I’ve been feeling really, really guilty about something for the past few years, and I recently realized – hey! I’ve always been like this!
As a kid, you could find my siblings playing outside, and me? If there was a statistic based on us, it’d be:
2 out of 3 kids are playing outside. The other one’s reading a book.
I very much preferred and prefer the company of books and television to actual human beings. Just saying that out loud makes me feel like a total monster!
My parents would push and push for me to go play outside. At around 5pm everyday, they made me see the light of day. I got sneaky and tucked a book into the back of my pants, or ‘made an appearance’ at my neighbors’ house before climbing over our fence and reading in a nook in our backyard. My God!
I would read in the bathroom all night. I would read by moonlight coming through my window in bed. I thought I was really smart, but it turns out my eyes could only handle this for so long before I had to get huge glasses. By which I mean actually huge gigantic glasses with polarized lenses. Yeah.
Anyway, books are my friends. I was and have been pretty darned introverted most of my life. But there’s a huge part of me that loves people very much. I love seeing people happy. I love being a wallflower and I love being center-stage making people think and feel things.
There’s also a huge part of me that suffers when I’m around people too much. It’s like… too much to process. I go haywire. I can’t hear my own thoughts. I start to make mistakes. I don’t have enough time to read people and evaluate my mistakes. (This sounds like the ramblings of a mad perfectionist.)
I’m really intense and better suited to one-on-one’s. And even then, I’m really intense and better suited to my couch and chromecast.
Speaking of introversion, just saying that word out loud makes me feel like I’m listing a phony symptom so I can get out of class! What would my South Asian tough-it-up heritage say! My ancestors are probably rolling their eyes ten generations back into their heads.
I have realized that I need to make more time for my loved ones, so it’s something I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. It’s tough figuring out the balance between isolation vs. solo-ation, aloneness vs. loneliness, time vs. boundaries, but as long as I’m working on it… ::nervous laughter::
What I have been doing lately is working on letting go of the guilt. For the two seconds someone might be thinking of me and hating me for being a hermit, I’m spending 24/7 feeling bad about who I am and how I am, and it’s just not helping anyone. I think if I stop making myself feel so guilty it can open up some emotional real estate for me to be a better friend (insert more guilt here). Here’s to silently hoping.
Maybe social media makes me feel like I need to be more social. It definitely makes me afraid that people think I’m all talking to people and hanging out with people 24/7 and trying to make 1,000 million billion new friends, when I’m really in my pajamas researching a new show. Meh. It seems like I have a conflicted relationship with social media. What did Twitter ever do to me.
Then there’s the apocalyptic part of my brain that’s like *shakes fist* It’s a sign of the times! Maybe it’s a sign of *french accent* modernity and *some American president’s accent* urbanization and maybe Tolstoy has something to say about this. I don’t know because I don’t know anything about Tolstoy and I’m just trying to sound smart – everyone else is doing it so why not.
But really, I wonder if my ancestors had so much pressure to socialize. I feel like they were probably busy dusting the insides of their house and making meals to feed their 10 children i.e. their retirement plan. They probably went out to the market once in a while and ‘tweeted’ their neighbor across the balcony. Their entire life was an Instagram live with the chickens in their backyard.*
P.S. In case you’re wondering, I do very much love my Kindle! If you weren’t wondering, you’re like, what? Okay…
*This is historically inaccurate AF.