I know I’ve been writing a lot of personal introspection posts recently. Bear with me – I’m turning some corners and making some incredibly exciting discoveries about myself and my life. I love to share.
Let me preface this post by saying that I am the single. most. awkward. person. I. know. It’s bad. Sometimes it’s worse than other times. When I meet someone new, I’m usually intelligent (coherent), charming (quirky), and engaging (spastic.) Okay. But as a rule, people are usually okay with me – or if they aren’t, they pity me enough to not let on. Then we get to know each other a little better, and things begin to go downhill. My mouth begins to say things my brain has not pre-approved. I become a little too opinionated. I ask personal questions. It’s during this stage that I discover whether or not I can truly be friends with this new person. People who can’t hack it jump ship around this time. It’s okay. No grudges here. I get it. The keepers hang on for dear life, and make it through the awkward phase. Well, I never outgrow the awkwardness, but as they get to know me, they can filter the things I say and do a little better.
As embarrassing as that is, being alone is even worse. As a rule, I try not to venture out in public by myself. When I’m in my home, I can walk around on my toes all day without falling over. I can balance a book on my head and never, ever let it fall. I can toss candies or popcorn into the air and catch every single one in my mouth. I’m (clearly) a graceful marvel. And if I’m out with someone else, I’m usually okay. But alone in public, I lose all adult motor functions. I stammer for no reason. I run into things that aren’t moving. I spill drinks on myself. In the last 10 minutes I have been eating chips in this particular coffee house, I have missed my mouth three times. Three. Three times I have attempted to bite into a chip and it has fallen into my lap. Someone approached me a moment ago to ask if I would sign a document as a witness. They made this request right as I stuck a chip into my mouth. Instead of biting into it and swallowing, I pulled it back out of my mouth, saliva and all. I am a horror in public by myself.
And every time I interact with someone new, I get the near-uncontrollable urge to say “most people don’t get me right away. Please don’t give up on me too early.” When I’m in the zone, focused on a problem, I come across as aloof and unsociable. I can’t think and walk at the same time. I’m an early adopter and a natural crusader, leading people to believe that everything I campaign for is just a phase I’m going through.
And I’ve never quite been able to accurately articulate any of that before now.
I took the Myers-Briggs personality type test. My result: INFJ. Introverted intuitive, extroverted feeler, judging. And the explanatory paragraph literally sums up my existence. I feel like I want to print it out and just hand it to people when we first meet. More than anything though, I felt so relieved. I feel like, while it doesn’t make me any different, having someone else explain why I am the way I am is so freeing. I feel like just having someone else say it makes it more acceptable. It’s so nice to be understood.