Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Older. Wiser. But mostly just older.

Birthdays are never a big deal to me. I've always felt a little uncomfortable with the idea of them. It feels a little awkward to me to throw a party for myself and force people to come and shower me with attention. I don't really want the attention. I just wanna hang out, you know? I don't need the fanfare.

This year my birthday was great... I got to spend some time with some lovely girls, exploring a lovely city. And I got to go to jail. Ain't nothing wrong with that. I managed to turn 27, away from my normal life. And I loved it.

But it got me thinking about something. Because I am a person who does not really crave attention, I think I am misunderstood. When I am hanging out in a large group, I'm the one who is quite happy to sit in a corner and watch everyone else interact. It's fascinating to me. (Especially if I am with people who are a) single and b) drunk.) Seeing how other people communicate with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, is the craziest thing ever. The problem is, that while I am busy watching and genuinely enjoying myself, it is often interpreted as anti-social behavior.

You see, when I am with other people, I like to listen. I don't always have something of value to say. I hate the notion of talking for the sake of talking. Some of the stupidest things I have ever said in my life have been the direct result of me talking because I feel as though I am supposed to. To me, the moments that follow me saying something completely dumb are far more awkward than the moments of silence. If I'm not talking to you, it's not because I'm an asshole. It's because I'm trying NOT to be an asshole.

Another frustration I experience as a result of being kind of an introvert is that people tend to assume that if you don't like to talk all the time that you lack confidence. I do have a lot of insecurities, and of course, I am never confident all the time. But most of the time, I feel pretty okay about who and what I am. I'm okay with the fact that I don't want to talk all of the time. I'm okay with the fact that I don't always smile. I'm okay with how I look with no makeup on. It's me. It's who I am. I don't see the point in hiding it.

So there you go. If I'm not saying anything, I'm not necessarily mad at you. If I'm not schmoozing, I'm not necessarily being a jerk. Though there is always the slight possibility that I AM being a jerk. :P


The Author Of This said...

I'm totally with you on this one. I love sitting and watching people, in a non freaky way of course. Sometimes I love basking in the silence of my own voice.

brie said...

I react similarly when it comes to my birthday. I'm not into the fanfare. And, having spent the last two of my birthdays out of town, I wholeheartedly recommend it and expect to keep up this tradition.