Apr 23, 2014


From a very young age, I was aware of a certain disconnectedness in my character. I was an observer rather than a participant, even in my own life.

I was not shy exactly. I was friendly and confident and unafraid of things like boys and worms and raising my hand in class and questioning authority (although I did not like getting into trouble, even when I felt vindicated in my reasons for breaking the rules). I got the lead in the school play. People seemed drawn to me, for reasons I could never understand.

I did not readily confide in others, as so many people I knew seemed to do. I made friends easily, but was never really a "best" friend. I was something that I didn't have a word for, something that kept me apart even while I was a part. I was the inside outsider. 

The word 'reticent' was an epiphany. Here, at last, was a characteristic that helped me define myself. If there was a word for it, I was not the only one. There were other people like me, people inclined to silence rather than sharing.

I am still all those things I was as a child. I am friendly and confident and unafraid of things like boys and worms and questioning authority. I still do not like getting into trouble. And I still do not readily confide in others. I am still an inside outsider.

Social media is a conundrum for me. I see people's lives laid bare: their dinners and pets, their movie and record collections, the births of their children, their relationships and break-ups, their parties and politics and plans for the weekend. Sharing in photographs and updates and comments and tags and likes and 140 characters.

And I want to be a part of this brave (?) new world, but my inherent reticence hinders me. I want to connect, but I want to disconnect in equal measure. (And I probably spend too much time thinking about it, but one cannot helps one's nature.) And so I trudge bravely (?) on through this media mire, struggling to find a balance.

The social part of me wants to share my observations and my vacation pictures and stories about my period, and she wants to learn about what you're doing and what is important to you and even sometimes, if it's really impressive, about what you had for dinner, but that other part, the silent, reserved part, the loner part, the part that finds value only in herself, wants to say fuck this inane oversharing social media bullshit and delete it all.

Ah well, and riot on.