I’ve been thinking about a few things lately (because of this bachelorette party I went to the other day) including Old Friends, Perception, Introverts, and how well we know our friends.
Two of my oldest friends this weekend said a couple of things to me that made me question how they perceive me. We’ve known each other for years and they both know I’m not shy, but it’s funny because they seem to misunderstand a few other things about me.
One of them at one point in the evening told me how excited she was that I came out because I “never go out”. While this is true it’s mainly true because I’m not often in the area. I’m often in another state (still in New England, granted) but somewhat isolated. Living in beautiful places. (They also never take me up on my offer to come see me in these beautiful places that I get to live rent free.) When I am in the area I always email one or all of them and say “Hey I’m free all the time, let me know when you are free and let’s do something.” Often they are not free; they are working or planning their wedding or taking classes (and I don’t begrudge them their careers or their education). But it was odd because she made it sound like I’m a giant recluse who sits at home spinning yarn by the fire while someone reads to me from the family Bible.
The other woman made a comment about photos on Facebook. She said that I would go through the pictures and un-tag myself. Which confused me. If I don’t like the picture I might, but I wouldn’t on principle. I’m not going to go through and tag myself necessarily (unless I like the pic and want to share it with my other friends), but I wouldn’t just go through and un-tag myself. This comment led into a privacy setting/blocking people on FB conversation and I mentioned how much I have blocked from public view. But she made it sound like I’d be embarrassed by the photos that were taken that night. I don’t feel that I did a single embarrassing thing that night. There shouldn’t be a single photo that would embarrass me, nothing that I would care if people saw.
I was really sort of shocked that these women I’ve known since grade school could so misunderstand me. We certainly don’t spend as much time together these days as we did in high school, but I haven’t changed much since I was twelve. If anything I’m more comfortable with who I am (and I was freakishly comfortable with who I was then). But because we don’t spend that much time together anymore its understandable that they don’t really know me anymore and I them. I realized my oldest friend, while she’s still the same person she was when we were eight, there’s a whole other side to her that is different. With her other friends she’s a little more girly (i.e. she will discuss deep conditioning hair products) and a little more Hawt Grrl. It was after all those ladies left and it was just her, me and one of her college friends, we started talking about books. (Not that Hawt Grrls can’t talk about books, they just tend not to.)
I like this other side of my oldest friend and I’m glad I got to see it in action. I just wish they saw me a little more clearly. I wish they didn’t think that I’m a private recluse. I’m reserved, sure, especially with people I don’t know very well, but I’m not all that private and I don’t embarrass all that easily. I’m not shy. I don’t always avoid socializing because it’ll be uncomfortable for me. I happen to be ok with spending time alone and I’m not afraid of silence. I am an introvert (all signs point to it) and I’m very much so at peace with that. I just wish other people would better understand this and get the fuck over it.