…And This Is What I’ve Become

by Sherry Riter in Lessons of Life,Memory,Simple Soliloquy,Time

You’ve heard it over and over, “Practice what you preach” or maybe “Do as I say, but not as I do.” The most infamous which I dislike the most, “Because I said so.” I think that was my mother’s favorite answer to my millions of “Why?” questions. Unfortunately for her, I still ask the same question and she is still going crazy over it.

I don’t like making mistakes, so if I can avoid one by taking advice, I try really hard to take it and change my actions or circumstance. The advice I usually find hardest to take is my own. Isn’t it that way with everyone? A friend can ask you a question and the words flow like lava from a volcano, but if you put the mirror in front of your face to take the advice and incorporate it into your own life…HELP!

Yesterday in my post I basically gave the advice to “stop and smell the roses” because time continues to fly by so quickly and the important things in life may be slipping through the cracks. I took my own advice.

I must have appeared like a woman gone mad. I spied the perfect subject for a great blog photo to show that I was noticing the little things. I pulled into a parking space, leaped out of the car with my cell phone/camera and started chasing after the duck and her little chicks. They were not cooperative! I only wanted a picture!

mama duck with her babies

I laughed when I got back into the car knowing how funny that whole scenario must have looked to a stranger. Quite satisfied with my National Geographics photo, I enjoyed the rest of my day.

The evening brought even more adventure since Turtle needed more food. There were rows and rows of turtle food jars filled with various stinky morsels on the shelves at the local pet store. Who would ever believe that turtles need such an assortment for their dining experience?

I have always gravitated to the fish and while taking pictures, much to my daughter’s embarassment, I thought about the limited life experience of being confined to a fish tank. I can hear a therapist telling me that fish do not “feel” the way humans do, but that is really beside the point. Give me a little line and go with the flow.

white fish in a tankgold fish in a tankstriped fish in a tank

W.L. Bateman said, “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” Often I find comfort in doing the same thing and going to the same places. Change is uncomfortable because we can not see past the moment we are experiencing and our fear for what “may” happen is often overwhelming. That fear holds us back from new and often fantastic experiences.

When I was an introverted fourteen year old, I went to a “special” church dance. My mother had sewn a beautiful pale pink dress with tons of lace all over it. I truly felt beautiful. There was an older boy named Scott and I just adored him, but always from afar. He was tall, blond, blue-eyed, charming and cute, but I was seriously too shy to ever talk to him. I had decided before going to the dance that I would break out of this shyness and be a new me. I would dance and have a good time.

Filled with hope and looking my best, I arrived and immediately found a chair close to the wall. I gave the term “wall flower” a whole meaning. The room was filled with laughing, happy teenagers and great music. The air was electric with the energy that youth exudes.

I sat.

I continued to sit.

I watched Scott dance memorizing every grin, smile or laugh that crossed his face.

I wished that I could be more self-assured.

I tried so hard to muster the courage to be different.

If he asked me to dance, I wanted to say “YES!” and have the most glorious moment of my life.

The night wore on and the laughter continued as I sat in the same chair.



“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac began to play.

Then, like a scene from Cinderella, Scott walked over to my chair.

He “knew” that I “liked” him and unbeknownst to me, the feeling was mutual.

Scott asked me to dance.

“No thank you.”

“Please dance with me.”

“No, I can’t.”

“Yes you can!”

“No, I really dance terrible.”

I did dance horrible, but that was not the point. I could not make myself get out of the chair and dance even though I wanted to say “YES!” more than anything.

Scott knew I was shy, but he was determined. He would not leave and kept asking me and giving me reasons to dance with him.

I thought the world would end when, in the crowded room, he got on his knee and begged me to dance with him.

The tears fall now recalling the pain caused by inhibitions that held me back. I remember every nuance of the room and his face and my pounding heart.

He held my hand, told me that I was the most beautiful girl in the room, and begged me over and over to dance with him.

I couldn’t.

I just couldn’t get out of the chair.

Scott eventually gave up, Mom drove me home, and I cried into my pillow most of the night.

That experience changed my life. I became even more of an introvert and so much of life’s experiences passed me by because I simply gave in to my fear. That fear was real and almost tangible. It deprived me and gave nothing back in return.

I grew up, but every time “the” song played, I remembered, regretted and for many years, I wept.

Much later in life, I decided I couldn’t stand that fear or the introverted girl inside of me. I wanted to banish them forever! So in an all out war with myself, I was forced to leap into the total darkness of change to become the self-motivated, extrovert that I am today.

I can stand in front of any crowd, any time, anywhere and talk about anything. I will not live within a fish tank. There is so much I can experience and I will continue to step into the darkness expecting happiness.

I once tried doing the Beyoncé bootie shake dance, but my daughter told me to never do that in public or private again.

I guess I still can’t dance, but I won’t ever be a wall flower again.

Look out Beyoncé!

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Two Pretty Little Skirts June 9, 2009 at 5:01 am

Hi SITSa! Your lovely blog has received a lovey award…go pick it up at my place 😉




2 Alicia June 9, 2009 at 7:57 am

Hey girl! Found ya on SITS! What a cute story!!! Ahhh young love =) i love that you did the bootie shake dance! too funny! come say hi if you get the time!! nighty nite!


3 Sheryl June 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I loved your post sad and happy. I especially loved the part where your daughter told you not to dance again, public or private. Kids can be so truthful.

Wanted to stop by and welcome you to SITS. It's a great place to make new friends.


4 Stacie June 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm

What a great post! I love the baby ducks you tried to get. Envisioning that could be funny. LOL Your right we don't take our own advice! Stopping by from Harriet's Comment Challenge.


5 Joy June 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Stopping by to say hello and welcome to SITS!


6 Ana June 9, 2009 at 9:48 pm

I know exactly how you feel. I'm in a similiar situation for the very first time in my life, and what is interesting is that I have always got that treatment with my own mother too, but now more within a work related environment. It is like am sitting back, and letting others cough blood on me, for the sake of getting contamined.
Taking anyone's advice is like digging myself a hole and drowning in it. I have always followed what I have felt, and never what other people wanted of me. I find this is one of the most blinding paths anyone can take. (Well me anyway) Latetly (for a while) I have been in an environment where everyone likes so much to invade on my life, that I can't breathe! There are so many thoughts about what others want of me, that I cant find my own peace of mind anywhere. (A good illustration is the recent Collage that I produced in my recent post-in blog. It's exactly the expression of what's going on now-more so through the physical realm of what everyone wants of me) When I do find my own balance and peace of mind, I find that I always get dragged back down that hole again, as I get easily influenced by those around me. People who think they know what's best, when in reality they really don't, as I am the only one that knows what's best for me.
You can do anything, dance if you want to, convince yourself that you can't, be who you want to be, be someone else, and choose any path that you wish to take. It is your life, your choice. Be bold, be honest, be you. Love and kindness to you.


7 Morgan June 10, 2009 at 12:56 am

That is so sad- he actually asked you to dance and begged down on one knee and you still said no?!? Did he ever talk to you again?

There are many times in my life where I've looked back at an event that happened to me and wished I had had the guts to do what I wanted to do. Instead, many times I let things slip by because I was afraid of taking the risk.

BTW- how did you get all the welcomes from SITS? I started following months ago, but never get visitors from SITS at all, and have never received a welcome from anyone. How did you get so many?


8 Donna@www.frugaldonna.blogspot.com June 10, 2009 at 3:09 am

Stopping by from SITS…thanks for visiting my blog! Great post! My mom is good for stopping in the middle of anywhere for a great picture. One time she stopped for pics of ducks by a lake and ended up rolling down the hill in mud…lol…we still joke about that day.


9 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 11, 2009 at 1:35 am

No one we became fast friends! We have such similar stories. Reading this gave me goosebumps because I have a story just like this. I was in 6th grade and sat right behind my crush It was no secret that I liked him (he, my classmates, even our teacher knew it). One day he turned around and asked me if I'd be his girlfriend and my silly butt pretends not to hear him. I kept saying, "what did you say?" like a ripe idiot! He finally turned back around. I didn't wait to get home to cry, the tears started rolling down my face right their at my desk. I was so upset that I missed my chance at happiness because I was so shy and felt so undeserving of such a cutie. I vowed never again! Today, I am married to a Grade A Beefcake!


10 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 11, 2009 at 1:47 am

I placed the Personal Journal Blogroll button on my blog in the scroll on the far right column


11 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 11, 2009 at 1:49 am

I subscribed to the Personal Journal feed


12 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 11, 2009 at 1:51 am

I am following the Personal Journal Blogroll


13 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 11, 2009 at 1:53 am

I left a comment at "And This is What I've Become"


14 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 11, 2009 at 1:54 am

My first uneducated guess at your name: Alice


15 Beyond All Measure November 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Wow, I have to say I understand this story all too well. I am not the introvert, DH is. He is the sweetest, kindest, most brilliant man I have even known. But he is so reserved. So much so, that he has anxieties about interacting with people at all. Even his own family. It is nice to know our situation is not unique. And also that there is hope for the future. Though it is hard for me to imagine him ever being extroverted…


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