Sunday, June 26, 2011


Although it may be hard to believe, when I was a kid I was very shy. I was a nice kid and I was a smart kid but I was not a popular kid. Being small and timid I was an easy target for bullies. I can still remember most of my bullies. I had church bullies and I had neighborhood bullies. I'm not sure which were worse. Bullies, at times, made life miserable.

They say that everything in life, both good and bad, helps to shape who you are and I am no exception. At a very young age, in reaction to being bullied, I can remember saying to my parents, "When I'm big I'm going to be nice to little kids." Even as a little kid I realized that bullying was a vicious cycle that I wanted no part of.

I recently asked my mom why she thought I quit being shy and she told me, "At some point you just decided that you liked who you were and you didn't really care what other people thought."
I remember I started to quit caring in my teenage years. I came to grips that I was never going to be like everyone else and that wasn't a defect. I was who I was and I was awesome. There was no real ah ha moment for me. I guess it was just a matter of gradually gaining confidence. Outgrowing my bullies helped as well. As a teenager I expressed my individuality through my comics, they were strange, and the way I dressed which wasn't quite main stream. I was a little punk rock, a little goth and a lot Dan. But, I was still pretty shy.

At around 18 I started doing a little bit of public speaking. I would sub in and teach Sunday School occasionally which progressed into teaching in my youth group and then later at youth conferences. As it turned out I enjoyed being in front of people. Also at around that same age I joined my churches drama team which really helped me to come out of my shell. I had been performing in front of people since I was 12 but I was always in a costume or behind a stage with a puppet. Now people could see me and I liked it. As time when by I became more and more outgoing. I don't think I became as outgoing as I am today until I was in my early 20s. I guess I was a late bloomer. I was eccentric, I was funny, I did my own thing, I was the Dan. Hi, my name is Dan and I'm not very shy.

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