I’ve noticed, or been more aware, that as of late, I’ve really had a lack of a filter when it comes to the types of conversations I have. In most occasions, only people who are near and dear to me hear the strange thoughts that go through my head, but in most cases, I’ve been able to “hide” my cray cray when I’m meeting new people. What really interests me is whether or not I’ve always been vocal about the things that come into my head. I know that I’ve always had strange thoughts, but did it ever slip out into conversations? Was I always slightly socially awkward? Do I use humor to mask my own social insecurities?

It’s also interesting to me that I used to want to go out, meet people, attend social events by myself, but now I feel so nervous and afraid, that in order for me to feel okay in such a setting is to have people I know and/or have a +1 go with me. A few years ago, I took the Myers-Briggs test and while I can’t fully remember the rest of the letters, I remembered scoring the “I” for introvert. I also remembered learning that it didn’t mean that I was always and forever an introvert, but that it was my preference and if I chose to, I could always go into the “extrovert” side of me. Lately, I’ve been really feeling introverted – that it’s difficult for me sometimes to be in large social settings, especially alone. I can shine when I feel comfortable, at ease with where and who I’m with, but outside of that box, I will be that wallflower, standing in the corner with a Shirley Temple, pretending it was dirty.

Maybe I’m afraid. Maybe I’m afraid that my quirks are abnormally quirky and sometimes inappropriate, so I’m afraid that people will leave and find me too strange to deal with. Or maybe I realize that while it’s great to meet new people, my memory dwindles and realistically, it’s hard for me to reach out and continue fostering new relationships unless I feel welcomed to do so.

Or perhaps this means nothing at all and everything that I feel is normal, realistic, and understandable as people grow older and try to figure out who they are. I am that person – maybe it may change in a few years, maybe it won’t. Let’s see where the road leads and who else will be joining my journey.

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