I've been having a nice time here in California, having extended my vacation an extra couple of weeks so Maylin can develop a stronger relationship with Grandma and Grandpa and so I can have a little more time with family and friends. Meeting with so many friends means many more conversations for me than usual. Now I've noticed a change in my communication style.
I think I'm comparing my present self to my college self. In college, I loved to be the center of attention -- talking loudly, talking a lot, talking a lot about myself. I have definitely changed. I'm reverting back to my pre-college years where I did more listening. I asked people a lot of questions about themselves and still do because I'm a curious person. But I think I also used to be put off if people didn't ask questions of me. I must have been a wee bit self-centered. Now, I don't care if they don't ask about me. I am quite content to listen to others and offer my input and ideas. I don't volunteer information about myself unless prompted.
And in a group setting, I don't have the need to be heard. A few weeks ago, in the middle of a group conversation, I was dying to tell a story about one of my experiences (I even had one of my old physical reactions -- heart pounding, nearly leaping out of my chest) but when the time passed and the conversation had moved onto another topic without me, I let it go and realized that it wasn't a big deal.
I grew up shy and always wanted to be more talkative and outgoing. In college, I had my chance to recreate myself as that talkative, outgoing person. Now, I'm pulling back a little and not suffering from it one bit. I must have some real self-confidence and self-esteem now. That's a good feeling.