To: My Fellow Introverts

Its 11 p.m. and I just got back from what I was hoping would be a significant improvement in my social life. You know how it is, all the right people are going and it’s the perfect opportunity to finally talk to them. You know they’re your kind of people and you’re pretty sure they’d like you. Of course, you’d actually have to speak to them first. Oh crap. Speaking. To new people. Your heartbeat quickens and you spend the rest of the day anxious about whether or not your tongue will choose to comply with your brain in the evening. Nah, you tell yourself, I’ll be fine, I’ll wing it and break all the records for most friends made in one night. Like an exam you haven’t studied shit for, but are still 100% hopeful you’ll ace. Its not going to happen. You ask your friend if she really wants you to come, cuz duh, you’re only going for her. High-key hoping she forces you, she says instead ‘Its totally up to you.’ Sigh.

Driving there, you’re pretty sure you want to turn around, and are fervently praying you’ll develop a rash on your face (yes, a rash, idk, my brain is weird, but isn’t that the whole point of this post). But that damned idealistic, overly-optimistic part of your brain is getting more excited the closer you get.

You finally reach (you want to keep driving forever and ever) and go, lets fuckin conquer this party, Khad. Cross the threshold, see The People, gulp, sit down, take out your phone and start scrolling through Instagram even though you’re out of data and your feed hasn’t refreshed from last time. Maybe you should say hi to people you vaguely know, yeah, lets do that, okay, HIii,,……. maybe you should speak up, yeah no, okay maybe when you make eye contact, why isn’t he looking at you, hey look here so I can say hi to you. nope. You don’t say Hi to him the whole evening. Ah look! You spot a Comfort Friend! (Comfort Friends are a specie that just somehow have the ability to let you be you, even if you don’t know them very well. I don’t know how to explain it, but you know when you’ve come across one). Friend hello talk to me and include me in this conversation and lift me up and tell them about how I was the inventor of the Colgate joke. Comfort Friend is having a bad day. Its okay.

You sit in your designated seat and don’t just listen to the others talk loudly and freely, but SMILE!! YOU SMILE!!!!!! Because that’s the only way you don’t come off as a boring bitch. You smile so goddamn much, your face starts hurting and eventually your head, and for some reason you want a cigarette even though you don’t smoke. Why is Friend so selfish!!!!!! Cant she see you’re uncomfortable and that you’re being, well, not you? Look at me!! You cant even say anything to her because you’re scared of being annoying and clingy and needy and you’re not her little sister?! Let her have fun without feeling like she has to take care of someone. Strangely, you don’t even want to leave, because of the prospect of what the evening might still have to offer. Ugh. Give up already.

The band starts playing and phew, instead of examining every line on your hands, you can finally pretend like you’re lost in the music. At least you look like you’re doing something. Right? You see the person you came for, sitting alone too, on his phone. Maybe he’s genuinely using it, orrrrr is he scrolling through his camera roll? Physical Barrier= none. Emotional Barrier= zilch. Nothing To Talk About Barrier= hell no, you know you two have so much in common from all the times you’ve stalked his social media. THEN WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM. I think its how to go about it. You cant just go up to him and say hey I loved your Instagram story about your hike the other day. You should seriously invest in a GoPro instead of having to worry about dropping your phone in waterfalls. In fact, I’ll buy one for you, because I fucking love your content and I think you’re super talented and don’t take this the wrong way, but I want you to mentor me, I’ll be like your shadow and I just want to learn from you and leach off of your brilliance because all I’m trying to do is develop myself, if that makes sense and- oh there’s pepperoni pizza for food.

The food relaxes your tensions considerably, and you purposely dump more than a couple of sachets of sugar in your chai, in the hopes that it’ll make you more chatty. It does, and you’re funnier and the control on your verbal filter loosens. You’re talking absolute crap now, and this isn’t you, but it doesn’t matter because YOU’RE TALKING. It lasts all of ten minutes.

People are leaving now, and the anxiety is back, coupled with regret and self-loathing. You had the perfect opportunity to make friends, but you blew it. You had the perfect opportunity to show them you were cool and interesting and funny and fuck there’s so much about you that you wish they knew and you know they’d like.

You come home and are completely and utterly emotionally drained. Sounds dramatic but you recount the evening on your blog, numb and stoic. You just want to sit by yourself, lock your room door and make your roommate disappear. The thought of having to interact with people at university tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. exhausts you like you’ve just run a marathon. How do the others do it? What do they talk about? When you look at them, its just this haze of… talking. You don’t know what they’re saying, if their speech has any substance (it probably does, you know they’re cool people) , but shit you wish you were like that. Maybe if you were prettier, maybe if you didn’t cover your head. You know you can look fucking stunning with your hair down. Would people make more of an effort with you then? You’re so envious and awe-struck and sad and there’s just one word for you. You’re a mouse. You always will be. No matter how many uncomfortable situations you throw yourself into, You cant escape this part of yourself. With your best friends and family*, you’re the version of you that you like, that you are.

I fucking love me. I love my personality and my intensity and the fact that I’m passionate about nearly everything in life and also my ability to just… simmer down and shut up. I’m also discovering that I’m insanely impulsive sometimes and I like how one cappuccino has the power to turn me into someone else. I do wish i was someone else, a lot of the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not boring or dull or stupid or a bitch. But what good is it if no one knows it but you?

*Not always. I’ve had my phase of family-induced anxiety too, but that’s a whole other post.