Picture courtesy: http://www.introverspring.com
It’s often a problem with fitting in. From a young age, I found that I didn’t really fit in with the rest of my peers. Whether it was because of the color of my skin, or just my interests in general, I found that somehow, I just wasn’t like everyone else.
While growing up, and forming into the person that I have come to know now, I struggled with loving the aspects of myself that weren’t like everyone else. I tried to love the sensitive side of myself. The one that was hurt easily, and cried when frustrated. The parts of me that were named “too dramatic” and were dismissed during arguments as though worthless. I tried to give them worth.
I can hold my own in a group. I can and have acted on a stage. I can sing in front of large groups of people. I can find a soothing quality in gathering the courage to write and put myself out there for the world to explore. The creative in me yearns to be seen. But still…I am an introvert. One on one, I am quiet. Shy. I second-guess myself often. When it comes to love I am even more closed off. I am eager for passion and romance, but I build walls the size of the Empire State Building in hopes of protecting myself.
People often don’t understand the quiet, the solitude, the need for time to de-compress. They don’t understand that if there is a silence I let it stand. I don’t even attempt to fill it, often slipping further out in my mind, diving into the myriad waves of thoughts that flow through my brain one after the other. I have been my best friend for so long that I often don’t realize that I haven’t physically voiced over half of what I think about any given situation.
Coming out has been especially difficult. I’ve talked myself out of it hundreds of times. But worse still, when I explore lesbian life looking for a sense of community, I am faced with the old fear of not fitting in all over again. I am a homebody who has never really craved the night life. At least not outside of the house. I am a night owl who sleeps at odd hours and sometimes not at all. I have the best dance parties in my living room. I’ve never been a drinker or a smoker, and I loathe the idea of promiscuity. I honestly don’t mind if others do it, but for me I love intimacy. Not the nameless screw of a faceless someone that I probably will never see again. I could do it. I could probably do it well. I live enough in my head to forget that others exist at times. But I have never wanted to. What I crave is a deeper connection. Someone who sees me through and through. I desire a connection of two souls, a deeper knowing of a being through the act of intimacy. An experience where afterward you look at someone anew, glowing and fresh from a shared bonding that was expressed with two bodies.
So I’m terrified at the thought of having to go to a bar and meet someone. I don’t hang out at bars. I’m more likely to hang out at the bookstore. I’m scared to put myself out there, and even more afraid that I just won’t be exciting enough for the special someone that I’m looking for. It all makes me want to throw my hands up in the air, and crawl back under my incredibly soft and warm duvet until I hit 60 and maybe the urge to find THE ONE has passed…hopefully.
But I pick myself up and tell myself that I have to find a way through it. There is someone out there waiting to bond with me that is depending on me to get over it. But sometimes it feels like the entire scene is filled with people my age, in the last of their twenties partying, or rallying for political causes, and changing the world. And none of that is me. I have the brain of a house wife and the heart of a creative philosopher. I travel. I cook. I clean. I love laundry. I write. And I stay the hell away from politics. Not because I don’t think that the world needs it, but because the universe is so vast, I just can’t seem to concentrate wholly on this one planet. I look at the free-living, loose-loving twenty somethings out there and I feel like I am lost. It also makes me feel like I have the mind of a forty year old nun. Or a Victorian spinster. The victorian spinster is probably closer to the truth. I believe in a higher power. I believe in unconventional religions. I read Rumi poetry and love Indian female saints. I’m more likely to hang out a yoga studio or a cafe than a club or a bar. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that there is a place for romance and intimacy. But my views of both are so deep and so intense that I tell myself that I’m going to scare off whoever in their un-right mind might be interested.
And in the meantime in true paradoxical fashion, I keep my ears perked up for the companion that my heart aches for everyday. A woman who understands all of me and is in love with me. A person who can balance me out and knows when I need to be grounded and when my mind needs to fly free. A woman who I can love with passion and who loves and sees me. Me and my meditation-loving, spiritual, vegetarian, no-smoking, no-drinking, homebody, space cadet, creative, housewife, wanderlusty, extroverted-introverted self.