Have you ever had one of those days where you just don’t want to deal with anything or anyone? Today is one of those days, “that a guy goes through, when I’m angry inside don’t want to take it out on you”. Don’t take it personal – Monica, 1995. Man, I was so in love with Monica. I had the biggest crush on her.
So anyway, this adulting thing is some bull shit. Excuse my language but it is. Today I don’t feel like doing anything besides laying on this couch with my favorite blanket and alternating between episodes of Seinfeld, Golden Girls, Martin and Fresh Prince. In that order.
But alas I have unnecessarily necessary things to do like go to work to make money, then go to the doctor to make sure I stay healthy enough to go to work to make money. One day I’ll be able to get to a point where I can not have to worry about these things but until then I have to do what I have to do.
I’m just in one of those cranky, leave me alone, bad moods. Everything either aggravates me or annoys me or both. I’m having trouble finding my happy place. I can’t focus on what’s important. I keep getting sidetracked by little things like Typhoid Tammy (or is it Typhoid Mary? I’ll have to Google that before I post. Or not. I wonder how she got that name? I mean who would want to be the face of or spokesperson for typhoid?) came back to work and brought her whooping cough with her. Backstory; last week she was coughing up a lung and I playfully said that she may have the plague. She leaves for the day and goes to the doctor and is out a few days. Word on the street is that she has bronchitis or some kind of bronchial thing. Me saying she had the plague prompted her to go to the doctor so I sort of saved her life right? Well, no. She’s back and so is that damned cough.
So now I have to deal with my own funky attitude and hear her coughing her guts and lungs out. And on top of all this I can’t sleep. My rhythm is off and this melatonin isn’t helping. Today is just not my day. Can I get a do over?
I honestly think the conference call I had yesterday afternoon zapped all of my energy. I had to put on my outgoing persona for too long. I think I reached my limit and went past it. Tomorrow will definitely be a Netflix and chill day. Like literally.
So today I’m at work ya know, working. Headphones on. Can we talk about how great headphones are for a second? I wear either over the ear headphones or earbuds almost all the time. They are like my defense mechanism against the world. I find that people are less likely to approach me with boring, inconsequential small talk if I am wearing them and it looks like I’m concentrating on something. Truth is, Half the time they aren’t even plugged in and if they are there is no music playing. Cool trick. Try it sometime. Anyway, back to my story.
I’ll just start over… So I’m at work in my office minding my business which, depends on the time of day, means I’m on Instagram or twitter hunting for memes. So during my ‘research’ my supervisor’s supervisor comes to the door and tells me that since my supervisor is out today that I need to present last quarter’s stats and the this quarter’s projections at the meeting. The meeting was within the hour! I played it cool, didn’t want him to know I was shook and said “Okay, sure. I have all the stats here anyway, we worked on them last week. See you in an hour”. He gives me 2 thumbs up, don’t ask why because I don’t know why people still do that, turns and walks back to his office or wherever he came from.
Now, on the outside I made it seem like I was all good and ready but on the inside I was panicking and wanted to crawl under my desk and hide for the rest of the day. This wasn’t from a lack of knowledge. I know the stats back and forth but having to present them to not only the staff but also strangers terrifies me. Not to mention I had on my custom ‘Kanye in the sunken place’ shirt that my play sis made for me. Not really appropriate to run a meeting in, especially when that meeting is about 70% older white people. They probably wouldn’t have gotten the reference anyway now that I think about it. Uggh. I worry too much. So anyway, I’m sitting here stressing out for the next 45-50 minutes only for my supervisor’s supervisor to send me an instant message that the meeting was being rescheduled to next week. Phew ! *wipes forehead*
Speaking in public is always terrifying for me. I’m always afraid I will either say something I shouldn’t say or not say something that I should. Then I work myself into a frenzy and get all discombobulated. The only way I can get over this setback is to picture myself as someone else. I know it sounds weird but let me explain. I wanted to be an actor when I was younger because it allowed me to play an outgoing person without having to be an outgoing person. Make sense? Okay so when I have to speak in public or large groups I turn on those acting skills I learned and I’m able to focus.
Focusing. That is something I struggle with so much. My mind is running at like 100 mph and I can’t slow it down. I’m always thinking of ideas and before I can even start working on that idea I’m off to working on the what the next idea will be. What can I say? I’m an ideas guy. So that was an interesting part of my day. Had a slight panic/anxiety situation that I worked myself into a frenzy about for nothing. How was your day?
“Tell me tell me why can’t I live my life without all the things that people say” – My Prerogative by Bobby Brown 1988. Fair warning I’m a huge music fan especially hip hop and 90s r&b so I will be throwing in lyrics from some of my favorite artists from time to time. Now back to today’s story.
I know I’m not the only one that has second guessed or questioned why they are the way they are. It’s natural, right? I mean I was always taught to question what I don’t understand. One thing I don’t understand is why I feel anxious in what would seem to be normal circumstances like meeting people. I have it really bad at times. I really hate orientations or networking sessions. Especially if I attend these type of events alone. I mean an actual emotion of fear can overtake me and I freeze. Fight or flight? Nope. Neither one kicks in. I’m just stuck and I don’t know what to do. Should I just fake it and act like everyone else or should I just kind of hide over here in the corner and hope no one notices me? Sidenote; most great actors are introverts. I play a role everyday. There’s the outgoing friendly Will on the outside (stage) and then there is the quiet more personal side of me on the inside. Constant struggle between the two sides. West side story all up in my head.
Anyway, I don’t understand it. Sometimes I want to actively be around others and engage and then at other times I want to sit on the side and blend into the background. I know for me being that energetic outgoing person is physically and mentally draining. I usually need a few days to recoup afterwards. Like, seriously. At least a few days to fill the tank up again. Is this an introvert related problem or just a problem? I have a hard time deciphering between the two. Everything can’t be related to being introverted can it? Can it?
This anxiety issue has been something that I have been working on for years. I do yoga, breathing techniques, visualizations and a bunch of other things to alter mind into thinking that everything is okay and not to panic. While I have been able to control it more over the years it is still an issue that I have to address often.
Like I said earlier, I want to start engaging with others more and networking and such. I think as I try and move into a more entrepreneurial position this networking thing will be key. I need to be able to go out there and shake hands and kiss the babies without having a panic attack. Plus I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Not really over the top with it but I definitely keep a little bottle of hand sanitizer with me and will whip it out after shaking a stranger’s hand with no problem. I don’t know where your hands have been or who else you’ve been touching. Did you wash your hands thoroughly after you used the bathroom? See I’m going off on a tear… Reeling it back in.
This “fear” has really taken a toll on my social life and I need to take control of it. Once I figure out the why, I can move forward with what, when and how to fix it.
Hi. How are you? Where do I begin? Where do I begin? Where.do.I.Begin? *raps fingers on keyboard* Okay lets just start from the beginning shall we?
Hi. I’m Will and I am an introvert. There I said it. It is out there for the world to know. Not only am I an introvert but I am black as well. Might as well double down while I am at it. Okay so how did we get to this point? I am not really sure. I just know growing up I was,and still, shy and felt comfortable being by myself. I was cool with being left alone to my own devices. Yes people, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I have never felt lonely but there are plenty of times that I want to be and actively seek to be alone.
Okay, back to my story. Sidenote; I get distracted very easily and I write as if we are having a conversation and not as if you are reading my Masters course dissertation so there may be times when I venture off into a totally different story in the middle of a current story. It will work back to the original somehow someway. Trust me. Uggh see I did it again. Let me start over…
Okay so back to my story. Growing up as an introvert is not the easiest thing to do. Maybe now that there is a label for it but not when I was a young black boy growing up. Especially as a young black boy growing up in the south. Okay, so I spent the first half of my life in DC/Maryland and I loved it. Due to some family issues that I may or may not get into later, I don’t know you guys like that, when I was in 5th grade I moved to the south. More specifically South Carolina. I was familiar with the area since I would visit family there every summer but we all know visiting someplace and living there are two totally different and separate things. Anyway, they were aware of my ‘shyness’, as it was called back then, but not really the extent of it. I went from living in the hustle and bustle of the city where I could escape into a corner and observe all the happenings that was going on unnoticed to the country where there was no escaping anything. Not to mention I was the new kid with the funny accent so they would ask me a million and one questions about where I was from, why I talked like that (more about that later), who I was related to and so on and so forth. Mind you, I didn’t have the answer to any of these questions and just wanted to be left alone to my books or games or whatever else didn’t involve social activities.
This seems like it is getting a little long in the tooth. Long story short. Come along with me on this journey as we discover and revel in the world of being black and being an introvert.
Sigh… I feel like this run has come to an end. I have worn out my welcome, so to speak. It is time for me to leave the Atlanta area and move on to somewhere else. I have enjoyed my time here but I think it is best for both of us if we split and go our separate ways.
This is where you all and this blog come in to play. I plan to use this blog to journal not only my move and all that it encompasses but also how I am feeling throughout the process and just everyday life. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and as an introvert a great way for me to communicate with the masses without having to actually communicate with the masses. If that last line made sense to you then raise your hand and give this post a like! You get me, and we will get along just fine.
Being introverted or having introverted tendencies is not really a great thing in a city like Atlanta or DC or the bigger metro areas. This city is all or mostly about connections and being a mover and shaker. I am not here for the connections or the moving and shaking. I am so content to just basically exist in a space. I do not necessarily have to take over every room that I am in.
I haven’t decided on where I’m going to plant myself next. I have a few options on the table like Austin or San Antonio, Salt Lake City or maybe Portland. I’m still leaning towards Maryland simply because I still have family there. Even though it’s close to the hustle and bustle of DC is just enough away that I can decide when and/or if I want to deal with the shenanigans.
I think being closer to certain family members is important at this rebuilding stage in my life. As we get to know each other better I may dive into that topic more, and I may not…
Thanks for reading along and hopefully you can come on this fantastic voyage that we call life with me.
Welcome to The Black Introvert Chronicles. More to come on the way!
Thanks for your patience,