During my school days, I was known as the quiet and shy kid. I shared opinions only if I was asked, I have a small but tight circle of high school friends, and I generally tried to stay out of trouble. I was also stiff and awkward during social interactions.
I used to wonder why I struggled to make friends or stand out in a crowd. Upon reflection, I realised I wasn’t interested in the conventional things that made a person “fun”. Younger me knew nothing about celebrities. I was not interested in sports. I was the kid who always had a fiction book with her. I went to the library with my friends during recess. My face turns beet red when there is too much attention on me. I was not the brightest student in class. I was definitely not funny. Funny and awkward looking, maybe?
I started opening up more as a person during university. However, I still gave the same impression. Though I was louder and more expressive, I still was not “the fun person”. I wasn’t the friend you call to go to the club and take shots with. I wasn’t the friend who you could go to escape rooms with, because brain games caused more stress than enjoyment. I wasn’t the friend you can spontaneously call for a vacation, everything needed to be planned.
I’m not a fun person. And for a long time, I struggled with that.
But maybe it’s okay that I’ve just been who I am all along.
I’m not a fun person, rather, I was wired for damage control.
From a young age, I was in situations where I had to learn how to solve or make peace. There would always be something that required my attention or my peace-making intervention. My instinct is to provide comfort or encouragement. I first started writing online, hoping that someone out there could feel comforted or less alone.
I’m the friend who you text to proofread your work. I’m the friend who you ask for resume advice. I’m the friend who listens more than speak. I’m the friend who would want to hug you while you cry. I’m the friend who tries her best to be there for you in crisis. I’m the friend who may not know much about the world, but would stand by you. I’m the friend you can share with on how your therapy session went. I’m the friend who welcomes deep conversations over small talk. I’m the friend who may not be as present usually, but the friend who shows up when you are in crisis.
I may not be the friend who can tell you which outfit looks better on you. I may not offer as much about myself in conversation. I may not be as confident. I may not have the most vibrant personality. I can get drained easily from small talk. I deal with heavy days. I deal with a lot of thoughts, and I often need space to deal with them. I worry a lot. I still have a lot to work on myself.
Though “fun” may look differently on me, I own it. We change over time as people, but there are some things about us that don’t change. I may not be a conventionally “fun” person, but I am wired for damage control. That is who I am, and I will continue being who I am.