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12/27/12

Even Artichokes Have Hearts

I have the personality of Amelie crossed with Margot Tenenbaum with a dash of Tina Fey and Aubrey from Parks and Recreation. I have been struggling to accept that I identify with these personalities the most and am not the outgoing gal with tons of friends that I think I need to be. Starting now, I am going to accept my loner homebody bitch personality. Fucking hell, trying to be the opposite is exhausting and disappointing.

I cried a lot this holiday weekend because I felt rejected and lonely. I cleaned the house from top to bottom and unpacked everything in preparation of what I thought would be a busy day of friends and family visiting us. I bought food, wine, wore my prettiest dress and baked dozens of cookies. But only one person came by for less than an hour and didn't bother to invite us along to join the rest of the family when they left. It made me really angry and I started getting mad at myself and at every friend and relative that didn't stop by or invite us over. How could they ignore us? Don't they want to see our new place and eat my yummy food? I would even take a skype call! Why would my own immediate family take a giant shit on my Christmas and make me feel so unwanted? I was too busy blaming myself and trying to be the type of person that everybody wanted me to be, that I didn't notice that I had exactly what I need and want. That a holiday at home with my husband and kitties is exactly what I desired the most. I am introverted, shy, neurotic, awkward or whatever you want to call it. I like daydreaming, creating art, reading entire books within days, talking to the cats, going to cafes alone, cuddling on the couch, taking a photo adventure, teaching myself a crochet pattern, etc, etc.

The last few years, I have tried being this extroverted creature that goes to parties and clubs. While I love the people and experiences I have had (hello, dancing at a bar with Beth Ditto!), it’s not me. I was trying to escape from my partner’s struggle with mental illness at first but now that he is diagnosed and things are better than ever, the jig is up. I was also trying to fix what an employer told me was broken when they fired me and told me I needed to change my personality. I was putting myself through hell because I took to heart when my best friend told me she didn't like me anymore and didn't want to be my friend or when my mother in-law declared me unfit and didn't need me in her life anymore. All because I was shy or perceived as stand-offish. I thought I needed to change and have spent the last few years trying to be "right." I don’t want to keep putting all this pressure on myself. I need to let those wounds close and heal.

For goodness sakes, I get nervous responding to email sometimes. Like I can't think of enough words or social normalcy to fill the little box. Chit chat or small talk is not my forte. I don't talk on the phone. Even the thought of confronting someone or being in a group of people gives me anxiety. I can do it. I have done it. I can speak publicly and mingle at a party. I got over the fear. I proved whatever I needed to prove to myself. The fucking test is over.

I need to start respecting my own boundaries and taking advantage of my strengths. I don't want to stop going out or seeing friends, I just need to think about it differently. I hope that people still invite me along even if I do have to turn them down because it is the end of the week and I need some "me" time. But I might say yes and have lots of fun! Just not going to make myself feel obligated to uphold the same social calender every week. I enjoy when people come over and hang out but I don't have a lot of friends that want to do that. I don't have a best friend or a group of girls. This is likely because most of the people I have a liking to have similar personalities and are probably sitting in their house every weekend thinking the same thing while I ignore them when I could be befriending them and inviting them over every once in a while.

Talking about this always sounded whiny and trivial in my head. I didn't want my readers to think I was complaining or asking for help. Which I am not doing. I am never the type of person to apologize for who I am and I am not going to start. But I had this revelation over the holidays after my pout-athon and it feels good to share. This habit of having high expectations was making me crash harder and harder every time when things don't work out. Wallowing in my own self-pity and thinking about how nobody would show up at my funeral or visit me in the hospital when I am sick was becoming a common occurrence  Which actually did happen and I had to beg someone to bring me food when I was bedridden. It's depressing to think that nobody is going to be there for me when I need them the most! Of course that isn't true. I have the mister and I need to spend less time expecting things from people that aren't going to deliver and start building relationships with people the right way that do care about me. Being self-destructive and passive aggressive is not going to help with that. 

I am not giving up being nice or a good person. I still want to make friends. I am just declaring a peace treaty with my personality. Instead of pushing against it and becoming more bitter, I am going to spend more time understanding it and embracing it. Being an enemy of yourself is dreadfully miserable. I have all these securities and confidences when it comes to my style and being fat and I put this last insecurity on the back burner. It seems so cliche to be a quirky artistic girl with shy tendencies. I swear I am not trying to be a Zooey Deschanel look-alike. I am me and I just want to be the best me I can be.
- Rachele

21 ♥ COMMENTS ♥:

Rilana said...

I have the same issues. I am quiet, shy, and don't have a large circle of gal pals. My best friend is my husband and my nearest "friend" that is a girl, lives in NY. I hate talking to people on the phone and even sometimes face to face. I'm awkward. I love spending time at home with my cats. I prefer to read novels than socialize too much. I even like spending time alone. Just me. I always thought this made me weird.


People often say I am a snob, or a bitch. At my age...I just don't care too much what people think of me anymore. Half of my family doesn't like me...and I just step away from them. Who needs that negativity? Life's too short to be something you aren't.


So, you go and be whoever that is...fuck the rest. :-) If you are happy with who you are, that is all that matters. I try to live this way every day. I'm a good person.

Rachele said...

Thank you! That makes me feel a lot better. The family thing is the hardest for me. I was raised around a large and very social family and was accustomed to spending my holidays surrounded by them. Now everybody hates each other or me and has moved away. Letting it go!

thursdaynextgal said...

Wow oh wow I could have written this! Except for the husband part, but otherwise, phew! Understanding what being an introvert is (essentially, being around people is exhausting, whereas extroverts gain energy being around others) gave me permission, somehow, to happily insulate myself from the tiring social world. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ESTABLISH HEALTHY BOUNDARIES WITH THE WORLD. And guess what? YOU get to decide what is healthy for YOU. Those that love you (the REAL you, not who they think you SHOULD be) will accept you and respect you. Took me FOREVER to figure that out, and to stop apologizing for not being what everyone else wanted me to be. Amazing how freeing it is to give up everyone else's expectations and embrace your own, eh?

Rachele said...

Yes, very freeing! Not only was I being zapped of energy from socializing past my limit but I was being hard on myself to top it off. I imagine I will feel better now! "Those that love you (the REAL you, not who they think you SHOULD be) will accept you and respect you." = YES!

Aubrey Williams said...

Girl, you are not alone! My parents don't understand why I am leaving them New Year's Eve to spend a boring night at home with my geriatric tortie cat. :)

I, too, tried the whole going out, socialite scene. I'm only 27, isn't that what I am expected to do? But then my bedtime of 10pm rolls up and I am like, "Ugh, I have comfy PJs, Freudian slippers, and a Hulu queue to catch up on."

My point is, the idea that we should be party animals and have tons of friends is just not right. Many of us just need the company of a few, close people and animals to make us feel fulfilled. The rest is just icing on our delicious cake of a life. Or rather just sprinkles because our life cakes come with buttercream, naturally.

Oh, and I am Leslie Knope through and through. I will never be popular and always be a little annoying. And I don't care who knows it!

Megan said...

FUCK do I love how real this blog is! lol I'm totally in the same shy awkward whatever boat with you dear. This insight really helped me, too :) Thank you..

Jacqueline Schultz Benson said...

I absolutely love your blog. And I'm a big, outgoing, roller-derby-girlie who is married (to an absolute introvert), child-free (well, the dog counts), and we're military affiliated, so we move all. the. fucking. time. And I *never* fit in. :0(( It seems like we move just as I make some good friends (which, thanks to FB and Skype) I'm able to stay in touch with... but it just sucks on some levels. I'm okay with being by my lonesome a good part of the time - but my family is pretty scattered and holidays can and do depress the shit out of me.

And I read your blog because I absolutely LOVE how bold your fashion sense is. I'm a size 20 - 22, wouldn't take a full-length pic of myself if you PAID ME (and it could be a lot o' money - I'd still say "no") and yet YOU pull off styles that I'm envious of!! I look forward to seeing the OOTD and I love how you'll provide links so that I can see where I can get something similar. It really IS uplifting.

So... here is my .02 (for what it's worth) - make the best choices for YOU. We've all dealt with that bullshit peer pressure enough - don't make excuses or say you're sorry - because there's no need. If you don't feel like going out, just say that you're not feeling it, thank the person for the invite, and move on. There is a certain element that I have to deal with when it comes to the military, and I've definitely learned that "fuck off" is not nice - but "I'm unable to make it because I'm skating tonight" is okay. Of course, most of them don't think I'm very appropriate - but do I give a shit?? No. It's just about being polite so that no one's panties get in a wad.

:0))

Jess Rollar said...

I know this feeling to well. I to am very quiet, kept to myself, only have friends through my work online (NONE off the internet). I try so hard "fit in" with the crowds or family, but deep down... I just want to be home with my cats, knit or crochet and do my own thing. I take forever to reply to emails because I just have nothing to say or I fear I may sound awkward in the email.

nowamfound said...

o the voices in our heads. sounds like you are making some good moves. just remember , baby steps. have a happier new year and thanks for a great blog

Andrea Knoll said...

I'm the same way. I don't have any girl friends that I hang out with. It's just the hubs, my two little boys or the cats. I would rather talk to people online than go out with somebody or invite them to our house. I'm always afraid of being judge or what people say when i'm not around. You are not alone! There are many many others with the same personality! *hugs*

sian said...

although i'm not particularly quiet and shy (am not crazy outgoing either!), i do like staying in with my husband and kitty the best, reading, watching dvds and sewing.... i love meeting up with friends, but often say yes to lots of things and then, like you say, feel i just need me time instead and always feel too bad to cancel! i'm horrified by some of the things that people have said to you (especially the exboss about changing your personality! that is insane!!) and i hate that hardly anyone came to your open house - although now you've got a lovely clean house and lots of cookies to eat!! i love your blog and your style (outfits and house!) and these people perhaps just aren't the right people for you.x

Vero said...

thank you so much for this post. it totally fits my mood (especially at this moment). I feel very lonely, almost desperate to find just one good friend that I could love, instead of kinda hanging out with some -nice enough- people I have nothing in common with . Someone said to me once: you can't expect someone to be exactly the way you want -same tastes, views, cravings-. Right, got the point... But I wish this friend existed anyway. Still waiting.

I told my family to f* off 4 years ago now, at Xmas time. Too many judgements, criticism that I couldn't deal with anymore. Not one of them has tried to get in touch with me since. And they're all together now, as I'm writing! What the hell is wrong? I'm feeling desperately lonely because my family don't accept me as I am, and yet I get the advice of accepting people the way they are (no matter how unsuitable to my personality...) This is going nowhere.

I love your blog Rachele, have been following it for a couple of months now, and I soooo wish I'd live closer: I'd come by and stay hours with you to eat your delicious cookies <3 VĂ©ro from France

Federica said...

"I am just declaring a peace treaty with my personality. Instead of pushing against it and becoming more bitter, I am going to spend more time understanding it and embracing it."



I have been facing the same problem lately, trying to accept who I am, the dark side too, and I don't think you could have expressed it better!
Thanks, you are an inspiration!


Fede

Stacey Cash said...

I know exactly how you feel. I'm very quiet & shy, and I absolutely hate making small talk about nothing, so people often assume I am stand-offish or rude. I find it hard to make friends, and I don't really enjoy going to bars & clubs because of all the people packed into such a small space. In the past few months I've come to realise that there isn't anything wrong with me - I'm just introverted, and that's ok. There are always going to be people who don't like others that are different, but the best we can do is to be true to ourselves. *big hugs*

Ali said...

This is so weird that you wrote this because I had the SAME EXACT thing happen to me for Christmas Eve. We had the house spruced up, a full spread of food and no one came. I was so disappointed and lonely. I even lashed out at my best friend(who had told me she wouldn't be able to make it) and bawled my eyes out(I'm a cry baby, I can't help it). Kudos to you for standing up for yourself, I struggle all the time with wanting to be outgoing, fun, party girl or book worm, quiet, introvert. (1st time commenting)

nikkiana said...

I think the holidays can be really tough because there can be all this expectation and disappointment around the way we think things ought to be rather than the way that they actually are. I know I spend a large part of my holiday weekend feeling upset because every time I looked at Twitter or Instagram or Facebook or my feed reader, I was being reminded that other people have families that are close and enjoy being together and having a good time together but my family of origin isn't like that at all.

It's not that my family is obnoxious dramatic people or anything... it's just that they're boring. Any holiday with my family consists of dinner at noon and people falling asleep on the couch while watching sports. They don't talk about much of anything important and you're going to find yourself holed up in your childhood bedroom sending messages to Twitter and Facebook saying "Oh my god, get me out of here!"


I'm personally finding myself trying to cultivate the type of family that I do want to spend time around from my friends (like say... the way that the group of friends on How I Met Your Mother behaves as a family) but I do sometimes find at holidays I feel left out because most people give prescient to their family of origin and I find myself feeling sad and left out because all of the people I consider to be my "family" have forgotten that I'm an orphan on the holidays.

Rafaela said...

You know when you read something and you go, "Now that I read that, I knew I needed to read it!"?
That's how I feel about this. Thanks for sharing.

Hope Wickett said...

Often I feel the same way. Socializing can be so draining sometimes, and you just need a break. The holidays are the worst for it. My mum is an extravert and having her try to guilt me into socializing can be very frustrating sometimes. She doesn't seem to get that while she feeds off other people, it drains me and I can only take so much. I have just recently started to accept this about myself, but now I just need to convince her/have her accept it too. It goes both ways, I accept her nature so she needs to accept mine.

mscate said...

Wish you lived in Australia, I'm sure we would be friends :)

mscate said...

I so know what you mean. I don't have a lot of friends myself and my husband it the outgoing sort (which I don't mind at all but it makes my lack of companions even more obvious). I had a pretty dreadful christmas (large right wing step family attended and didn't have the manners to abstain from spouting their beliefs at Christmas). I used to be a social butterfly when I was younger and more manic (with more money) but now I'm older and poorer. It's hard...

Nessbow said...

I can totally relate to this. When I was at college, I was constantly forcing myself to go out to parties or clubs, and the whole time I was there, I couldn't help thinking "can I just go home now? Have I done enough socializing?" I'm trying hard to embrace the fact that I am infinitely happier hanging out at home, whether that's by myself, with my boyfriend or with a single close friend. I'm just not cut out for the party scene. It just doesn't make me happy, and once I stopped trying to force it, things felt so much more right.

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