Hubby and I are attending our antenatal classes.
I’ve learnt quite a few useful things, including the fact I can play George Michael songs in the delivery room.
Mark has learnt quite a few useful things, including the fact that I am not very vocal in a room full of strangers.
“I noticed yourself and the young Chinese girl at the front were the only ones who didn’t contribute," said hubby.
“I’d forgotten how rubbish I am at public speaking," said I.
His words transported me back to the shy school girl I once was. And to be honest, I wasn’t comfortable remembering those awkward years.
I used to envy my mother’s confidence regarding speaking to strangers, or engaging in conversation with more than a handful of people. I also recall she would constantly remind me that most of the time, confidence came with age.
She was correct with her age theory. As the years have rolled by, my confidence has grown. I no longer panic when left to my own devices and it’s necessary to speak to a total stranger. And the more meetings I attend at work and become accustomed to relevant colleagues, the chattier I have become.
But a room full of complete strangers, who are obviously more self-assured than me (apart from the young Chinese girl at the front), well that’s a different matter.
I was disappointed that I’d reverted back to my quiet school years. But I guess some habits are hard to break away from, and I slipped back into my absorbing rather than contributing mode.
What was I so scared of anyway?
Saying the wrong thing?
Everyone staring at me and feeling conscious of my cheeks flushing pink?
My timid voice not being heard above the fearless speeches?
Or all of the above?
I decided to test myself during the next antenatal class.
I made a deal with myself and I was not going to let myself down.
My school days are long behind me. I am now a full-fledged adult whose answers and opinions matter!
I can’t recollect my precise words, but I know I answered a question which was proposed to the audience, by the bubbly midwife at the front of the class.
And it wasn’t so hard after all.
Okay, I did not continually shout out answers, like the attractive lady at the back. Or query the McDonalds milkshake allowance (etc), like the school teacher sitting behind me.
But small steps and all that.
We can’t pretend to be someone we are not, yet we can certainly remind ourselves that we are capable of improving ourselves should the occasion arise.
And that, dear readers, is exactly what I did.
Next week, I shall try to answer two questions.
Maybe even more.