I was working with one of our longtime students yesterday.

We go so far back that the last time I remember seeing his daughter, it was at the traditional Chinese dinners my culture has when there is a new baby born.  I saw his daughter again, just recently when he brought her in to try out Tai Chi at our school, she is now 24 and that just feels like a BooBoo to my ears, cause it means that I am almost twice her age and that I am definitely not the 20 year old and even sometimes the 12 year old that I totally feel I am most of the time, but that age thing, it’s just a number, right?

During Push Hands class students get a chance to also learn about each other in different ways, since we are partnered up we get to also catch up and since I am not as active as I used to be at the school, I usually use this one on one time to reconnect with students who make up our Tai Chi family.  While we were working and I mentioned how nice (and traumatic) it was to see his daughter he tells me about what his daughter said to him:

“Why didn’t you bring me to Tai Chi Earlier?”

I giggled, cause even though Tai Chi is just starting to break into the mainstream, it’s still not something I am ever used to hearing much of, or ever.  Kids, especially American kids want to do everything separate and different from their parents.  For the most part, American culture has birthed this generation of Know-It-Alls who have lost the basic understanding and ideas of what and where respect comes from.  Respect begins at home and how you see your parents and work to understand them, they way they always have worked to try and understand the needs of their children.

There is nothing I find more disturbing or off-putting than this generation of over grown children who expect the world to revolve around them.  The sense of entitlement and the idea that they are the center of their own universe, therefore giving them the false sense that the world really does revolve around them.

Hearing a father talk about his daughter wishing to have started Tai Chi earlier got me all warm and fuzzy and then he proceeded to mention that she was very shy and lacked social skills, because he lacks social skills and couldn’t pass any good stuff along to his daughter because of that.  I was shocked because I have known this guy since I was a kid and said:

“What are you talking about, you’re great?  You’ve always talked to everyone and never came off socially awkward at all”

To which he replies

“Well, when I’m here, I’m here.  This place is for me.  I feel good here with everyone.  I know you all. When I’m here, I feel like I am with family, so I don’t feel awkward. My daughter said she wished I brought her here sooner because Tiffany would have made such a good older sister.”

I almost started crying…

There’s no greater compliment than when someone looks up to you in such a way that they articulate it and then for her to say this to her father just made it that much more meaningful.  So, I of course had to run and tell my mom and dad what I was told and it’s been the smile I haven’t been able to wipe off my face from the moment I heard it told to me yesterday.

We chatted about his daughter a bit more and how she dealt with her social skills and it kept coming back to how shy she was and I found myself wondering, “What on earth does it feel like to be shy?”.  Which brings me to my next comment which just spontaneously flew out of my mouth:

“I don’t even know how to be shy.  What does that even mean?”

Which was also kind of a great moment, because another longtime student of ours heard me and just started laughing.

It’s so true though, I’ve never understood the concept of being shy and I think it is because I am so damn curious about everything all the time, I don’t want to waste time not learning, so I always am all-in, all of the time.

On a very rare occasion I have met someone where I was so excited to be with that I get nervous, but never shy…

What’s the sense in being Shy?  Where does it even come from?

If I ever get a chance to meet you, I hope you’re not shy, because I’ll want to know everything about you.

I just think that everyone is too unique and too interesting to be shy.

In my world, shy doesn’t exist and if you come into my world I’ll definitely make being “shy” and extinct experience for you.

Don’t be shy, you’re only cheating everyone out of seeing how brilliant you really are, this is what I want to say to my little sister out there ; )


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