Friday, 10 July 2015

The Introverted Freak

I am confident, I am loud , I am funny, the person everyone looks to when they're want to have a good time. 

This is who I used to be, somewhere along the line, somewhere in between my seventeen years, that all changed. Somewhere along the line I became shy, scared, the introverted freak. 

For at least a year , I have been trying to rebuild myself. I noticed that when I talked to new people, I just couldn't get my words out, I couldn't find anything interesting to say. People would look at me as if to say 'What are you?' 

I began avoiding social situations around this time too, if anything came up , I would find an excuse, pretend I was busy, pretend I was ill. I would battle within myself whenever I had to speak to someone, only at the end of it to loose myself every time. I was scared to speak.

Slowly, I tried and I tried to morph into the person I wanted to be. I tried to be confident, trying to make people laugh the moment I met them. I tried creating eye contact, I stopped trying to let my eyes wander of into the distance whenever I spoked to someone. I worked hard to be the new  me.

And I thought I had succeeded.

Sometimes it just takes a small encounter to make a big difference. 
I had been working with a company for a week, most of them where men in their 30s , being here, I had told myself, was to be the biggest test of my progress. 
I started the week with a real willingness to change, I would smile , greet people when I saw them, I was so proud. But  again , this was short lived, my confidence seemed to suffer several knock backs as I just couldn't seem to get anything right. I had spent the week writing for them and every time I showed them something, it seemed to be wrong. I just didn't understand how the only thing I thought I could rely on , writing, one of my few skills, could fail me when I needed it most.

That was not the real wake up call.

The week was over and it was time to evaluate my progress. I was certain they were going to say things like  ' you struggled a little bit at the start but you really improved.' This would have been great compared to what actually happened.

Instead, I felt my world turn in a matter of seconds.
Shy, lacking confidence, uninterested, ME.

I was the introverted freak.

All week, I had been certain, the looks I had been getting were looks of encouragement and the endless cups of tea were signs of care. Now all I thought of was pity. I imagined how when I left at the end of the day they would gather and have conversations like ' isn't she strange , the poor thing must be scared out of her mind .'- I didn't want their pity.

Why was it that I had been trying so hard yet the world seemed to be against me?

Sometimes it just takes a small encounter to make a big difference. 
After this, I returned home trying to hide my sadness and embarrassment from my family. I found myself in my room once again , eating and watching TV. I sought refuge in my favourite show, My Mad Fat Diary, The main character, Rae Earl, reminded me of myself sometimes. Those of you who have watched the show will know that Rae Earl messes up often but unlike me , somehow she manages to pull herself pull through.

Through an emotional final episode, something she said stuck with me:  "I've got to do this on my own." 
The answer had been staring at me all along. I realised that the only person stopping my progression was me , I was the one holding me back  no one else.

So today I start. My journey begins today . I may never be loud or  funny and people may never look at me when they want to have a good time but I, for one , will be confident in who I am and that's all I want to be.