Life's not so serious
I've reached a point in my life at the moment where I really do feel as if I have progressed from level 1 to 5, on the 'taking life as it comes and not being so freaked out about it all' scale. While I realise there are many more levels to come and I'm not quite there yet, this progression for me has really opened up my eyes and spirit, creating many new opportunities.
When one is in school growing up, you are encased by a structure where obedience to adults is fundamental. Almost everything requires approval from them and they become less and less like a humans as time passes and more and more like robots from another time. While this sounds a little 'whoop-whoop' - I just mean to say that we become somewhat subordinate to others during (particularly) middle school, crushing supportive relationships with mentors. Through this, a kind of division was definitely felt by myself during this time, with adults seemingly to be on another level. It just felt like I was a total beginner and I wasn't being valued as an individualistic human being.
As I entered high school, and now am free(!!), this barrier between the teachers and the learners definitely began to dismantle, making it more and more clear that (as silly as it sounds) 'teachers are human too'. In fact all adults are, and although they might be experts in their field for sure, in truth they are beginners in life, just like the rest of us.
I can't remember where I read the captivating notion that everyone is a life long beginners, even those who have been practicing their craft for so long (I think the example was with yogi masters). This along with the framework in my mind about scary-teachers-ruling-over-us-all beginning to dismantle around the edges, I realised that one doesn't need to be intimidated by the slightest of things. Because really, it's just not so frickin' serious.
While being heavily introverted and anxiety prone is most likely to blame for the majority of my withdrawal tendencies in the past, there is also an element of me that thinks situations will be more intense than they really are. That people will care more than in reality. And that people will look at me with a stiff nose because they know what they're doing and I'm a total rookie.
But who was I kidding? We are all beginners. We are all life long learners and are absolutely meant to be. We don't need to feel embarrassed because of a lack of ability. There are always people feeling the same, and there are always people looking for an answer. So get out there, because life hasn't got a rule book or a set of guidelines. It ain't that serious!!