I’m a fiercely independent person. And I mean that in the wild, ferocious, vicious manner, not the Project Runway or America’s Next Top model, or whatever reality tv show tells people to be fierce or make it fierce or something. I don’t like asking for help. I don’t rely on people. In fact, the me of two years ago would say, I don’t need people at all.
A lot of this comes from the fact that I’m a secret introvert, which will come as a shock to a lot of people who either casually know me, or think they know me (and probably to some people who know me pretty well). You see, I fake being extroverted to hide how painfully shy I am.
Although I wouldn’t say my independence comes entirely from my introverted nature. A good deal has to do with how I was raised. Not needing people. My parents believe in self reliance. When we would come to them with a problem, it would be have you tried fixing it yourself, to the point where, I’d stop going for help.
I was the kid who didn’t get letters at summer camp, while other kids got letters every day. I worked out my own carpool arrangements with other parents when I needed to get somewhere. I was dropped at doors, never walked inside.
Then there’s also my fathers stoic nature. To this day, I can only count a handful of times when I’ve seen my father emotional, maybe less than a handful, but I’m not sure what less than a handful is. One of my clearest memories of my Grandfathers funeral (my fathers father) was my dad walking up to me and saying “you have to be strong for your’ sisters, your aunts and your grandmother, don’t get emotional”
Most of these things have lead to patterns of behavior. I don’t do public outward displays of emotion. I am horrible at keeping in touch with people (once went a year only talking to my parents on the phone once). I don’t connect easily with others. I very rarely ask for help. I certainly don’t nest, if a house never feels like a home then it won’t hurt when you have to leave.
I’m not a great friend (probably because I’m so bad at keeping in touch). Historically, when I’ve left an area I cut all ties. Friends from high school are replaced by friends in college, and friends in college are replaced by friends at work or in whatever city I’m in. Not that the people were replaceable, it’s more because I’ve never seen the point in keeping in touch. Change is the only constant in life.
The thing is, over the last year, or so, this has gradually changed. Maybe it’s cause I’ve stayed in one city for four (five in February) years, the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place since I was eighteen (although I’ve moved three times within the same city). It might also be because of the friends I’ve made here. Good people, good writers. People I don’t want to disappear into the history of my life.
I also blame this change on my last roommate. Someone who had me paint the walls (something I’ve not done in well over a decade) someone who had me hang art, and curtains, and buying throw pillows that matched rugs and pictures. For the first time I lived with someone that I would do things with, rather than someone I could do things with if I wanted to. For perhaps one of the first times in my life I felt like I lived somewhere that was a home.
Now I’m moving. And over time, I’ve forgotten where some of my, I don’t need people, strength came from. I don’t know how to get it back. But perhaps more importantly, I don’t know if I should. After all, change is the only constant in life, and I can’t go back to yesterday, cause I was a different person then.
So instead I have to keep moving forward, and figure out how to make my new apartment feel like a home, without a roommate to make me do those things. How to keep in touch with my old roommate as he moves to Nicaragua (please go follow him at his blog WildlyUrban, if enough people follow him maybe he will actually blog so that I can keep in touch with him that way), and how to learn to be independent again. The one thing I have no doubt on, however, is that I will be fine, cause I always am.
Now you might be wondering what this has to do with writing, and the simple answer is that it doesn’t. However, maybe it has everything to do with me as a writer. And no distractions/people/whatever; means more time to write. I would try to bend this to somehow fit the theme of the Insecure Writers Group Post which I was supposed to do yesterday, and I could, maybe, by talking about how all of this not knowing how to be who I am and not knowing what I am, is truly insecure. And since writers are human, and therefore I can be insecure and a writer and it all be related (this makes sense, just don’t think about it) So we’ll just go with that.
But the truth is, I don’t feel insecure. I probably feel more depressed than insecure, and I know from past experiences with who I used to be when I had them, that I just typically have to ride things out, and keep doing what I’ve been doing till it gets better.
p.s. I'm back from the craziness that was June, and maybe on Sunday, if your good and do my bidding, I'll come back with another post about what I've learned. Or well. I'll probably do it anyway.