It’s 10pm on a Saturday night and I’m writing this in bed right now, and yesterday followed a similar pattern. I haven’t socialized since last week, which for me is a decently long time. In fact, at least during the time I’ve been back home this summer, I haven’t gone out even half as much as I normally do. It’s not like I don’t have people to see, I do and I easily could, but recently I’ve been a lot more comfortable spending time with myself and my family. I know this sounds pretty normal but I’m someone who usually can’t go more than two days without socializing, and while I’m not unhappy about how it’s been recently (I am so incredibly happy and content and excited about life), it’s been a bit weird.
Because although I do feel all those positive emotions, I also feel an immense confusion about myself and where I’m going. To be honest, I know very little about my dreams and goals and identity– if anyone were to ask me to describe my personality, I don’t know if I could go beyond two or three traits, and I’d be unsure of those as well.
So, going back to socializing, I think that my newfound unsureness about myself has influenced both this summer and the past school year (my first year of college) in a way that leaves me craving infinitely more stability in my sense of self, and to tell the truth I find that desire to be increasingly frustrating. In being so unsure about who I am, I feel as if every encounter with people leaves me more vulnerable and insecure than I was before, and I do not like to feel like I’m being molded and shaped with every variant interaction.
I am afraid to say what I want, be who I am, write how I wish to, and differentiate myself because it is all so foreign to me. I’m too frightened to dip my toes in the proverbial water that is my own self because what if I don’t like how it feels? What if it’s too cold or too warm and I won’t be able to get out? And if I’m not confident enough in myself, how can I expect others to be?
However, all of that being said, I am working on it.
I’m actually quite thankful for the time I’ve been able to spend alone, because it’s allowed me space. To breathe and think. And not judge myself or worry about being judged.
In case any of you are going through something similar, here are a few things I’ve been doing that have been working for me:
1) Paying more attention to what I say and do. Although, as you know, I’m still pretty confused, there are aspects of myself that I’ve gotten to know a lot better, and it’s actually kind of fun. I really enjoy making jokes (especially puns, much to the horror of my friends), I am quite a caring person, I get excited about little happenings as much as I do about big ones, and I’m pretty hardworking especially when it comes to things that really matter to me.
2) Writing. Even in the making of this short(ish) blogpost I’ve come to realize ideas about myself and my goals that I hadn’t before. Also, poetry. Which brings me to,
3) Doing/finding things you love! Whether it’s rock collecting or dancing or embroidering, if it’s important to you, then it is important. Period.
4) Spending time with people who make you feel good. This includes my friends at home, my family, my friends from college, even some of my former teachers! I feel so blessed to have so much love and support in my life, and it reminds me that even though I’m not quite so sure about myself, a lot of other people are, and in a flattering way.
5) Pushing boundaries. This one is easy for me personally, but hard for me socially. I am all down to analyze myself and my emotions even if it goes way beyond my comfort zone, but I feel a lot more silenced when I try to break past some of the social barriers I’ve set for myself. However, when I manage it I find it to be helpful.
6) It’s okay! It’s okay to be confused! Even if you’re 19 (like me)! Even if you’re 50! Life would be no fun if it was all set in stone and there was nothing for us to want or wonder about.
I could go on, but it’s 12am now and it’s been a long but wonderful day.
To dipping toes and pushing boundaries!