I’ve always been reserved. When I was a kid, I was called shy. When I was a teenager, people said I was awkward. Now that I’m an adult, I’m considered an introvert. All of these descriptors have been various ways to identify my difficulties talking with people. Having to talk to people, especially people I don’t know, causes me anxiety. One of my most memorable examples is my first day of kindergarten.
From the time I was ten months old, I’d had the same babysitter every day. I was the only child she took care of. By the time I was a toddler, she was essentially another grandmother, so much so that I called her ‘ma.’ Because I had daily childcare, my mother didn’t feel the need to put me into preschool or pre-K. So, on the first day of kindergarten, surrounded by what seemed like hundreds of unfamiliar faces, and being expected to interact with all of those strangers, Lil Quita was completely overwhelmed. I cried on my first day of school, because it was just too much to handle.
Fast forward a few years later to pre-teen Quita. After years of socializing, communicating was a little bit easier. Around that time, I also received access to a resource that would forever change the way I thought about communication: the Internet.