I'm finally a bit more like the person I've always envisioned. I can buy an outfit and know if I look good in it without someone else's nod of approval. I can read aloud in class without stumbling too much or wanting to curl up into a ball and die. I can actually have a conversation with people I don't know well, and laugh, and joke and feel comfortable. I can make my own choices and look forward into my future and what it may or may not contain, and confidently voice what I hope to achieve without feeling like I need to hold back.
However, I haven't always been like this. I used to be the shy girl. More than that, I used to be the girl who didn't speak. Until the age of about five or six, I don't recall even answering the register in school. Purely because I just used to hate to draw attention to myself. I hated the idea of thirty pairs of eyes staring at me while I let out a little, muffled "yes miss" to answer. By the time I left primary school, I could hold down basic conversations and friendships, but I didn't really come into myself until much later.
My first major friend fall-out at 13; I thought my heart was broken. At fifteen when people were really horrible to me about a boy I didn't even know, I folded into myself. Silent. Concealed. Out of the way of conflict. I've always avoided things that scared me. I was nervous completing my GCSE's, but totally terrified when it came to A-levels. So much so, I made myself ill twice. It was then I told myself I had to just let go. I hD to just jump head first into whatever was thrown at me, and hope for the best. (Note: it payed off.)
I went to uni, I almost have completed my degree, and in some respect I'm glad I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't. I wouldn't have the friends I have today, the experiences, or the relationship. Maybe I needed to be pushed to apply for uni, to pass my driving test, to abseil, to make friends, to gain experiences, to down another tequila, to take risks that would really enrich my life.
Whether it was a kiss, a payment, an accepted invitation or a confirmed place on UCAS, I wouldn't be who I am without jumping into things, even if I do it with an ounce or two of reluctance. I always get there in the end.