I am not what you'd call shy. And I can back that up with proof. Anecdotal, but proof nonetheless.
One time, Evelyn (BFF) and I were en route to a conference in Colorado. We were at the Denver International Airport, waiting for a shuttle to take us the rest of the way to Boulder. The airport was over-airconditioned and we went outside so that I could warm up and BFF could have a cigarette. A little ways down the walkway, a well-dressed man was sitting on the sidewalk, his back against the wall of the airport, and next to him was the largest dog crate I had ever seen. It was the kind with opaque plastic walls on all sides except for a wire mesh door. Try as I might, I couldn't tell what kind of dog was inside there. All I could tell from the movement I could see through the thin slots in the plastic walls was that it was big. Really big. My curiosity got the better of me, and I walked over and started a conversation with the man, and asked him what kind of dog was in the crate.
It turns out it wasn't a dog at all. It was a goat. A prize-winning stud goat. (And just to clear things up, contrary to the story that BFF tells everyone about this incident, I did not start my conversation with the man in the suit by saying, "Nice goat, mister.") But I did chat with him a while, much to BFF's consternation, I think she was worried that he might taser me and throw me into the crate with the goat and then load the crate into a white cargo van with no distinguishing characteristics because really, can you trust a man in a nice suit who sits on the sidewalk and, you know, TRAVELS WITH A GOAT?) He was actually very interesting, and told me how the goat was being shipped to California to mate with another prize-winning lady goat. We said goodbye a few minutes later to BFF's obvious relief when the shuttle bus arrived.
In later years I wondered why he didn't just freeze the goat semen and ship it Fedex to Cali, but he didn't, and now I have this great anecdote, and, as an added bonus, will probably see "frozen goat semen" show up as a search string for hits on my blog, which will totally reaffirm my belief in the weirdness of the Internet. But I think this kind of illustrates that I am not shy.
Blog Out Loud Ottawa was a wonderful event, and I had so much fun. It was held at the Arrow and Loon and as soon as I saw all the people gathered there to hear the talks, I started to get nervous.
Kate tried to distract me by taking our picture together with my camera. I have never been successful at this, but at least I wasn't making a duck face.
Once the talks started, I was mesmerized by the stories. Some were funny, some sad, some uplifting. Some had us all laughing and some had us choked up. The talent on offer that night was amazing.
My palms grew damp. I was very, uncharacteristically, quiet. Lynn, who organized the event, came over and asked if I would mind being bumped to later in the agenda. I said not at all, happy for the short reprieve, and doubly happy not to follow this post, which was hilarious.
But eventually the time came, and this very, very nervous extrovert came up to the front. I was actually amazed that the mic didn't pick up how hard my heart was pounding or the rattle of the paper in my hands. I began speaking, and it was OK. The nervousness seemed to float away. I was actually enjoying myself.
And everyone laughed where they were supposed to. And everyone clapped at the end, even though I forgot to say 'thank you' when I was finished.
It was scary, and liberating, and fun.
Thanks so much, Lynn, I hope to be able to do it again next year.
***EDITED to add, the post that I read out loud was Don't Go In The Basement***