I’m an outsider mostly, I am the observer, the voyeur, the creep so to speak. I like being on the outside and looking in. I see so much more about people than when I am uncomfortably close to them. Maybe I have been burned, one or two times. A couple nice people getting really close to me so maybe I wouldn’t notice all the red flags about them. The in your face types, and maybe I have been the same. I embarrass easy. One or two mistakes, vibeing with the wrong people, being desperate for attention, all these things were setting me up for a lot of bad social experiences. I was already a shy, socially anxious person, but these experiences were leading me to the land of anti social behavior. The loner is missed and the hermit dies alone.
Having social anxiety is one thing. I’ve been known to worry how people are perceiving me and my energy which causes me to become over excited, to over share, and potentially embarrassing myself because of it. It also leaves me dangerously vulnerable, which allows the wrong people to take advantage of my weakness. I do have grace for this side of myself, however, because at least that energy is moving out of my body. Being anti-social is shutting in. Keeping those feelings inside and holding the energy in the body. I can’t do that for too long, though. So I must let it all out. Without emotional expression I begin to poison myself, toxicity. Being in this reflection of myself, made me remember a quote by a favorite author of mine…
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Coming into the month of November, this was the energy I was taking into my life and my work and the world around me. It was time for me to let go of my fear and just shine. Let my happy silly chatty self have her moment and try not to think too much about how I might be embarrassing myself. Letting go of the insecurity, become truly confident in who I am as a person. I found myself in an unfamiliar social situation and that gave me to perfect opportunity practice this. I have always felt like a confident person, told myself I was a confident person and always carried myself that way. Even when I didn’t feel it. Faking confidence sometimes works, but experiences were beginning to show me that too much fake confidence or confidence in the wrong things about myself is what creates a mask over my insecurity. So, the past year has been a lesson from the universe, stripping me of my confidence and exposing me for the fraud I was. I’m too real to live behind a mask. Because of this lesson, I witnessed one of the best versions of myself las night. I’m glad that I suffered through these months of painfully restructuring my confidence again, because now, I am able to have the interactions with people that I want.
Some of my social anxiety stems from my fear of losing myself in others. I don’t want to forget myself and agree to things I disagree with. I don’t want to be a part of the hive-mind, group-think frequency that exists between people. So I was ok to be hated as long as I didn’t become them. Without knowing who I am, I become everone around me and then I am no longer an individual. I wonder how much of that person I was pretending to be as a means to protect myself and my individuality was actually even an individual to begin with. I constructed this personality as a means to be accepted for being so different but what if what I wanted to do something with my life was unacceptable. What if I wanted to stray off the path and go left when everyone went right. I couldn’t do that if I was holding onto that identity that people accepted. Maybe I was afraid of my own freedom. Maybe I wanted others around me to tether me down and tell me it was safe and ok to be. But I don’t think I care about that anymore. I’d much rather let myself soar now. Total freedom sounds so appealing to me.
I found freedom this year in realizing that who I am is good enough. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I am a person, concerned with being my own person and who encourages others to do the same. I like being a stand out. I like being an outsider. I like not fitting in. I’m already content being unaccepted by the world outside of myself, because I have accepted me for exactly who I am. I give myself the permission to be quiet when I chose, to stop listening if I choose, to walk away if I feel like walking away. I am unconcerned with others feelings, because I am going home with me at the end of the night and I have to deal with the fallout of my own emotions. So I live to make myself happy, and I let others be concerned with whatever they are concerned with.
I found out last night that the things that make me happy are listening to people share their truth, hearing about their work and their projects. I love the smile on people’s faces when I can encourage them. I like hearing friends banter and laugh and compete with one another. I like building others up and recognizing their goodness and strength. I value real connections and emotional independence. I like to care from afar and I like to be present when closeness is needed. I really enjoy people, even if they make me nervous and excited sometimes. I like having something to offer people and I have always loved conversation.
This hasn’t changed me, though. I still only desire socialization in small doses. I’m still a homebody who hides in my cave and shuts the world out for as long as possible. The only difference for me now, is I’m no longer afraid of reemerging because I know how to navigate myself and my energy so much better than I did a year ago. I also nkow how to rest and recharge the introvert in me so that when I am home I can get back into the flow of my creativity and not loose myself in my emotional attachments to the experience.
Today feels like a breath of fresh air, and I am happy to get back to working on my novel after this. I can’t wait to experience it with a fresh pair of eyes. The process has been enjoyable so far.