I’ve grown up afraid of judgement, constantly anxious about what the person behind me in the coffee line is thinking as I stumble over my order. That’s why I always rehearse what I’m going to get in my head: tall passion tea lemonade. medium pizza with pineapples, jalapeño, and black olives. that one particular burrito that looks really good except please substitute meat with fajitas because i’m vegetarian.
Overthinking is a specialty of mine. And I guess old habits die hard, because it’s been so long yet I still find myself drilling in how I’m going to tell my best friend about the funny thing that happened in Spanish class, how I’m going to ask my teacher to help sort out my essay intro, how I’m going to phrase a question about the location of a bathroom. It’s a process for me that requires much editing, just as my writing does.
That’s slowly changing, though.
There was actually a point in my life where I actually preferred to converse through text or IM over face-to-face interaction. I liked the fact that I could think about what exactly I would say. I was always funnier when I couldn’t accidentally screw up the punch line.
But recently I’ve started realizing how much I actually appreciate being around people in person. I used to consider myself a strong introvert because I preferred to constantly be on my own, and while I do still enjoy having time to myself, I also am very content in the presence of others.
I used to fear those lulls in conversation, especially with people I value and admire. I thought it was awkward and uncomfortable, and I would constantly be panicking in my mind about how to fill in with conversation. Nowadays, with those people I hold in high respect, I find peace in silence. Kind of contradicting, yes, but the thing is that when I feel comfortable in silence with someone, I know that I trust them.
Essentially, I’ve made it one of my resolutions to appreciate every moment in the presence of people. I need to stop worrying so much, because no one is going to remember times when I trip over the sidewalk or snort while laughing or say “tassion pea lemonade” by accident and look ridiculous. I’m going to stop overthinking everything and instead find comfort where I can- in my own skin.
We’ll see how it goes.