I used to be known as the girl who had a “style,” who’d use “brute force” to get people to go along with her misadventures. I used to be the “social butterfly” who knew anyone and everyone, even if no one really knew me. I was the master of small talk. People were captivated by me. Anyone I talked to got wrapped up in my passion and excitement for anything and everything. At all times, I’d be flanked by people eager to hear what I had to say, whether it was that insane dream I had or some funny suggestion or my next big campaign.
I thought I was happy.
As people started making friends for life while I was still making “friends for the minute,” I still thought I was happy. Who needs one good friend when you can have a hundred people to talk to?
But of course, all those hundred people had good friends. It gnawed at me, never being able to share anything, yet being able to share everything. Trusting everyone, but not knowing whom to trust. People expected bigger and better from me. People expected me to be the one to cheer them up with some anecdote or random piece of knowledge. They expected me to solve their problems, but they never entrusted me with their real problems. People expected things from me that I couldn’t live up to. I decided I needed a break from life, the rush and tumble and crazy ideas. I got a new phone, got off social media, left my job, moved away, started a new life in anonymity.
I thought I would be happy.
And for a year, I was. I felt like I could live forever, away from everything. I tried random things, without consequence. Everywhere I went, I came and left. I’ve started and quit more things than I can count. It was all fun, though. Before I was like the water in the sea, spread out but still contained. Then I became like the water in a river, spread out and always moving. But I needed a job and I couldn’t hide from the world forever, enjoying anonymous mediocrity everywhere.
One year doesn’t seem long, but when you spread so much and move so much, time definitely warps. Settling down again, I didn’t want to get involved. I was scared of getting wrapped up in life. I was afraid of loving everything too much only to give it all up again. I thought I’d just stay away from everyone and keep to myself. Before, spread out everywhere, I had a low profile. But now, contained, I keep that low profile.
I am not happy.
Maybe because everyone tries to avoid me. They think I don’t enjoy the company of other people. I definitely still do, though! I just don’t want to get too involved. I seem like a downer because I’m afraid to express my opinion and my passion. But people just peg me as an introvert and leave me alone. As a person who loves activity and life so much, I hate the way I’m treated like some fragile, lonesome flower in a field when really I’m a tree in a forest.
I wish people knew who I really was. I wish I had people to share my excitement and spontaneity. But I can’t seem to get that spunk back, anyway. I’m too afraid. Perhaps I’ve changed on the outside forever, without changing on the inside. Or perhaps even deeper down, I’ve changed on the inside, too. Maybe like, but unlike, old times, I should embark on my own, private adventure, without getting too involved.
Here I come, Internet. I hope to be happy.