What’s this? ANOTHER surprise post? Ahhhhhh!
Whelp, since my schedule is going to be pretty hectic for the next month and a half which is not conducive to having my blog ready by my usual time, I shall compensate with random timely posts every so often. You’re welcome!
I just got done doing something crazy: I broke my norm. I did something completely out of character from my past pre-college self. Are you ready? Wait for it…
I just went to a movie. By myself. By choice. Isthatcrazyorwhat?
I know, I totally just shattered your expectations–didn’t I? I know, you’re probably thinking: LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMEE!!!!!! Quinn, you really need to re-evaluate your idea of “crazy.” But hear me out.
My idea of crazy isn’t trekking across the States by myself or jumping out of a plane (though either of those situations would totally amp up my anxiety). If anything, I’m more into the take-a-walk-by-myself-in-a-foreign-country-and-get-hustled type of crazy. But this time, no lying individuals were present, no terrible artwork. Nope.
I just went to the movies. Alone. For me. I had a date with just me.
Keep in my mind: I’m an introvert. Not only that but a very introverted introvert when it comes to the spectrum of introversion. Add to that I’m relatively independent, self-reliant, and, oh, I have social anxiety–all in all, I’m not the most fond of unnecessary social interaction. (Not that you’d know by my perma-smile whenever faced with a stranger in public. I mean, c’mon guys. I may not love socializing, but I’m not going to be rude about it. Anyways.) I don’t get out much, and up until college, embarking on a social outing alone would have been included in the list of my Top Fears… which is pretty weird when you consider the traits I just mentioned…
It’s just, in a place like the U.S., social life matters. Having friends, extremely visible friends plays a vital role in your image, in how others perceive you. Especially in the grade school years. And when I say visible, I’m not talking of the non-imaginary variety; I mean friends who go with you everywhere. And when you do spend time apart, you’re communicating with one another via message system or social media, as if to say Look, everyone. Look at how social and popular I am. Yes, it is so neat how close we are.
But the thing is, once you get to where I am in life–in college, about to enter that “Real World” (or maybe you realize this earlier in life, if you’re lucky)–you realize that 1) It’s really just a big facade, and 2) It’s not that important, really. Looking like you’re social and have friends really doesn’t matter, doesn’t compare to actually having genuine friends. Who may not be there to fill a physical absence, but who is always there to console my anxiety episodes, to help me think through my problems, to make me laugh uncontrollably with just a look. That is what genuine friendship looks like, and it can’t always be made clear by a physical being standing or not standing beside you.
And I guess it took me going to a movie by myself to–not realize that. No, I realized this earlier on in college, in high school, even. But, to be fully comfortable with the idea, to embrace it, that’s what this movie date did for me. Sure, I’ve done things by myself before, like running errands or going out to eat. I mean, I’m an introvert–I spend a lot of time by myself. But running errands and eating aren’t deemed solely social activities by society. Something like a movie is…even if it’s literally spending two hours in the dark not socializing (Hey! Introvert’s dream date come true! Kidding…). So this was a pretty big step for me. To not only be introverted in public, but excessively so.
After getting over the fact that I was literally the only. Single. One. in a theater full of couples (might’ve had something to do with the fact I was seeing a coming-of-age romantic comedy and it was discount night for students at the theater, but besides the point), I was pretty content with myself. I was happy with where I was, I was at peace. I was comfortable. I didn’t need a friend next to me to look credible, normal. And when you have social anxiety, and are convinced everyone is always watching you, when in reality they are likely doing anything but, that’s an AMAZING feeling. Maybe it’s just the irrational, anxious part of my brain talking, but I felt like everyone around me could see I didn’t mind being so independent, so single in a room full of socialites, and were secretly in awe of me. Or something. Yeah… all in my head…
So after coming down from the high of doing a big social thing all by my big girl college self, I just wanted to document my experience for you Readers and share what I learned. Hopefully, if you are wiser than I, you’ll have already learned this lesson. If so, enjoy the review. Take pride that yet another individual has finally embraced her independence. If not, well, here’s to something new.
It’s time to break your norm, Readers.