Whenever I would go to sleepovers as a kid, I would always pick dare during “Truth or Dare.”
Eating hot sauce, streaking, kissing friends, snorting a pixie stick—if the dare meant I could be the center of attention, have all eyes on me, I was there for it.
I don’t know when I got so private. I don’t know when the idea of attention became obnoxious, and fake, and unnecessary to me. I don’t know when the idea of privacy, of keeping things to myself, of being aloof and secretive and quiet became so, so appealing.
I remember when I was 25 and just getting started on the internet as a writer or something like it, there was a girl who I shared mutual friends with who had 3000 twitter followers and I was so jealous of her. The idea that 3000 people cared about what she had to say and followed her every move made me seeth and squirm. Wasn’t I interesting enough to follow? Wasn’t I worthy of that level of attention? It’s funny now because obviously, 3000 followers are truly not that many, and even though I still don’t have that I also find the idea of thousands and thousands of people watching my every move kind of stupid.
I’ve started to be immensely into not talking about the things that are happening to me. And yes, I see the irony in even saying that. But when I have a crush now, I don’t write a manifesto about how I actually like someone again. Instead, I say nothing. I keep the things like the fact that my heart skips forward when I see a text even when it’s just from some spam loan agency because it *might* be from them to myself. I make notes in my iPhone that say things like, “I don’t mean to interrupt you because I’m interested in almost everything you have to say. I’m trying to be better. I’m trying I’m trying I’m trying I’m trying. I’ll keep trying.”
I’m ruining it. The secrecy. I’ve always had a really bad habit of being a painfully open book. I would probably tell the bartender my social security number if he asked nicely enough.
I have this weird fantasy about being able to drop some random factoid in conversation and having it shock everyone because they had no idea. My friend called me “weird” and “aloof” the other day when asking me about something and it almost got me off I loved it so much. I’ve started intentionally withholding details. Intentionally keeping things under wraps.
I’m keeping things to myself in a way I never have before and it feels like the most risqué things I’ve done in years.
All of this is to say, I think I’m over being the dare kid. I’m still an extrovert but you can save all of the memes about being desperate for attention. I don’t need you to look at me. I don’t need validation. I don’t care if you follow me on Instagram.
Because you’re probably not the person I hope is looking anyway.