This week I've been feeling more socially awkward than I have ever before. Don't get me wrong: it has been a great week in most respects. But I've also spent time crying in the bathroom a few hours ago because I get everything wrong.
Where is this coming from? I try to be a very sociable person, and most people might know me as exactly that. But, as most of my closest friends would know, I'm actually also very timid at times and need a lot of time for myself—my significant other excluded.
I try to be as open about this as I can be, but a lot of the times people don't believe me. For some time there was a meme going on in my friend circle: “Veit doesn't want to have fun”. It was pretty funny for some time, and I participated in spinning the meme. But what most people didn't realize was that just because it was funny doesn't mean it isn't true.
Over the years I developed a bunch of mechanisms to cope with that dichotomy of wanting to be social and not actually having a very high tolerance for social activites. It ranges from the classic “I have headphones on and I can't hear you right now (but it's not actually playing anything)” to the relatively new “staying in my room with the lights out for prolonged periods”.
These cool-down periods seem to have been a lot more necessary as of late, namely since I've arrived at NYC. Why is that? It's simple, really: my formulae don't work anymore.
I've become a super apologetic, over-reflective mental wreck a lot of the times when I have to socialize. This hasn't been true for a few occasions, but I've largely felt that way when interacting. I constantly feel like I'm doing something wrong, because the social cues I receive here bear an uncanny resemblance to the ones I'm used to, but they're different enough for me to feel like the odd one; I don't know when or when not to speak, and I certainly don't know how to start a conversation properly.
I don't think most people think much of it, mind, or even notice. But I do. I know who I am, and I know I'm not the person I have been for the past week. I've inserted myself into conversations I have no room in. I have frantically tried to do every social activity I could, just to break the ice somehow, and I feel like the ice only exists in my mind.
I've said I want to be open, and I think this might be the most blunt, open, and hard to write post I've ever written. I've not only written it for myself, though. I've written it for everyone who has been over-analyzing every encounter they had so far. I've written it for all of the odd folks. If you didn't know already: you're not alone. I feel like RC, probably even the “real world” is full of these people, and we all feel that way sometimes. But I also think that this is hard to acknowledge when you're in “your zone”, because your anxieties don't want you to see that. I think being upfront and open about that is the best way to tackle this, even if it makes you feel weak or wimpy. You're certainly not, or else it wouldn't be that hard.
I will try not to talk that much about feelings anymore in the future, because I actually want to talk about cool tech stuff in this blog. I will also try to be less apologetic about myself in the future; sorry for the rant.