Introvert's Anthem ~ Cue Alessia Cara


I am a self proclaimed introvert and quite possibly deeply anti-social which is why the digital divide works so well for me when connecting with others. Some would psycho analyze my introversion as an acute "only child" syndrome. That's not a real thing, but you get where I am going. When I was a little girl I played alone ALL THE TIME and being the daughter of an over protective mother who had enough love and protection for 10 children only had me to give it to. My mom read books and the newspaper; so did I. That's where my love of reading started. I am a full product of my environment. I had one childhood friend that came over to spend the weekend, but even that was very few and far between because she lived SO far away and my mother nor hers drove.

When mom and I were at home and she had other things to do and dad worked ALL the time because he was a sheriff, I was left to my own devices most of the time and from this my creativity and writing were birthed. I drew everything and wrote whatever I was thinking and had imaginary conversations; all the makings of an inherently creative and artistic human, but even when I was basking in many of my imaginary worlds I always was reminded of how lonely I was. I longed for a sister, someone to travel through the fantastical recesses of my mind, but it was only me.

When you are very young and through your teen years you are trying to figure out who you are through others. I didn't realize I was good enough yet; that I was just cool being me. I read a lot of books, listened to vinyls; classical, musicals, Ella, Miles, Janice Joplin, Coltrain with my mom, I watched blaxploitation films, movies from the 50s and 60s at 15 and 16 years old. Quoting Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Who else was doing that around me as a teen? No one. In retrospect I wasn't the cool girl. I was neutral. I wasn't exiled, but I was different; quiet, soft spoken. I didn't chase boys, where high retail items, but I was reading Maya Angelou quite possibly in a pair of Air Jordans but still. I was a nerd-girl and where I went to school that wasn't "cool" like it is now. 

And what happens when we are not confident in who we are and not comfortable being ourselves? We put up with a lot from others to fit in. We abandoned our own beliefs; our own way of doing things; the essence of who we are so we won't be alone and that is what I did. And I did it for years; from grammar school all the way through graduate school. I dealt with very toxic people thinking if I gave them what they asked, put myself aside, made myself always available that it was better than not having ANY friends or being alone and this kept me depressed most high school and the beginning of college. I remember sitting in the stairwell crying tears. All I could hear was the echo of my misery. Isn't that a preposterous notion. I allowed myself to be used to the point where I was almost beating up by a group of girls, I befriended the worst person at my high school. STORY TIME: One day when my mom wasn't home I had my cousin let her in {he stayed downstairs. We lived in a HUGE house} because she got suspended from school for fighting and when I got home she said, "Oh I stopped by my aunts house before I got here and look what she gave me. Let's go shopping. Thank you for letting me stay. I didn't want to get in trouble" Nothing to scoff at right!? How about we went shopping, but it turns out was with my mom's money.

THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BE EXACT. When my mom got home she noticed there was a huge hole on the side of the piggy bank where she was saving for a car. This girl not only stole from us, but I was with her while she spent it. Mothers always know because my mom kept saying stay away from her, but I always gave her the benefit of the doubt.

That is one story among many of how I allowed myself to be used, connecting with the wrong individuals all in this emotional pursuit to have "friends". Then one day it hit me. Out of nowhere. Another incident occurred with ANOTHER girl that was supposed to be a friend and I was done. I dreamed of having a sister, a bestie, but I needed to get comfortable with myself. Just me. I had enough and so I inadvertently went into a hole. Not a dark hole, but the rabbit hole leading back to my childhood where I tapped into my creativity and art to fill a void. One thing about me is that I am a self proclaimed sweetheart. All the things I went through where my kindness was taken for weakness did cause me to develop major trust issues and that's a work in progress. However, I never let any of the situations I went through change the core of who I am as a person, but I am INTENSELY mindful and conscious about my connections with people. I like being alone and doing my own thing. Being around groups of people gives me social anxiety honestly. I am awkward. I dislike small talk IMMENSELY. That's me and I don't worry about having a best friend/sister anymore. We all use the word bestie as a term of endearment, but the word is tossed around like confetti. I am my own best friend. I like spending time with me especially when I am in a creative space.

In searching for a "bestie", a "sister" and ignoring OBVIOUS signs I made a PLETHORA of mistakes, but I also was able to discover that "Hey if no one is around, I'm good." I found and started loving the best parts of ME that way. I am starting to think that "social anxiety" is not the plague that people make it out to be. I'd like to say I am just happier with me.

I am crazy private and writing this felt amazing.