Staying in the shadows

26 Dec

I have spent a large majority of my life trying to stay in the background.

I’ve been working on this a lot in recent years, trying to become more comfortable with having people notice me and leaving my comfort zone. I’ve tried to get over the belief that being noticed will lead to bad things or uncomfortable things. Dancing has helped tremendously with this, and just getting more self-confidence and less anxiety has helped a lot too.

Yesterday at Christmas, we were all together at my parents’ house. All 18 of us. (Stay tuned for a future post on that.) After brunch, my nieces RO and EO asked if they could use my “Just Dance 2” on the Wii. I said sure. They started playing it, and some of my other nieces and nephews joined in. It ended up with the two kids with the Wii remotes in front, and other kids behind them doing the moves as well.

The kids then started trying to get the adults in to play. I went in, of course. I mean it’s dancing! But what was interesting to me was watching my siblings and their spouses deal with the asking. My sister JO did a few songs. My sister AK and my brother TB refused. My brothers-in-law refused. My dad refused. And it struck me that my whole family tries to be in the background most of the time.

WOW. It was really an epiphany for me. Not only did my own issues growing up drive me to the background, but I realize that I also come by that tendency very honestly in my gene pool. And I realized how stupid it is to be that way. I kept thinking and wanting to say, it’s Christmas, it’s just us family around, and suck it up for the kids. Just dance already! My brothers-in-law each did a dance or two to appease the kids. They were clearly not comfortable doing it. But it was interesting to watch the adults in my family try to stay in the background and not do it. It made me glad about how far I’ve come in that department.

(You could get super philosophical and wonder if it’s in our genes or is it do to the environment we grew up in. I mean, if my dad is like that, did that rub off on us? Or did we model his example? Or was it just in our genes to be programmed that way? But I’m still on vacation, so I won’t get that philosophical on you.)

The best though was when my brother said he would do it when my dad did it. (My dad is notorious for not doing family activities. He’s the worst offender at staying in the background. And by worst, I mean he gets the prize for staying in the background.) I get my contrary streak from my dad. When my brother said that, my dad said OK fine let’s do it. And he got up and was prepared to start dancing! My brother had no choice but to dance a song, and my dad did it too. AWESOME!

The other funny thing was how many adults turned to me after dancing to one song and saying, that’s quite a workout – how do you do that? Or they’d say, I didn’t realize how much of a workout dancing could be.

Why yes, yes it is. And so much more.

One Response to “Staying in the shadows”


  1. Weekly roundup « The Reinvented Lass - December 27, 2011

    […] that my desire to stay in the background is actually a family […]

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