I’m weird socially. Most of my few friends are far more outgoing than I am or were introduced to me by another friend because I don’t feel comfortable simply walking up to someone and introducing myself. I have certain unwritten rules in my head for dealing with people, and when a situation challenges a rule I usually end up feeling rather uncomfortable.
For example, I can’t talk to someone new unless they are completely alone or with someone I know well enough that they are exempt from this rule. I feel strange commenting on posts on facebook by people who are merely acquaintances. And it’s common for me not to hang out with anyone outside of school for weeks on end. I eat lunch alone at least once a week.
I’m a loner. Some of these things I’m fine with. It’s my life and I’m used to it. But I’m tired of not being able to talk to new people because of these rules, these barriers, that I’ve set up for myself.
So I take things in steps. I see a therapist. Step one. I talk to people through facebook, where it’s easier. Step two. I remind myself that they won’t see me as weird if I like their status. Three. I try to involve myself in theatre. Four. Take part in ‘What I Be’. Five. And the list is growing.
Hopefully it’ll continue to grow. Because, though each step seems small, each one makes me feel a million times better. Maybe it’s just the adrenaline rush I get, but I like the feeling. I feel like I’m brave, like I’m learning, like I can do anything. I know I’ll never be completely free of barriers. Nobody is. I won’t even be completely free of this kind that’s so predominant for me. Those rules are ingrained in my mind; they’re part of who I am. But times change, laws change, thoughts change, and so can my rules.