12 August, 2014

In a Field of Extroverts

At the end of my freshmen year of college, we were asked in my English class to present an autobiography. For a long time, I had always described myself as an introvert in a field of extroverts, but I never paused to consider why. I was sitting in Starbucks one day when I had an epiphany, and I finally understood why I was an introvert comfortable in an extrovert's world. After presenting the following words to my English class, I was begged to begin a blog (and even write a book!), so I went home and created this URL. It is just now that I dig out my old journal and transpose this message.

My story is incomplete, as I am constantly discovering new things. So please, my friends, come and enjoy. I welcome you into this crazy life of mine. Here's a little introduction for you all.

***

Having a childhood swarmed by groups of people sure leaves a person lonely. Thank God I discovered how to be on my own at an early age, and also that people are effervescent while stories are eternal. How I longed to be fictional! How I wished to be alongside Lucy as she discovered winter lands behind a closet door or solve mysteries with the renown Nancy Drew. Perhaps it was fiction I wished to drag into reality. So here I am, composed of books and stories yet lacking an enchanted wardrobe or a penchant for mysteries. An introvert in a field of extroverts, constantly living in a story while waiting to complete my own. But how is this possible? How have I handled people who are more than 26 letters on a page? Has this effected my relationships in any way?

Absolutely.

You see, I've never really had a lasting friendship.While that may sound sad and pathetic, I understand life moves on and the world is constantly feeding me new people. I get it. I don't need to be told yet again. Of course, I have friends but none that have truly lasted. Well, with one or two exceptions...(hey Jack). But even then, Jack and I don't really speak all the time; but when we do, we banter like brother and sister. No matter how long it's been or how far apart we are (currently I'm in Tennessee and he's in Wyoming), we just pick our conversations back up from where we left off. Essentially, we just exist in each other's lives. (Still, you're super rad, Jack. And your cat's chill. Maybe we're such good friends because we love cats. That's probably it, right?)

Okay. So why am I this way? Why is it so hard to maintain friendships? Who is to blame?

Now I don't think the blame goes to anyone. There is no need for blame, because nothing is wrong with me. I am who I am. We are all different, and I think that's wonderful. That's beside the point.

The point is I know what has caused me to be this way.

Books. Books and theatre.

You see, while Lucy was a part of my life, I was never part of hers. Not even for a second. I poured out my emotions, by heart to her--with her--for her, never to have that returned. Same with theatre. I put myself in the shoes of another, thinking and feeling everything for them. It's easy for an introvert to do, because all of that energy comes from within. Books and theatre also makes for a life of affairs. Once the cover of a book is closed, once the curtain falls, POOF! The magic is gone. The story is over. The story that you've been investing in for these past days and weeks can never be experienced in the same way. My mom and I have always agreed it's like a part of you "dies" at the end of every show. It's a constant investment and loss in the lives of hundreds of individuals. These books and scripts have made me a great friend. I am  fantastic at pouring myself out emotionally for another person. I can really feel for what they are saying or doing.

So what's the problem?

The problem is that I have no idea how to accept that love in return. While I am great at being a friend, I am awful at being a friend. All those years of one-sided, 26 letter friends has left me incapable of understanding how to respond to friendship. That's the problem of living in a world that's not my own. My 26 letter friends have lived and died while I remain standing. This leaves me with the one conundrum we all inevitably face...

Where do I go from here?

I don't know. We have this saying in the theatre, "the show must go on." I guess that's the best part, the fat that I can always move forward. My story isn't over yet, so I am still making it. The mystery of the future is terrifying and daunting for some, but I welcome the unknown with open arms.

The words of a childhood friend ring in my ears still to this day. C.S. Lewis wrote in The Last Battle:
"Come further up, come further in!"

That's exactly what I am doing. I am an explorer of the unknown, and this is my story.

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