This blog started as a way to voice the continuous stream of thoughts that crowd my mind and share some interesting ones with the world; well I hope they are interesting. I have always consciously or unconsciously tried to stay away from emotional topics that make me vulnerable in order to distance myself from the “emo writer” archetype that I have observed. But as we grow so does our writing, and my recent experiences tell me that not only do I shy away from letting others see my vulnerability, I am actually very bad at voicing thoughts that do the same. I have had better luck discussing such things over text messages with friends so I thought, why not finally try writing about my vulnerabilities? Maybe this post will make someone feel that hey, I am not the only one who feels like this, I know at least one such person. I also know another person who will think, why does she think so much unnecessarily?
My parents made a decision even before my birth that they would have only one child, and I have never really missed the presence of a sibling, being an only child merely led me to live inside my head a little more than others and made me comfortable entertaining myself. I have known people who extremely uncomfortable if they have to spend time by themselves, they require the presence of another person to truly enjoy themselves, but nope that’s not me.
But there are certain times where being unaccompanied leaves me feeling slightly unsettled, these are tendencies I thought I had grown out of but it seems that I haven’t, let’s take an example from a time when I did not even realise that this was a problem. Back in the last three to four years of school, whenever I was by myself around but not included in a group of people, friends who seemed to be having a good time amongst themselves, I always felt like that ragamuffin child with their nose pressed up against the window of a candy shop, looking in and looking forlorn. The reason for this feeling was that I had a select few friends (still do) in a school where most people knew each other from kindergarten while I was the new girl who joined halfway. It was not by design that they excluded me, because I know I am not the center of the universe, but it was just how the social dynamics were at that moment. Over the years I realised that these seemingly “cool kids” were fraught with nasty gossip of the betraying nature and a host of other teenage unpleasantness. I thought I was done with the vague sense of loneliness that struck me sometimes around such people.
Clearly these insecurities are harder to get rid of, this I learnt recently as I sat by myself in the college, people watching as I usually do when I am not in the mood to read. I noticed a group of acquaintances sitting at an adjacent table and suddenly I was struck with the same feeling being excluded and unwelcome. It was bizarre because intellectually I knew that if I did try making conversation it wouldn’t be rebuffed, but the niggling sensation of feeling unwelcome wouldn’t leave me. If I were to be rational I would say that you can’t please everyone and there is always someone waiting to pass judgement over you in trivial matters, but that doesn’t stop me from needing to be liked and crowned Miss Congeniality (I am certainly too moody to be named that).
As I write this I again wonder if it is a mistake making myself so vulnerable to people over the internet, it’s not the strangers I worry about, but the friends and acquaintances who might be reading this. But this is one of those risky decisions that I take rarely, which are designed to give me life experiences and practice in what pop culture refers to as “adulting”, meaning growing into a mature, functioning and contributing member of society. I am under no illusions that this post will be life changing for a fellow member of society trying to traverse the submerged and algae covered rocks of social interaction. But there is always the chance that someone stumbles upon this and it helps them understand what they are feeling, something which took me the better part of my adolescent years.
The funny thing is that after a day of wanting to be a part of group interaction, all I wanted to do was sit all by myself on the porch while reading, looking up only to watch leaves fall from the trees and butterflies flit from bloom to bloom. I guess I do love my own company after all.