remember being so excited, saying, "THAT is DL??" He was very cute and I was determined that he was indeed the one I would marry. Maybe a month into school, the SGA was going to an event at Towson or Goucher, some college in Baltimore, I don't even remember which one now. No one was going, but DL came into our class and asked if any freshman wanted to go. He offered to give us a ride since we couldn't drive yet. I was thrilled and volunteered - one on one time with my future husband!!

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with anything. Well, I had always been shy. As the youngest of 4 children (3 of them girls), I didn't have much of a need to learn to carry on a conversation. At the dinner table when I was a child, my parents or sisters monopolized the conversation and I just sat and listened. Same when we were driving somewhere or in any situation where I might need to talk. I just didn't. Silence wasn't terribly uncomfortable with me and making conversation was not a skill I had.

So, when the day of the event arrived and I had to drive over an hour with the lovely DL, I clammed up. Not only was I shy to begin with, but I was riding with a boy I had a crush on.  To make matters worse, I barely knew him past his initials. He tried talking to me, but for the most part I was dead silent. Good ol' DL wasn't too happy about this. Finally, on the way home, he pretty much chewed me out and let me know that I was not only boring, but if I didn't learn to talk to people I would get nowhere in life. And more. I don't even remember the stuff he said to me, except that he was not very nice. And I was crushed.

From then on, I had a list (sometimes literally a written list) of topics to talk about with people if I was going to be one-on-one with them. Small talk became a skill. The weather, school, work, my dog, you name it, I had it on the list and I talked about it. But what if I ran out of topics? Well, I would look around and think of something to say, like, "that house over there? I once knew someone's uncle's mother that used to deliver newspapers there." I might see a car that would remind me of someone, which would remind me that I went with that someone to see some movie, so I would start talking about that movie. Seemed random, but it made sense to me.

These days, conversations come a little easier, but I still occasionally blurt out things that seem quite random... whatever is on my mind, usually.

Note from 2011: Todd is my saving grace in this.  He is an extrovert, and I have become somewhat less freaked out when placed in a situation where I have to make small talk as long as he is with me.  I'm doing better.  He helps.  It's all good.


marathonmaiden said...

i think i was the jerk that usually pushed the ouiji board. oops.

lindsay said...

What a jerk! I am sympathizing with younger Kim :) I'm pretty shy myself around new people but I've gotten better as I get older. I was just thinking about how when I was in college I would have my mom sched doc appts cause I was too shy!

onelittletrigirl said...

I am totally shy in new situations but never once I am comfortable. I am super random though, any of my friends will tell you that!

Mary said...

oh man, I hate small talk--I'll bet that's why we both get along better with men, in the aggregate--with women, there is a TON of small talk before you actually become friendly with someone. One trick I've learned from other people that takes a lot of the pressure off you to converse is to ask people questions about themselves. Most people don't mind talking about themselves and you'll get a reputation as a great listener. :)

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